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Amherst defeats men's lacrosse in opener, 17-8

AMHERST, Mass. – Sophomore Jack Allard led all players with four goals, but Bates College men's lacrosse lost to Amherst College, 17-8, in the season opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field.

The Lord Jeffs (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) held a 10-4 lead at halftime and pushed their lead over the Bobcats (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) to 10 goals on two occasions – at 14-4 and 17-7.

Sophomore Kane Haffey (Duxbury, Mass.) and senior Aaron Mathias (Ridgefield, Conn.) paced the hosts with three goals apiece while senior Devin Acton (Sudbury, Mass.) and sophomore Dylan Park (Charlottesville, Va.) each netted two goals. Sophomore Quinn Moroney (Manhasset, N.Y.) notched a game-high five assists.

For Bates, junior Jack Strain (Montclair, N.J.) registered two goals while senior Will Gilkeson (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) and first-year Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) each added a goal. First-year Andrew Melvin (Medfield, Mass.) chipped in two assists.

The Bobcats held advantages in shots (55-44) and ground balls (30-25) while also committing fewer turnovers than the Lord Jeffs (14-9).

Amherst opened the game with a 4-1 lead just over eight minutes into the first quarter. The Bobcats responded with a 3-1 run, and Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) capped the spurt with a goal at the 2:41 mark in the opening frame. The Lord Jeffs tacked on another tally to take a 6-4 lead at the end of one.

The hosts recorded the only four goals of the second quarter with four different players doing the honors. Park tallied the quarter's final goal with 4:38 left in the frame to help Amherst bring a 10-4 lead into halftime.

The Lord Jeffs scored the third quarter's first four goals, rounding out a stretch of nine unanswered goals, to capture a 14-4 advantage with 9:13 remaining in the first half. Allard found the back of the net with 2:51 left in the period to break the team's drought.

The Bobcats could not trim their deficit below eight goals in the fourth quarter.

Amherst starting senior goalie Greg Majno (Sudbury, Mass.) made five saves in the first half while first-year Cody Tranbarger (Louisville, Ky.) stopped 13 shots in the second half. For Bates, senior Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.) made four saves in the first two quarters, and sophomore Joe Faria (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) stopped seven shots in his collegiate debut.

Next, Bates plays at Wesleyan on March 8 at 1 p.m. while Amherst plays at Bowdoin on the same day at 1 p.m.