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NCAA Lacrosse Preview: Bates (15-1) hosts Amherst (13-4) in Third Round showdown Saturday

Another big crowd is expected for the Bates men's lacrosse team's NCAA Championship Third Round game against Amherst College, being played Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Garcelon Field. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The No. 3 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team meets a familiar foe on Saturday at 1pm in the Third Round of the NCAA Division III Championship tournament, with No. 11 Amherst visiting Garcelon Field at 1pm.

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Both teams won Second Round games at their respective home fields on Wednesday to advance to the tournament's round of 16 remaining teams -- Bates (15-1) blasted Plattsburgh State 23-10, while Amherst (13-4) defeated Springfield 14-11.

The winner will advance to the national quarterfinals against either No. 12 Tufts or No. 4 Wesleyan, both of whom are also NESCAC teams whom Bates has defeated this season. If Bates defeats Amherst Saturday, Bates will host the quarterfinal game on Wednesday, at a time to be determined.

Bates and Amherst last met on March 12 on Garcelon Field, where the Bobcats, then ranked 11th, defeated Amherst, then ranked No. 5, by a 23-17 score. The Bobcats set a program record for most goals in a conference game (which they have since broken), and senior Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) tied the team single-game scoring record with nine goals. Amherst sophomore Evan Wolf, meanwhile, nearly matched Weber with eight goals.

The visiting Mammoths (Amherst's recently adopted nickname) are making their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and stand 8-4 in NCAA playoff games all-time. The Bobcats are 2-1 all-time in NCAA playoff games.

Bates averages 16.88 goals per game and allows 11.19, while Amherst averages 14.47 goals scored and 12.04 goals allowed.

The Mammoths have won six of their past seven games, the lone blemish being a 12-11 loss to Middlebury in the NESCAC quarterfinals. Bates' only loss this season also came against Middlebury, a 14-13 setback in the NESCAC semifinals.

Bates senior Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine), the NESCAC Player of the Year and a two-time (soon to be three-time) All-American has career highs of 64 goals and 20 assists, and two games ago broke Bates' single-season scoring record of 59 goals. Fay ranks third in the nation in goals per game (4.00).

Chris Albanese leads the Mammoths in scoring with 37 goals, while Colin Minicus is the team's points leader with 68, including a league-high 39 assists.