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Men's lacrosse upset bid erased in final minute, 7-6

O'Connor

Bagley

Charest

Sampson

Barrett

Cosgrove

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Teddy Citrin scored into a vacant net with 3.9 seconds to go in regulation to cap Wesleyan University's rally for a 7-6 NESCAC victory over the visiting Bates College men's lacrosse team on Saturday afternoon. 

Bates (3-3, 0-3 NESCAC) held the largest lead of the game at 5-3 with 8:20 to play and led 6-4 with 3:29 remaining.  The 20th-ranked Cardinals (5-3, 1-2 NESCAC) scored the final three goals to escape with their first conference triumph and leave Bates in search of its first NESCAC win, despite strong efforts in three-goal losses to Middlebury and Williams in the Bobcats' first two NESCAC games.

After Wesleyan tied the game at the 0:50 mark on a long-range goal by Lonny Blumenthal, Wesleyan won the ensuing faceoff as Matt Ward captured his 13th faceoff of the game. He finished the game 14 for 17.  Wesleyan went on the attack but lost the ball deep in Bates territory. But Bobcat sophomore keeper Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) was caught out of the net after a Bates turnover. Citrin got to the loose ball and managed to get off a shot that trickled into the open net for his 14th goal of the year.

The teams entered the final stanza deadlocked at 3-3 as they were tied at each break (0-0 after one period, 1-1 at the half). Senior Evan Bagley (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) gave the Bobcats the lead (4-3) at 10:46 as he took a pass from junior Luke Charest (Freeport, Maine) and placed a high shot past freshman goalie Mark Simmons, who was making his first start. 

When junior George O'Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) scored the first of his two goals in a span of 4:51 for Bates, the Bobcats had the first two-goal lead of the game with 8:20 showing on the clock. 

Wesleyan cut the gap to 5-4 on a rip by DJ Bernatavitz with 6:42 left, but O'Connor bumped the margin back to a pair at 3:29. Wesleyan won the faceoff and took just 31 seconds to get it to 6-5 as Graham Gnall netted a high shot at 2:55.

After a series of exchanges, Bates picked up just its third penalty of the game with 1:19 to go.  The Cardinals responded with an extra-man goal at :50 from Blumenthal to even the count at 6-6.

Simmons collected 14 saves in the Wesleyan net, while Scharff turned aside seven shots in the Bobcat net.

Senior Nick Sampson (Yarmouth, Maine) scored a goal with one assist for the Bobcats, while senior David Barrett (Randolph, N.J.) dished out two assists. First-year Gary Guinta (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and junior Rory Cosgrove (Pittsburgh, Pa.) both scored a goal.

Bates hosts a non-conference game with the University Southern Maine on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

STATS: Wesleyan 7, Bates 6