WALTHAM, Mass. – With 20 players back from last year's squad that posted the Falcons' best record since 2013, the Bentley University field hockey team will open the 2019 season Saturday with a non-conference game at Franklin Pierce University. Starting time is 5:00 pm and the game will be available online at portal.stretchinternet.com/bentley/.
Twelfth-year head coach Jess Spencer returns six starters, including players who scored 36 of the team's 47 goals during an 11-7 season.
Senior Tess Anderson (Stow/Nashoba Reg. HS) is coming off the most prolific scoring season by a Bentley player in more than a decade after finishing 2018 with 18 goals and five assists for 41 points. She was third in the Northeast-10 in goals as well as seventh nationally in Division II in goals per game.
Classmate Sam Pavano (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) and fifth-year senior Rachel Crowley (Leicester/Notre Dame Academy) are also scoring threats for the Falcons. Pavano has 15 career goals, including four last season, and Crowley has 11 after putting the ball in the cage five times last fall.
Other returnees who started at least 15 games in 2018 are junior defender Sam Simione (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire HS), senior midfielder Janelle Magoon (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry HS) and sophomore midfielder Dimitra Efremidis (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS).
Returning for the Falcons in goal are junior Tatiana Naclerio (Easton, Conn./Joel Barlow HS) and sophomore Kayleigh Vogel (Greenland, N.H./Portsmouth HS). Vogel was 3-2 with a 1.82 goals against average in seven games and four starts. Naclerio owns a career GAA of 2.23 in 15 games, including 11 starts.
College field hockey will have a different look this season as the game has switched from two 35-minute halves to four 15-minute quarters. In addition, the clock will now stop on penalty corners. The Northeast-10 will also have a different look with Merrimack and LIU Post gone from the conference and Mercy, Molloy and St. Thomas Aquinas NE10 newcomers.
Before beginning its Northeast-10 schedule Sept. 14 against St. Thomas Aquinas, Bentley will also face Saint Anselm in a non-conference matchup Wednesday in the home opener.