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Men's lacrosse topples Amherst 26-14 in third round of NCAA Championships

Senior captain Kyle Weber and the Bobcats advance to the national quarterfinals for the first time in program history with their 26-14 win over Amherst in the third round of the NCAA Championships. (Brewster Burns for Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- First-year Matt Chlastawa and senior captain Charlie Fay scored a combined 17 goals and the No. 3 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team rolled to a 26-14 victory over No. 11 Amherst Saturday in the third round of the NCAA Championships.

Bates (16-1) advances to take on Wesleyan (19-1) in the national quarterfinals this Wednesday at 4:30 in Middletown, Connecticut. It will be the Bobcats' first appearance in the national quarterfinals.

The Cardinals defeated Tufts 17-8 in their third round game. Bates defeated Wesleyan 15-14 in the regular season. Wesleyan has not lost since that March 5 contest. 

The Bobcats' 26 goals on Saturday are the most goals scored in one game against a NESCAC opponent in program history. It breaks the previous team mark of 24 Bates set earlier this year against Colby.  

Fay (Falmouth, Maine) broke the Bates men's lacrosse career record for goals scored. He entered Saturday's contest needing seven goals to surpass  in the record books. Fay's career-high eight goals on Saturday gave him 160 in his career, passing Shane Kokoruda '95 into second place on the team's all-time scoring list (Mike D'Addario '00 owns the record with 170). His 12 points give him 96 on the season and move him out of a tie for the team record with Kokoruda's 84 points.

"It's a cool feat, there's been some great players before me and we have great players now," Fay said. "I'm sure Matt (Chlastawa) will pass me at some point. The way this season is going is unreal and we just want to keep it going for as long as we can." 

Chlastawa's (Westfield, Mass.) nine goals on Saturday ties a program record shared by teammate Kyle Weber '17 (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and D'Addario for most goals scored in one game. Weber tied the record, first set by D'Addario in 1997, earlier this year, also against Amherst. 

"I've never seen two performances in the same game like that in my life," head coach Peter Lasagna said. "I knew that Charlie had a lot, I had no idea that Matt had nine (goals)." 

The Mammoths (13-5) tied the game at eight with 10:54 to go in the second quarter when Brett Inglesby and Evan Wolf executed a nice give and go on the left wing, giving Wolf his second goal of the game. 

After Amherst tied things up, the Bobcats took over. Bates scored 16 of the next 17 goals to take a commanding 24-9 lead early in the fourth quarter. In fact, the Bobcats shutout the Mammoths in the third quarter of action, outscoring them 8-0. 

Chlastawa gave the Bobcats the lead for good with 9:53 left in the second quarter. He used a hesitation move to freeze the defense and fired the shot in from a tight angle to put Bates up 9-8.

Then Fay found Weber and the senior captain fired a cannon right under the crossbar and inside the post from the left wing. Fay contributed four assists and six ground balls to go along with his eight goals. Weber finished the day with four goals and three assists. Bates has never lost in Weber's career when he finishes a game with at least three goals. 

Weber connected with Fay for back-to-back scores to extend the lead to 12-8 with 7:27 left in the second quarter. Both goals were nearly identical, with Weber delivering a flip pass from up top and Fay ripping the ball under the crossbar. 

Weber scored another goal of his own with 7:12 remaining the quarter and the Bobcats won the ensuing faceoff, scoring again just 10 seconds later when junior Jack O'Brien (Rye, N.Y.) passed from the middle to the right wing and Chlastawa scored his third goal of the half.

Bates took a 15-8 lead with 4:52 left in the second quarter by taking advantage of a man-up situation. Senior Jake Walsh (Baltimore, Md.) passed from the top right to a wide open Fay on the left and Fay finished for his sixth goal of the half.

The Mammoths put a stop to the Bobcats' 7-0 run when Jack Norton powered the ball in from the left side with 3:05 remaining in the half. Norton finished with a team-high five goals for Amherst. 

Bates led 15-9 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Bobcats outshot Amherst 28-7 in a dominating display, blanking the Mammoths and putting the game out of reach. They also won 16 of 23 ground balls in the quarter. First-year goalkeeper Rob Strain (Montclair, N.J.) made three saves in the quarter and 15 in the game. 

Weber got the scoring started with a simple run and shoot from the outside to put the Bobcats up 16-9 with 14:35 left in the third.

Chlastawa scored back-to-back goals to put the Bobcats up by nine. He found the back of the net on an assist from Fay with 13:17 to go in third and scored right on the doorstep off a slick pass from senior Andrew Melvin (Medfield, Mass.) with 12:28 remaining. 

Less than a minute later, Chlastawa found Fay for the Falmouth native's record-breaking goal, his seventh of the game and the 159th of his career. Fay scored on a sweet backward flip in front of the net. 

Junior Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio) got in on the act with 6:20 left in the third by coming from behind the goal and sneaking the ball in low for his lone goal of the afternoon.

Chlastawa added two more goals to finish the quarter with four. With 2:49 left in the third he found himself open on the right post in a man-up situation, spinning and scoring off an assist from Fay. 

Fay found a wide open Chlastawa again with 1:50 left and Fay scored his eighth goal of the day with just 57 seconds remaining in the quarter.

The Bobcats led 23-9 through three quarters.

Melvin gave Bates its biggest lead of the game when Chlastawa passed the ball across the face of the goal and Melvin finished with ease by the left post. The man-up goal put Bates up by 15 came with 10:34 to go in the game. 

The Mammoths went on a 5-0 run after that to cut the Bobcat lead to 10. Norton and Brogan Mahon combined to score all five of Amherst's goals during the run. Four of the five goals came in man-up situations. 

Chlastawa capped off his tremendous day with two more goals late in the fourth.

With 2:48 left, Weber passed it to the first-year from behind the net and Chlastawa batted it home.

Then with 2:13 remaining, sophomore Dahnique Brown-Jones (New Britain, Conn.) delivered a well timed dish off a clear and Chlastawa scored his program record tying ninth goal of the afternoon to give the Bobcats their final margin of victory.

The Mammoths never led but they did tie the game twice. After Chlastawa opened the scoring in the first quarter off an assist from Melvin, Colin Minicus took advantage of a man-up situation to tie things up at one with 9:06 left in the first.

Junior Burke Smith (Wilton, Conn.) made sure the tie didn't last very long. After senior Sam Francis (Newburyport, Mass.) won the ensuing faceoff, Smith raced down the field and scored in a matter of 10 seconds.

Smith pulled off a nearly identical quick strike goal off a faceoff with 5:56 to go in the first quarter, putting Bates up 5-2.

The Bobcats opened up an 8-3 lead when Fay scored off an assist from Chlastawa, who finished with four assists on the afternoon to go with his nine goals.

The Mammoths went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at eight.

But after that, it was all Bobcats.