By Hayden Bird
WALTHAM, MA – The Bentley Falcons dominated the Pace Setters 9-2 in both teams Northeast-10 Conference opener, moving the Falcons firmly into the 2012 win column.
For Bentley (1-2), this was an enormous win, as it was not only their first win of the season (as well as conference win), but it was their home opener. For Pace (1-3), it represents a disappointing blow on the heels of a series of tough losses.
“We knew that we had to go out and refine what we’ve been doing, not necessarily what teams have been doing to us,” noted Bentley head coach Jim Murphy. “That was our approach, we need to take care of our stuff and hopefully it would be good enough. And today it was to some level.”
The game began with early pressure from Pace, who were eager to pile onto Bentley’s disappointing start to the 2012 season.
Yet the Falcons quickly asserted control over the game, and after a tentative start found the goal through senior captain Richard Travers, whose man up strike made him (temporarily) the team’s leader in points (6).
And the early goal only jumpstarted the Bentley offense.
The Falcons stretched their lead to 6-0 before the half, engineered through two goals apiece from leading scorer senior Brendan Grant and senior J.D. Ayer. Sophomore Mike Carter also added to the delight of Bentley fans, notching his first goal of the season.
Worse still for Pace, their offense lacked any bite in the first half, as turnovers and penalties ensured that the few possessions they did have in Bentley’s zone went to waste.
However, the Setters did seem to settle in the second half, at least for a period of time. Pace senior John Kolesar put his team on the board shortly through the third quarter, though the comeback was short-lived.
Bentley sophomore Nick Astarita stretched the lead to six only minutes after Kolesar had cut it to five, and Grant promptly tallied his third making it an 8-1 Falcons lead.
The fourth quarter saw both teams score once (for Bentley it was the rampaging Grant netting his game-high fourth of the day) in what was otherwise an anticlimactic final period, ending with a 9-2 Bentley win.
Coach Murphy seemed upbeat at the end, acknowledging his hopes that the slow start to the year is now firmly behind his team after such a convincing win.
“We almost felt like we’ve beaten ourselves in the first two games, because of mental and physical mistakes” said Murphy. “So we’ve been really approaching the smaller things from the mental and physical standpoint of getting back to the things that we know we can do.”