WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Bates College men's lacrosse team came up short in its comeback bid in the second half, finishing the season with a 5-3 NESCAC loss at Colby.
The Mules improved to 9-4 overall and finished 6-4 in conference play, and will play at fourth-seeded Connecticut College on Saturday at 1 p.m. Bates finishes 4-9 overall and 2-8 in NESCAC play.
Both teams were strong defensively on Wednesday, accounting for a number of the combined 53 turnovers in the game. Ian Boldt had one goal, a team-high three caused turnovers, and two ground balls to lead Colby. Meanwhile, Bates senior midfielder Reed Brown (Portsmouth, N.H.) had game-highs of five caused turnovers and five ground balls in his final collegiate game.
Colby scored twice in the opening quarter for a 2-0 margin at the break. Jonathan McIvor scored his 19th goal of the season off a pass from Trevor Shorb with 11:43 left in the quarter. Both teams went without a goal for about 11 minutes until Scott Margolis scored on a tough angle off a pass from Greg McKillop with 47 seconds left.
Colby took a 3-0 halftime lead when Chip Grossman scored on a dish by James Wyse with 10:48 to intermission.
Bates, which only had four shots in the first half, cut the margin to 3-1 on a blast from outside by junior Rob Highland (Yarmouth, Maine), who took a pass from junior Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) on the play with 12:23 left in the third quarter.
Boldt, a defender, scored his second goal of the season on a break led by Bjorn Knutson, who also was 8-for-12 in face-off attempts. The goal put the Mules back up by three goals at 4-1 with 8:22 to play.
About three minutes later, McKillop came from behind the goal and scored on a low shot for a 5-1 lead with 5:32 remaining. The Mules, though, were held without a goal for the final 20:32 of the contest.
The Bobcats clamped down defensively and cut the margin to 5-2 on an unassisted goal by first-year Conor Henrie (Lexington, Mass.) with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
Bates also went on a scoring drought of more than 15 minutes before Highland scored his second goal of the game with 2:19 to play. The Mules won the ensuing face-off and were able to run off the rest of the time.
Bates first-year Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) finished with three ground balls and junior Charlie Clark (Pepper Pike, Ohio) had two caused turnovers for the Bobcats.
Peter Reiley finished with six saves in net for the Mules. Senior Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) was credited with three stops for Bates.
Bates’ nine graduating seniors are Brown, Lucas Denning (Yarmouth, Maine), Santo Dettore (North Reading, Mass.), Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.), Jason Hichborn (Yarmouth, Maine), Mark Murphy (Duxbury, Mass.), Parker and Thomas Repko (New Canaan, Conn.) and Scharff.