WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University men’s lacrosse team will get its 2013 season underway on Saturday when they host No. 6 New York Tech at 1:00 pm. The Falcons were picked fifth in the Northeast-10 preseason poll.
Led by head coach Jim Murphy, now in his 21st season, the men’s lacrosse team is coming off a season where they qualified for the NE-10 playoffs for the fifth straight year and 11th time in 12 years.
Part of making it back to the postseason will require making up for the loss of the top-three scorers from 2012, as J.D. Ayer (22-5-27), Brendan Grant (20-6-26) and Richard Travers (11-11-22) all graduated. Senior midfielder Steve Caditz (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island), who was named to the preseason All-New England team, is the top returning scorer after netting 15 goals last year. Junior Nick Astarita (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) is the next leading returning scorer after contributing six goals in 2012.
A number of underclassmen then will have opportunities to step into bigger roles on the offensive end. Among them are junior Jordan Reals (Canandaigua, N.Y./Canandaigua Academy), and sophomores Matt Dente (Reading, Mass./Reading) and Bobby Hinds (West Hartford, Conn./Conard).
Defensively things are a bit more settled heading into the season. Returning are defenseman Billy Sweeney (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), named to the preseason All-New England team, Riley Merritt (Weston, Mass./Brewster Academy) and 2012 NE-10 All-Rookie choice Telemachus Demoulas (Lowell, Mass./Middlesex School), alongside long stick midfielders Matt Lopes (Webster, Mass./St. Peter Marian) and Tim Cobb (Hingham, Mass./Thayer Academy).
In goal, junior Brian Karl (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) and senior Josh Baker (Randolph, N.J./Randolph), who both saw action last year, return.
On the schedule Bentley will be challenged early with two teams ranked by the USILA. New York Tech comes into Saturday’s game at No. 6, and the second team on the schedule, LIU Post, is No. 9. The always difficult NE-10 will present its own set of challenges with four teams, Le Moyne, Merrimack, Adelphi and St. Michael’s currently ranked by the USILA. Bentley will face St. Michael’s and Adelphi at home while facing Le Moyne and Merrimack on the road.