Men’s lacrosse stays in playoff hunt with win over Bowdoin
|Justin Simon ’08 tied a career high by scoring five goals, including the eventual game-winner in the fourth quarter.|
|Matt Erisman ’07 tallied a career-high six assists in his final home game for the Bobcats.|
LEWISTON, Maine — The Bates College men’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first period and held on to defeat Bowdoin 9-8 in a NESCAC matchup with major postseason implications for both teams Wednesday night at Campus Avenue Field.
The win is Bates’ first regular-season victory against Bowdoin since the 2002 season.
With the win, Bates (6-5, 3-5 NESCAC) moves into a tie with Bowdoin (6-7, 3-5 NESCAC) for seventh place in the conference standings. The top seven teams in the conference move on to compete in the NESCAC Championship, and both the Bobcats and the Polar Bears finish the regular season on Saturday. Bates will play at Wesleyan on Saturday, where a win would guarantee the Bobcats the seventh seed and knock the Polar Bears out. Bowdoin hosts Williams and needs a win and a Bates loss to qualify for postseason.
Bates junior Justin Simon (Canaan, N.H.) tied a career high with five goals for the Bobcats and senior Matt Erisman (Nantucket, Mass.) notched a career-high six assists. The two Bates attackmen connected on three of Simon’s goals. Junior Mike Medeiros (Concord, Mass.) added three goals.
Bowdoin senior Matt Chadwick (Needham, Mass.) and sophomore Rob Halliday (Sudbury, Mass.) each scored twice, and four other Polar Bears scored once, including senior Kevin Mullins (Duxbury, Mass.), who dished out two assists.
Bates junior Will Paddock (Denver, Colo.) earned the win in his third career start, making 10 saves. Bowdoin senior Charles Legg (Baltimore, Md.) made seven saves.
Bates scored four unanswered goals in the final 4:06 of the first period, two of them by Simon and the last three of which were assisted by Erisman. Erisman hooked up with Simon with 28 seconds left in the period, then set up junior Sean O’Brien (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) for another with 2.4 seconds left on the clock for a 5-1 lead.
Bowdoin cut it to 5-2 just 11 seconds into the second period as junior Mike Giordano (Washington, D.C.) converted a feed from first-year Justin Starr (Concord, N.H.). But Bates finished out the half with three more unanswered goals. Sophomore defender Nathan Kellogg (Natick, Mass.) caused a turnover, scooped the ground ball and fed Simon to make it 6-2 with 13:12 left in the period, and Simon and Medeiros each scored in the final minute of the half to give Bates an 8-2 lead at intermission.
Chadwick and sophomore Cullen Winkler (Milton, Mass.) both scored in the third period while the Polar Bears blanked the Bobcats to close the gap to 8-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Harry Ashforth (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Halliday scored back-to-back goals in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 8-6. Simon and Erisman hooked up for the third time in the game with 12:04 to play, stopping the Polar Bears’ 4-0 run. Mullins and Chadwick closed the gap to one with goals at the 5:32 and 4:44 marks, but Bates was able to possess and play keepaway for the majority of the remaining minutes to preserve the win, as well as their playoff hopes.
It was the final home game for seniors Rory Baldini (Milton, Mass.), Peter Boston (Acton, Mass.), Amadi Cisse (Hanover, N.H.), Erisman, John Kinnane (Little Compton, R.I.) and Ithai Schori (New York, N.Y.).