LEWISTON, Maine -- Head coach Peter Lasagna was named NESCAC Coach of the Year, while sophomore Mac Jackson and senior Rob Highland both received all-conference honors, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference released its postseason awards on Thursday.
Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) was named First Team All-NESCAC specialist, after earning a Second Team nod as a rookie faceoff man last season. Highland (Yarmouth, Maine) was named Second Team All-NESCAC at midfield.
Lasagna led the Bobcats to a 7-6 regular-season record, including a 5-5 mark in NESCAC games. Bates made its first appearance in the NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament since 2007, earning the sixth seed and falling in a competitive quarterfinal game at Tufts last Saturday.
Bates recorded its most victories, overall and in conference play, since 2006, when the team was 9-5 and 5-4. It is Lasagna's second time being named NESCAC Coach of the Year: he also received the honor in 2005.
Highland scored 21 goals to go with five assists this season, joining sophomore Jack Strain (Montclair, N.J.) and first-year Jack Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) as Bates' first trio of 20-goal scorers since the 2002 season. Highland scored 17 of his goals in NESCAC contests, tying him for 11th in the conference in that category. Highland scored three or more goals against Skidmore, Amherst, Trinity and Tufts this season, setting personal highs in goals and points by margins of eight and 10, respectively.
Jackson's true specialty -- not only winning the faceoff, but gaining control of the ball before anyone else can get to it -- vexed opponents all season long. His 66 ground balls in Bates' 10 NESCAC games are 10 more than any other player in the conference, and his 89 ground balls total are 14 more than any other NESCAC rival's total. With 6.36 ground balls per game, Jackson averaged 0.61 more than the next player from the conference.
Jackson ranked fourth in the NESCAC in faceoff win percentage, at .559, and was third in NESCAC contests at .558. He combined with junior Paul Donovan (Norwell, Mass.) to put Bates third in the NESCAC in team faceoff win percentage, at .560, the 61st-best average among 203 Division III teams.
Jackson ranks 84th in Division III in faceoff win percentage, and he is tied for 50th in ground balls per game. He also scored three goals and assisted on another.