WATERVILLE — First, the Colby College men’s lacrosse team took control. Then the Mules spent the rest of Saturday afternoon proving they weren’t going to give it up.

Lane Kadish had five goals and two assists, Charlie Lynch had two goals and five assists, and Colby rolled to its first New England Small College Athletic Conference win of the season, a 17-11 decision over Connecticut College at Harold Alfond Field.

Colby scored the game’s first three goals, and five of the first six, en route to improving to 3-3. Connecticut College, led by three goals and two assists from Jack Rutter, fell to 3-4.

“I was very pleased with how we came out, and I thought we executed very well,” coach Guy Van Arsdale said. “Guys knew what they wanted to do, they did it well. I think, early on, facing off was a big deal for us and winning some of those draws. Being able to take control that way, I think, made a huge difference. I thought we hit a couple of good shots early.”

Answers and responses were themes of the day. Six of the Camels’ first nine goals were followed by Colby scores, and the Mules won 22 of 31 faceoffs to deny their opponent the momentum it needed to sustain rallies.

Colby College’s Colton Michael (28) passes the ball as he is defended by Connecticut College’s Ryan Fish (45) on Saturday at Colby College. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“Coach Van Arsdale, one of his points of emphasis are ebbs and flows,” said Kadish, a junior. “We all notice ebbs and flows. We get a couple, goals come in bunches, they get a couple. Stay cool, stay calm, and get ours.”

Colby put that mentality to work early. The Mules surged to a 5-1 lead 10:09 into the game on two goals apiece by Kadish and Lynch and another by Bret Miller (two goals), but Connecticut College got a pair of scores from Sean Smith to narrow the gap to 5-3 by the end of the first.

Colby — which saw Kadish answer the Camels’ first goal in only nine seconds — responded with the same type of push it used to start the game. Don Vivian (three goals) ripped a shot while twisting and falling and found the net only 41 seconds into the quarter, Riley Bergstrom came around from behind the net to score 1:22 later, and Vivian and Carter Vickers had goals with 7:09 and 6:34 left in the quarter, respectively, to stretch the lead again to 9-3.

“It was just about confidence for us,” Kadish said. “Knowing that, if they get a couple, we’ve got a couple coming up.”

The Camels made another run, scoring two of the last three goals of the second quarter and then the first two of the third to trim the lead to 10-7. Colby didn’t let them get closer, as CJ Hassan scored off an assist from Kadish with 5:35 left in the third, Colton Michel finished a pass from Bergstrom with 2:35 to go and Kadish fit a shot in from a tight angle off a pass from Lynch for a 13-7 lead 20 seconds later.

Connecticut College didn’t get closer than five goals the rest of the way and never got a chance at a final rally in a matchup it won 11-10 last year.

Colby College teammates Charlie Lynch (10) and Lane Kadish (12) celebrate a goal against Connecticut College on Saturday at Colby College. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“They had some runs throughout the game, and we came with runs right back,” said Lynch, a sophomore. “They threw a zone at us all game last year, and they switched it up in the second half and ran man. It kind of threw us off a bit, but we ended up getting back on track.”

Van Arsdale praised the work of his team away from the net as well.

“It wasn’t just Joe Paolatto on the draw, but also the guys on our wings, Nick Percarpio and Will Dodge and Aidan McCleary and Rocky Tonkel and Noah Frolio,” he said. “They were doing an unbelievable job of coming up with some really tough ground balls. That’s where games can swing.”

The Mules are hoping there’s more to come. Colby dropped two of its first three games, but gave No. 3 Tufts a test in a 13-11 loss on March 15 and will look to build on the momentum from Saturday.

“We’re just trying to play better every week. We’ve got a young group, I think it’s the youngest team in the NESCAC,” said Van Arsdale, whose team got 10 saves from C.J. Layton. “We’re 75 percent freshmen and sophomores, so we’re going to have learning moments like that. And when you can win and have learning moments, that’s awesome.”

Colby College’s CJ Hassan, center, takes a shot as he is defended by Connecticut College’s Courtney Morgan, left, and Jon Creed, right, Saturday at Colby College. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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