Undefeated Camels Host Underrated Bates College Squad Saturday
When you look across the landscape of Division III Men´s Lacrosse, very few rivalries have produced as many hair raising and amazing outcomes in the past several years as the annual Bates College-Connecticut College NESCAC showdown has delivered to the fans.
So when Bates College Head Coach Pete Lasagna´s Bobcats strut onto the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field for a 1:00 p.m. game against the eighth ranked and undefeated Camels (9-0, 5-0 NESCAC) Saturday, you can forget about their 0-5 record in league play. This is a very well coached team that piled up 57 shots against Middlebury and has held its own in close battles against sixth ranked Tufts and Wesleyan.
Something special or extraordinary always seems to occur when these teams battle each other. Will anyone ever forget how good Connecticut College Assistant Coach Topher Grossman ´05 was in his final game against the Bobcats in 2005! Five overtimes, 20 saves, and in the end, the Camels walked off as the victors.
Of course, Lasagna can remind his team that they strutted onto Freeman Field during the 2006 season with an unblemished 9-0 record of their own but were dominated in a 13-7 loss. Connecticut College Head Coach Dave Cornell can inform his team that they were clinging to a 4-3 lead at the half of last year´s game in Lewiston but the Bobcats were able rally for a 9-7 win.
Of course the Camels won the last meeting in New London in thrilling fashion back in 2008, when Kevin Nally scored the finale with his walk-off goal to defeat Bates in overtime, 9-8.
Cornell has been keeping his coaching staff and team focused at closing out one game at a time. Finishing games has been a point of emphasis from day one of practice this winter and the Camels are doing just that with four consecutive victories by a single goal.
You can be sure that the explosive Bates offense that is averaging 10.4 goals per game has the attention of the entire Connecticut College team after the past two days of practice and film sessions.
There have been plenty of flash statistics in this memorable season. But here´s one that really tells me how confident this team is in its coaching staff and the person sitting next to them in the locker room. The Camels have trailed at the half in four of their last five games and have pulled out wins in all of those contests.
So come on down and be a part of history and a very special rivalry and join us for a 1:00 p.m. game Saturday in New London!
April 9, 2010