LEWISTON, Maine - Keene State College fell to Bates College 12-9 Wednesday evening in their first game back in New England since March 8.
Freshman Bryan Rotatori scored a hat trick to lead the Owls' offense. Rotatori's three goals were outdone by only Bobcats junior attacker Jack Strain's four.
After Hart's goal the Bobcats when on a run of three consecutive goals spanning into the second quarter. At the 8:15 mark of the second quarter Reilly put and end to the Bates run and KSC started a three-goal run of their own behind him, Rotatori, and Tyler McKelvie to give the Owls the advantage on the scoreboard 5-4.
The Owls' lead was extremely short-lived though, as just six seconds later Bates found the back of the net and went on their second three-goal run of the game to bring the score to 7-5 in their favor. Robert Hart was able to rip one past the keeper with 48 seconds remaining in the half to give the Owls a manageable 7-6 deficit heading into the third quarter.
Each team locked down on defense for the first five minutes of the third quarter until another run of three goals put the Bobcats up 10-6.
Rotatori again found the back of the net with 2:22, but again Bates quickly matched under a minute later and put the score at 11-7 heading into the final quarter.
Rob Hart and Rotatori both beat the keeper in the all-important fourth quarter, but it was too little too late as Bates added one more for themselves and eventually put away the Owls with a 12-9 final score.
Rob Hart had two goals and two assists for the Owls. Reilly scored two and added an assist while Ryan Hart had a goal and three assists.
Tyler McKelvie was held to a season low one goal to go along with an assist.
James Dowd again paced the Owls' defense, scooping up six of the Owls 32 groundballs in the game.
The Owls wrap up their string of road games Saturday when they head to UMass-Dartmouth to open up the LEC schedule at 1:00.
Bates also hits the road, heading to Hamilton for a 12:00 faceoff.