Mass. College Lax: Bentley To Host So. N. H. In NE-10 First Round

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Bentley University men’s lacrosse team will host Southern New Hampshire tomorrow evening in the first round of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. And courtesy of the Bentley sports information department, here’s this evening’s release, a preview of the game:

WALTHAM, Mass. – The 2014 Northeast-10 Men’s Lacrosse Championship gets underway on Tuesday night, and the fourth-seeded Bentley Falcons will host fifth-seeded Southern New Hampshire at 7:00 pm.

The Falcons enter the postseason with records of 7-6 overall and 7-4 in the Northeast-10, and the Penmen sport marks of 7-7 and 6-5. Bentley is making its 12 appearance in the Northeast-10 playoffs in the last 14 seasons, and 16th time under head coach Jim Murphy.

The only previous postseason meeting between the two programs came in 2009, with Bentley winning a first round matchup 13-5. The Penmen won the regular season meeting this year, 8-7 on April 16. In that one, Southern attacker Cameron Joyce broke a 7-7 tie with 5:03 remaining for the winning goal.

Bentley enters the postseason with one of the stingiest defenses in Division II. They allow just 7.33 goals per game, which is seventh overall and second in the NE-10. A big part of that has been the work of goalie Josh Baker (Randolph, N.J./Randolph), whose .594 save percentage is fourth in the NE-10 and 7.98 goals against average is fifth. Also instrumental has been the play of, among others, Billy Sweeney (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City)Connor Raffety (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) and T.A. Demoulas (Lowell, Mass./Middlesex School).

Offensively, attackers Cutler Dimond (Marblehead, Mass./Tabor Academy) and Matt Brigham (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) lead the team in goals with 21 and 17, respectively. Freshmen David Phelps (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) and John Wheeler (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) added to the attack with 15 and 10 goals each. Wheeler also boasts a team-high 10 assists.

Southern counters with two of the NE-10’s leading goal scorers in junior Jeremy Buckley and Joyce. Buckley ranks eighth in the conference with 33 goals, and Joyce is 12th with 27. Senior Rob Murray is the team’s top distributor with 18 assists.

In goal, senior Morgan Weireter has started all 14 games and sports a .583 save percentage with an 11.02 GAA.

The other first round game on Tuesday pits third-seeded Merrimack against sixth-seeded Saint Anselm. The top two seeds, Adelphi and Le Moyne, received byes to Friday’s semifinals. The Bentley/SNHU winner will head to Long Island to play Adelphi, and the Merrimack/Saint Anselm winner heads to Syracuse to take on Le Moyne. The championship game is Sunday afternoon.

Mass. College Lax: St. A’s Fends Off Bentley, 9-8

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s lacrosse game. The Falcons came within one point with 1:02 remaining, but couldn’t force an extra session as the Hawks improved to 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University had the ball and a man-advantage trailing 9-8 in the final minute, but could not convert as Saint Anselm held on for the victory over the men’s lacrosse team in Northeast-10 action Wednesday night.

Sophomore attack Matt Dente (Reading, Mass./Reading) brought the Falcons to within 9-8 by scoring with 1:02 to play, and a penalty was called on Saint Anselm as well to give them a man-advantage with a chance to tie the game.

Bentley won the face-off and called timeout with 41 seconds left to setup the final play. Junior Nick Astarita (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) got a shot off with 19 seconds remaining, only for it to be saved by Hawks goalie Jonathan O’Reilly. Saint Anselm then cleared the ball and ran out the clock to hang on for the victory.

The loss drops Bentley’s record to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the NE-10, while the Hawks improve to 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the NE-10.

The Falcons trailed 6-4 at halftime, but outscored the visitors 3-0 in the third quarter to lead 7-6 heading into the final quarter. All the scoring was done in the first eight minutes of the period, and came from players scoring their first of the season. Sophomore Bobby Hinds (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) scored at the 13:18 mark, sophomore defenseman Connor Raffety (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) tied the game at six with 8:11 left in the quarter, and junior Steve Taylor (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) gave his team a 7-6 lead just 51 seconds later.

But Saint Anselm then scored three in a row of its own in the fourth quarter. Geoff Kennedy tied it at seven 1:24 into the quarter and Andrew Messner gave the Hawks an 8-7 lead at the 11:52 mark. They then went up 9-7 on a goal by James Peters with 6:36 to go after a turnover in front of the net.

Astarita led the Falcons with two goals, while Saint Anselm’s Ryan Mee had a game-high three.