Hartford, Conn. – Junior midfielder Curtis Knapton (Westbrook, Maine) scored the game-winning goal with 1:58 left in the fourth quarter to help the visiting Bates College Bobcats escape with a 20-19 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's lacrosse action this afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field. Trinity fall to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the NESCAC, while the No. 13-ranked Bobcats improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the league with their fifth win in a row. Senior captain Ben Knaus (Ross, Calif.) led the relentless Bantam scoring attack with five goals and one assist, as Trinity overcame a five-goal deficit in the second half to tie the game in the final period.
Trinity trailed, 10-6, late in the second quarter and 17-12 with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter, but knotted the game up at 17-17 with 12:19 left in the contest when senior faceoff man Scotty Morgan (East Grand Rapids, Mich.) fed sophomore attackman Drew Kozub (Hopkinton, Mass.) for the game-tying tally that finished off a 5-0 Bantam run. The teams traded goals over the next 6:06 with Bobcat sophomore attackman Jack Scribner (Falmouth, Maine) scoring twice to match Trinity goals by senior midfielder Spud Dunn (Alexandria, Va.) and junior Ben Ferrucci (Essex, Conn.) whose goal at the 6:13 mark tied it up for the final time at 19-all. Trinity junior goalie Brady Burke (Duxbury, Mass.) made three saves over the next four minutes, but the Bantams turned the ball over three times during the same period to set Knapton up for the clincher from junior attackman Otis Klingbeil (Powell, Ohio). Trinity senior tri-captain Teddy Myers (Washington, D.C.) was denied on a decent look by Bates junior goalie Rob Strain (Montclair, N.J.) after the ensuing faceoff, but Kozub shot high in the final minute and the Bobcat defense intercepted a pass to end the game.
Bates had led, 6-3, after one quarter, led by three goals by junior attackman Brendan Mullaly (Baltimore, Md.), but the Bantams scored three of the last four goals before halftime to close to 11-9. Knaus had four goals at the break for Trinity. Morgan scored 14 seconds into the third quarter, but the Bobcats rallied to score four in a row to lead, 15-10, less than five minutes after intermission. The teams alternated scoring twice over the next seven minutes, before junior midfielder Andrew Collins (Brookfield, Conn.) ignited Trinity's 5-0 run at the 3:12 mark with a goal from Myers. With the home team down, 17-15, after three frames, Bantam rookie Connor McCulloch (Alexandria, Va.) scored with 12:26 on the clock and Kozub tied it just seven seconds later.
Trinity finished with several statistical advantages, including a 58-to-39 shooting edge, a 54-to-28 ground ball lead, and 33 faceoff wins in 43 opportunities. Morgan was stellar with 26 wins on the faceoff on his 33 chances and a game-high 198 ground balls, while senior LSM Alex Notman (Wellesley Hills, Mass.) paced the Trinity defense with three caused turnovers and four ground balls, and sophomore middie Alistair Matule (Charlestown, Mass.) added six ground balls and two caused turnovers. Burke made six saves in the second half, after Trinity senior Greg Barletta (Canton, Mass.) had stopped three shots in the first. Offensively, Knaus doubled all other Trinity point scorers with six, while McCulloch scored three times, Ferrucci had two goals and one assists, Myers had a goal and two assists, and Collins scored twice.
Klingbeil paced the Bobcat offense with four goals and two assists, while Scribner scored five goals, Mulally had four goals and one assist, and junior attackman Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) assisted on five goals. Senior defenseman Rocco Fantoni (Hauppage, N.Y.) had a team-high fur ground balls, while Strain and senior Mitchell Drake (Annapolis, Md.) combined for 21 Bates saves. Trinity hosts Roger Williams on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and the Bobcats plays at Keene State on Tuesday at 6 p.m.