LEWISTON, Maine -- In spite of a dominating performance on faceoffs by first-year Mac Jackson, Trinity College defeated the Bates College men's lacrosse team 10-7 in a NESCAC showdown on Saturday at Garcelon Field.
Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) won an incredible 18 of 19 faceoffs for the Bobcats from the Trinity combination of T.J. Cholnoky and Will Benjamin, controlling the ball before it left the circle in most cases, as he collected an astounding 13 ground balls in the game. Jackson also netted his second goal of the season.
Bates senior Jason Hichborn (Yarmouth, Maine) scored twice and added a pair of assists to lead Bates scorers, while first-year Jack Strain (Montclair, N.J.) also scored a pair of goals. Junior Gary Guinta (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and sophomore Wylie Leabo (Belmont, Mass.) also scored goals, and senior Reed Brown (Portsmouth, N.H.) collected six ground balls.
First-year Matthew Hauck (Ridgewood, N.J.) led Trinity with three goals, while junior Rob Nogueras (Parkland, Fla.) added two scores. Junior Nick Shaheen (Williamsburg, Mass.) and junior Steve Manning (Tyngsboro, Mass.) had a goal and an assist apiece. Senior Alex Gottsch (Sparks, Md.) caused five turnovers and scoooped a team-high four ground balls for Trinity.
Bates had leads of 1-0 and 3-2, and Trinity held a 2-1 and a 4-3 edge, in an evenly played first 20 minutes of action. For Trinity, Hauck scored his first goal of the game with 10:12 left in the first quarter on a man advantage for the Bantams. Junior Drew Gombala (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with a man-down goal in the waning seconds of a Bates penalty for a 2-1 Trinity lead.
Strain then intercepted a Trinity pass and scored on defenseless Trinity senior goalie Peter Johnson (Riverside, Conn.) to tie it 2-2. Bates lost its only faceoff afterward, but took advantage of a subsequent Bantam turnover, collected by senior Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.), who fed Leabo for the finish and a 3-2 Bates lead.
Trinity opened the second quarter with Hauck's second goal of the game, on a feed by Manning, and the Bantams made it two in a row as Shaheen fed first-year Jack Castelli (Huntington, N.Y.) for a 4-3 lead. But Bates' Guinta, playing for the first time this season, scored on Hichborn's first assist of the campaign to tie it 4-4 with 10:31 left in the second quarter.
Hampered by turnovers, Bates' offense then stagnated, and the Bobcats wouldn't score again until the fourth minute of the third quarter. Meanwhile Trinity went on a decisive 3-0 run, with second-quarter goals by junior Rob Nogueras (Parkland, Fla.) and Shaheen, followed by a score by junior Jeff Hebert (Cornwall, Ontario) with 11:55 to play in the third that put the Bantams ahead 7-4.
Jackson halted Trinity's momentum momentarily, scoring unassisted after winning the next faceoff at the 11:39 mark of the third, but Trinity was able to dominate possession going into the fourth quarter, and goals by Hauck and Manning expanded the lead to a game-high four, at 9-5, with 9:29 left in the game. Bates closed the gap to 9-6 on Hichborn's second goal, but only 3:23 remained in the game, and the teams traded scores in the final two minutes for the 10-7 final.
Johnson finished with 12 saves for Trinity. Senior Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) made six saves in the first half for Bates; sophomore Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.) played the second half and made one save.