No. 6 Jumbos erase early deficit, defeat men's lacrosse 20-12

Sean Clark defends as Tufts' Garrett Samuelson shoots during Bates' 20-12 loss on Garcelon Field April 17, 2018. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 6 nationally ranked Tufts shrugged off a 10-7 deficit in the second quarter with nine consecutive goals over a stretch of 22 minutes, en route to a 20-12 NESCAC victory over the host Bates men's lacrosse team Tuesday night at Garcelon Field.

The Jumbos (11-1, 7-1 NESCAC) bounced back from suffering their first loss of the season on Saturday with their highest scoring output since March 17, a stretch of nine games. They remain tied for first place in the conference.

Ben Connelly led Tufts with four goals and an assist, while Andrew Seiter, Matt Treiber and Nick Shanks scored three goals apiece. Danny Murphy chipped in two goals and three assists, and Griffin Johnson and Garrett Samuelson added two goals and one assist apiece. Henry Hollen won 20-of-35 faceoffs for the Jumbos and collected a game-high 12 ground balls.

Matt Chlastawa, the NESCAC points leader, tallied four goals and three assists for the Bobcats. Clarke Jones added two goals with one assist, and Andrew Small and Brendan Mullally contributed one goal and one assist apiece.

Bates (7-6, 3-5 NESCAC) now stands alone in eighth place in the NESCAC, with two conference games remaining at first-place Amherst on Saturday and at Colby next Wednesday. Colby is a game behind Bates in the league standings.

The Bobcats scored 20 seconds after the opening faceoff, with Matt Kelleher feeding Mullally. Chlastawa tallied a pair of unassisted goals inside the first four minutes for a 3-0 Bates lead. Tufts answered with three straight of their own, with Johnson feeding Murphy at 11:01 and Murphy returning the favor at the 9:57 mark, followed by Seiter's first goal on a feed from Holden Rosen Grupp. But Bates ended the quarter with another 3-0 run, as Curtis Knapton, Max Breschi and Parker Strong all got in the scoring column.

Treiber's unassisted goal opened the second quarter by closing the gap to 6-4, but Bates regained a four-goal lead with Mullally feeding Chlastawa at 11:09, followed by junior defender Rocco Fantoni's first career goal, scored after he scooped a ground ball behind the midfield line off a Tufts turnover.

Seiter answered with back-to-back goals, first at the 9:43 mark followed nine seconds later on a feed by Hollen after he controlled the faceoff. Small and Chlastawa sandwiched an unassisted goal by Tufts' Nick Shanks with Bates goals for a 10-7 Bobcat lead with 5:27 left in the half.

Tufts then held Bates for over 22 minutes of game time, and tied the game at 10-10 before the half. The Jumbos' nine unanswered scores began on the final second of an extra-man opportunity, with Murphy finding Treiber near the left post to close the gap to 10-8. Murphy and Treiber both scored again to knot the game at intermission.

Tufts blanked Bates by a 5-0 score in the third quarter, with Connelly totaling two scores and an assist to defender Arend Broekmate. Shanks scored on an assist from Frnak Hattler with 6:45 to go in the third, then tallied again with 13:25 left in the fourth quarter for a 16-10 Tufts lead, before Bates' Jones ended the Bates drought on a nifty feed from Chlastawa with 11:41 left in regulation.

Connelly scored two more goals in the fourth quarter as Tufts stymied Bates' attempts to get back into the game. Jones scored twice in the quarter on Chlastawa assists.

Tufts' Mason Pollack and Bates' Rob Strain made 10 saves apiece in the game, as Tufts outshot Bates by a 54-42 margin, including a 30-22 difference in shots on goal.