Waltham, Mass. – Months of preseason preparations on the practice field, weight room and film room will culminate for the Bentley men's lacrosse team on Saturday afternoon when they take the field for their first game of the season, on the road against the New York Tech Bears at 1:00 pm.
The game can be seen on the ECC Network at the following link: https://nyitbears.com/sports/2018/7/27/blueframe-widget.aspx?bfplayvid=79678
Head coach Jim Murphy, in his 27th season at Bentley, will lead his team into the new season, captained by seniors Alex Astarita (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin), Sam Hurley (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) and Jack Taddeo (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield).
The Falcons were picked 6th in the NE10 Preseason Coaches Poll, as the conference is expected to be as competitive as ever, with five teams currently ranked in the USILA Top 20 and three in the top 10.
A number of key, experienced players return from last season's team, complimented by a host of young players ready to step to help lead the team back to the NE10 playoffs. Last season's team had some notable in conference wins, and some near misses against NE10 powerhouses, including an overtime defeat to Adelphi and a close defeat to the eventual national champs Merrimack, which saw Bentley lead at halftime.
Astarita and Hurley will lead the attack. Both have been consistent point producers throughout their careers, and should both surpass the 100 point milestones at some point this season. A number of underclassmen that have seen valuable playing time early in their careers can help add to the attack, with the likes of Matt Brooks (Brunswick, Maine/Phillips Exeter), Kris Campbell (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) and Timmy Day (Westfield, N.J./St. Joseph Metuchen).
Campbell, along with defenseman Cam Egan (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) and midfielder Michael Fricke (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor) represented Team USA at the World Junior Lacrosse Championships over the summer.
Junior Nick Irby (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) returns after being Bentley's primary face-off taker last season, while Fricke took a number of draws as well.
Bentley returns to anchors defensively in Taddeo and senior Brent Summers (San Diego, Calif./Westview). Both started all 13 games last season, while Matt Dold (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) started eight games and played in all 13 as a long stick midfielder.
In goal, junior Michael Haggan (Braintree, Mass./BC High) burst onto the scene and claimed the starting job. Inserted as the starter in the 5th game of the season, he put together a string of strong performances, which started with 16 saves in the Merrimack game. He made a season-high 22 saves in the near-upset of Adelphi, and stopped 19 shots in a win over nationally ranked Pace. Those performances saw him named to the USILA Team of the Week.
The Falcons will play their home opener on Saturday, March 9 against Roberts Wesleyan, before they begin NE10 play with a road game against Le Moyne on March 13. Bentley will also visit Merrimack in the season's first month, on Wednesday the 27th.
Bentley will play five of its seven games in April at home. That includes games against Saint Anselm on April 13 and Adelphi on the 16th.
After the NYIT game, all Bentley games this season can be seen on NE10 Now. For the first time this season, all games will have a play-by-play broadcaster.