Jason Hichborn, Rob Highland and the rest of the Bates College men’s lacrosse team were off last week. That didn’t mean it was an easy week.

Bates was in the middle of final exams and, said Highland, a junior midfielder, “that’s a different type of wear and tear on the body.”

“I definitely didn’t sleep as much as I normally do,” said Hichborn, a senior midfielder. “I didn’t do a whole lot of physical work, but I spent a whole lot of hours in the library.”

They’re glad to be back on the field this week. Hichborn, Highland and senior defender Lucas Denning (who will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot) are all from Yarmouth, and pivotal players in the Bobcats’ New England Small College Athletic Association playoff hopes.

Bates is 4-6 overall, 2-4 in NESCAC, with three games remaining. Three games they must win.

Coach Peter Lasagna said if Hichborn, who leads the Bobcats in scoring with 12 goals and four assists, and Highland, who is third with nine goals and three assists, play well, the Bobcats have a chance.

“In this league, if your two best offensive players have great games, you have a very good chance to win,” said Lasagna. “Jason and Rob are two of our very best, and when they are on, we’re very hard to beat.”

That they came from the same high school, won schoolboy championships together, has helped tremendously.

“It certainly helps me on the field, knowing I’ve been playing with these guys my entire life,” said Hichborn.

Highland missed a couple of games earlier this year. He appears to be hitting his stride now. In a recent 11-5 win over Bowdoin, he scored a career-high five goals. Overall, the Bobcats have opened it up lately, with 19 goals in their last two games.

“Now we’ve got to keep it moving in that direction,” said Lasagna.

“I think we’re really coming into our own, physically and mentally” said Highland, a psychology major.

Highland, who will graduate with an economics degree, hopes to move into the playoffs, something he has never done at Bates.

“That’s the primary goal,” he said. “And from there doing well.”

Lasagna said the two have completely different styles. Hichborn is “more explosive, changes directions more often.” Highland, said Lasagna, “is more, make one move, go and shoot on the run.”

Now they know they have to come through.

“We know we have to do our part,” said Hichborn. “We can’t win if we don’t score. But I think we can deal with that.”

BASEBALL

Senior first baseman Robb Arndt of Yarmouth is batting .338 for Colby College. He has scored 19 runs and knocked in 12.

Senior pitcher Alex Mackay of Sanford is 3-2 record for Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. He has a 4.21 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks in 252/3 innings.

Freshman first baseman Alex Newton of Saco (Thornton Academy) is hitting .314 for UMass-Dartmouth. He has one home run, 16 RBI and scored 15 runs.

Sophomore pitcher Steven Carter of Brunswick is 1-1 record for Endicott College. He has a 3.93 ERA with 17 strikeouts and four walks in 181/3 innings.

CREW

Senior Tess Wiggins of Cape Elizabeth and sophomore Katie Paige of Brunswick (North Yarmouth Academy) are members of the William Smith College varsity eight crew that was named Liberty League Boat of the Week. The Herons, ranked third in the nation, won all three of their races.

HOCKEY

Plymouth (N.H.) State sophomore Alyssa Audet of Biddeford (Cheverus) was named to the ECAC women’s all-academic team.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE

Sophomore attack Ellie Morin of Scarborough is the second-leading scorer for Southern New Hampshire University. She has 26 goals and seven assists for the Penmen. She scored a career-high eight points (six goals, two assists) in a recent 19-15 win over Franklin Pierce.

Senior midfielder Jordan Alexander of Portland leads Gordon College in scoring with 35 goals and 35 assists.

Sophomore attack Lily Colley of Wells is the leading scorer for Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. She has 36 goals and 21 assists for the Quakers, along with 25 ground balls, 18 caused turnovers and 16 draw controls.

SOFTBALL

Pine Manor College Manor senior catcher/infielder Kayla (Nielsen) Provost recently hit a home run for the 100th hit of her college career. Provost is batting .260 for the Gators with two home runs, 11 RBI and 10 runs.

Freshman infielder Meghan Lewia of Wells is batting .348 with a team-high 69 at-bats for Colby. She’s scored 14 runs and driven in five. She’s joined on the Mules’ roster by freshman utility player Carolyn Bennett of Scarborough (.372), senior infielder Katie Graichen of Arundel (Berwick Academy) and junior infielder Allana Sanborn of Eliot (Berwick Academy). Graichen is batting .429 and Sanborn is hitting .133.

Junior pitcher/outfielder Kelsey Crowe of Gorham is having a strong season for Thomas College. She is 4-5 with a 3.95 ERA with 52 strikeouts and eight walks in 55 innings. She is also hitting .316 with 11 RBI.

SWIMMING

Gettysburg (Pa.) College senior Matt Libby of Freeport (Cheverus) earned three All-America certificates at the recent NCAA Division III swimming and diving championships. Libby swam the anchor leg of three relay teams: the 400 freestyle relay that finished seventh, the 800 freestyle team that finished 11th and the 200 that finished seventh. Libby also placed 20th in the 200 freestyle and 21st in the 100 freestyle.

WOMEN’S TENNIS

Junior Kelsey Boyce of Arrowsic (Morse) has an 8-2 singles record for Gettysburg (Pa.) College. She has a 6-5 record in doubles play.

TRACK AND FIELD

Stonehill College sophomore Thomas Yates of Baldwin (Cheverus) placed eighth in the hammer throw (143 feet, 8 inches) in the recent George Davis Invitational. Bentley University junior Craig Robinson of Scarborough finished seventh in the steeplechase with a PR of 9:38.24, qualifying for the New Englands, in the same meet.

Bates senior Taylor Piers placed third in both the long jump (16-8.75) and triple jump (34.2) in the recent Jim Sheehan Memorial Meet at Fitchburg (Mass.) State. For Bates’ men’s team, junior James LePage of Cumberland (Greely) finished second overall and first among collegiate runners in the 1,500 in 4:00.66, and juniors Tony Haeuser of South Portland and David Hardison of South Portland finished third (15.58 seconds) and fourth (15.84) in the 110 hurdles.

In the same meet, Colby junior John Gilboy of Saco (Thornton Academy) placed third in the hammer throw at 155-6. He had qualified for the New England Division III meet earlier.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH