KEENE, N.H. -- The Bates men's lacrosse came out on top in a nip-and-tuck non-conference battle at Keene State College on Tuesday, 10-8, handing the host Owls their first loss of the season and gaining their fifth win in the past six games.
Ranked No. 5 among New England Division III teams by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, Bates (5-3) is off to its best start after eight games since 2006, and has collected the most wins since the 6-6 2007 club. The host Owls (5-1) are ranked ninth in New England.
Falling behind 1-0, Keene State took advantage of a couple of Bobcat turnovers to go up 3-1 on a pair of goals by J.T. Galloway sandwich around a goal by Ian Hart.
Bates sophomore Steven Hild (West Hartford, Conn.) scored in the final minute to tie the game (3-3) at the end of the first quarter.
Senior Dan Hines (Manchester, Mass.) and freshman Jack Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) scored to give Bates a 5-3 lead.
KSC got one goal back before the end of the second quarter when Taylor Wicke scored a man-up goal to make it a 5-4 game at the half.
Bates netted the first three goals of the third quarter, including man-up tallies 27 seconds apart by Allard and sophomore Nick Ford (Columbus, Ohio) to go up 8-4.
Galloway’s third goal of the game cut the Bobcat’s lead to 8-5 after three quarters.
The two teams trade goals at the start of the fourth quarter. Wicke scored a man-up goal to make it 8-6 and Allard got his third goal of the game for Bates, pushing the lead back up to 9-6.
Trying to rally and get back into the game, the Owls trimmed the lead to 9-8 on a couple of goals by Tajh Russell. Standing in front of the crease, Russell deflected a pass from Hart past Bobcat junior goalie Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.) to make it 9-7 and a minute later he found the back of the net with a hard shot from 15-yard in front to make it a one-goal game.
KSC got the ball back on a face-off violation, but a shot by Kevin Carey was blocked by the Bobcat defense.
Taking advantage of an Owl penalty, sophomore Jack Strain (Montclair, N.J.), who was set up in front, scored with 1:42 remaining to give Bates a 10-8 lead.
Galloway finished the game with three goals while Russell and Wicke each had a pair for Keene State.
Allard had three goals and Ford scored twice for Bates. Hines finished with one goal and three assists, giving him 16 assists this season. Senior Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) also had a pair of assists.
Sophomore Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) won 12 of 19 faceoffs and collected a game-high nine ground balls.
Alex Sharp started in goal for KSC and made eight saves for the Owls. Jack Rogers played the final 22 minutes and stopped one shot.
Kazarian finished the game with 14 saves for Bates.
Keene State outshot the Bobcats 44-29, but lost the battle in the face-off circle 12-7 and for ground balls 25-14.
Bates was 2-6 in man-up opportunities while KSC cashed in on two of its five man-up chances.
“We want to play teams like Bates because they’re very competitive and one of the top teams in the NESCAC right now,” said KSC coach Mark Theriault.
The Bobcats will look for their sixth win in seven games when they play at Williams on Saturday at 1pm.