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Men's lacrosse topples No. 20 Wesleyan in OT

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Freshman Tucker White (Burlington, Vt.) fired in a low shot from 15 yards out with 1:26 left in sudden-victory overtime to make a 6-5 winner of the Bates men's lacrosse team in a NESCAC matchup at Wesleyan on Saturday. It was the first conference win for Bates (3-3, 1-2) and the first NESCAC loss for Wesleyan (2-1, 2-1).

Bates has six wins in the last 11 meetings between the teams, including a 12-7 triumph in Lewiston last season.

Senior defender Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.) started the game-winning play after the second Cardinal turnover of the extra period gave Bates the ball midway in its defensive end. Helm legged past a couple of Wesleyan players to midfield, then cut to the middle near the top of the box.  He passed forward to White, who caught, turned and moved slightly to his left before sending a shot into the Cardinal net for his second goal of the season.

Bates held the largest lead of the game at 5-3 with 8:45 to go in the third period, when junior Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) connected for his second goal of the game and fourth of the year by completing a fast break with a high shot from long range past Cardinal sophomore keeper Mark Simmons, who had entered the game at halftime.

Wesleyan got the next two, beginning at 5:52 of the third on a shot by John Froats off a pass by Aidan Daniell.  Froats' shot hit the crossbar and trickled in off the back of Bates goalie sophomore Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.). Kazarian, who finished with six saves, also had entered the game at intermission as both starting keepers played just the first half, which ended 3-2 in favor of the Bobcats.

Wesleyan tied the game with the only goal of the fourth period, that by Daniell on a bouncer from just on the right side after a pass from sophomore Joe Porcelli. That came at 12:04, and the teams went scoreless the rest of regulation. Bates had a shot by freshman Jack Strain (Montclair, N.J.) hit off the post with 1:22 left, and Wesleyan got a final shot in the closing seconds by Max Landow that Kazarian stopped.

Bates won the faceoff in overtime -- first-year Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) was stellar in that area, winning 12 of 15 faceoffs for the Bobcats. Bates then had two offensive possessions that resulted in saves by Simmons, only to have Wesleyan fail to clear twice on bad passes. Bates capitalized on its third possession.

Starr finished the game with five points for Bates; he assisted on three other Bobcat goals and now leads the Bobcats in scoring with four goals and seven assists for 11 points. The only goal Starr didn't have a hand in was the winner. Strain had a pair of goal for Bates, both assisted by Starr.

Daniell and Teddy Citrin were the only Cardinals with multiple points -- Daniell had a goal and an assist and Citrin dished off two assists.

In the first half, starting netminder senior Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) was integral in keeping the Bobcats in the game as he stopped 10 shots over the opening 30 minutes. Wesleyan starter senior Grant Covington had four saves.

Ahead for Bates is a home NESCAC encounter with Trinity next Saturday, March 24, at 1pm (Live Stats / Video).