Petrunich finds success on and off the field

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Lacrosse, Sports, Women's Sports

petrunich

By Ellie Dibenedetto

Dani Petrunich plays defense on the Bentley women’s lacrosse team this year. She is a junior, majoring in economics-finance with a minor in Spanish and has worked hard to make the President’s List every semester at Bentley.

Outside of lacrosse, she is part of the Honors Program, an e-board member and singer on Bentley’s Off the Clock A Cappella group, as well as the co-president of Bentley’s Diabetes group on campus. She is a graduate of Westborough High School who assisted the women’s lacrosse team, which has made it to the state semifinals and Central Massachusetts district championship all four years. She was team captain as a senior and named All-American player as a junior and again as a senior.

She was recruited to the Bentley Women’s Lacrosse team and signed the National Letter of Intent the fall of her senior year in high school. She first heard of Bentley through lacrosse; however, the campus and academics are what won Dani over. Unfortunately, she had to miss “Fall Ball” her freshman year at Bentley due to an ACL/meniscus injury on her left knee suffered during her senior year. After getting the surgery and going through the rehab, she had successfully healed and was back on the field for her first season on the team! She joined the Bentley women’s lacrosse team in 2012 and scored her first career goal against Saint Michael’s that season.

The team has four games left in the regular season with a 4-4 record in the conference. The season started off rough with two tough out-of-conference games in Florida over spring break, where they faced some of their toughest opponents. Although they don’t have the record they anticipated, they are a strong and untied team. Dani is led by four amazing senior captains in Chelsea Larivee, Jackie Brown, Carolyn Kynoch and Elizabeth Iorio. As well, the team has a new coach, Kerry Hausdorf who, “really brings out the best in her players, both on and off the field,” said Petrunich.

The team hopes to win the last couple games in the season and earn a spot in the NE-10 tournament. Aside from lacrosse, Dani is excited to be an intern in Boston this summer at EY in their financial services office. Dani is looking forward to one final year at Bentley with a strong season and school year.

Falcons looking to finish their season strong

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Lacrosse, Men's Sports, Sports

falcons looking

By Austin Miller

With three games left in the regular season, the Falcons sit at 6-4 on the year and are looking to make a push heading into the postseason. The squad got off to a slow start, but has picked it up over the past month, winning five of six since March 25.

The only loss in that stretch came last week to Merrimack, who is currently one place above the Falcons in third place in the NE-10; a game the Falcons no doubt wanted. It was a tight game all the way through, each team traded goals for most of the game and it came down to a big save from Merrimack’s freshmen goalie, Dom Madonna, in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. It was a tough loss, but Bentley showed some serious fight and continued to build on their recent success.

The Falcons bounced back after the Merrimack game, as they were able to take down Assumption in overtime on Saturday. The ability to bounce back is huge in such a tight race for the top spot in the conference. With the tough competition of Adelphi and Le Moyne rounding out the top 4 in the conference, nothing will come easy the rest of the way and a sense of urgency will be crucial to the team’s success down the road.

During the recent success, the team’s offense has been good and has come from different spots on the team. Both mid and attackmen on the team have contributed, with junior Cutler Dimond leading the way with 18 goals. The consistent scoring he and sophomore Matt Brigham have brought this year has been a key factor to the team’s success as of late.

The Falcons have also been able to win some tight games this year, with the help of senior goaltender, Josh Baker. After a season full of injuries last year, Baker has bounced back nicely and kept opponents offenses at bay. The goalie has played all ten games this year, putting up a 57.7 save percentage and has been an anchor the team can count on.

Franklin Pierce is on deck for the Falcons this weekend and they will finish off the regular season against Adelphi next week. These two tough conference games are big and there will be nothing but tough tests the rest of the way.

Falcons battle for a playoff spot

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Softball, Sports, Women's Sports

falcons battle

By Matt Gustus

The women’s softball team is in the hunt for the playoffs this year. With their record of 5-4 in the Northeast Division (13-12 overall), the team is currently battling it out to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Before a loss to conference rival, Merrimack, on Tuesday, the team was riding a four game win streak, which included a three-game sweep over Franklin Pierce. Also, the team proved they can hang with the best of the teams in the conference, as they bested Stonehill on April 10.

Overall, the team has been quite streaky. In March, the team enjoyed a six game winning streak to jump start the season. Then, after dropping seven of nine games, the team got back on track with their most recent four-game win streak.

So far this year, the team has put up some solid numbers to keep them in the hunt. The Vanguard took a look inside the statistics of the team and uncovered some reasons for the team’s successes this season. (Stats are current as of April 15):

2.50 – A major part of the team’s success this year has been the stellar pitching. Led by graduate student Carly Taitz, Bentley’s pitching staff has combined for an ERA of 2.50, which is third best in the conference.

1.50 – Freshman pitcher Michelle DeVito has been a tremendous addition to the team this season. She has come in and posted the third best ERA in the conference with the mark of 1.50. She has accumulated the record of 2-2, including two complete games.

5 – The team has only given up five home runs this season, which is the best mark in the conference.

155 – In addition to limiting runs, the team has also kept runners off the base paths. The team is third in the conference in hits given up, as they have allowed only 155 so far this season.

144 – While the team has only given up 155 hits, the offense has not been quite as stellar. The team ranks 11th in the conference with 144 hits.

21 – Of those 144 hits, 21 have come from junior outfielder Shannon Connor. Connor is one of the team’s four batters who have played in all 25 games for the team this season.

68 – The team has only scored 68 runs this season, which puts them in second to last in the conference. Freshman Chelsea Vena leads the team with 12 runs and is the only player on the team to score double digit runs.

3 – While the team hasn’t had a high amount of base runners, they have been able to keep them on base. The team has only been caught stealing three times this season. They are second in the conference in that category. On the other hand, the team has had some success on the base paths, as they have stolen 19 bases, which is eighth in the conference.

6 – The team has six seniors or grad students on the squad who are all hoping to make the most of their final year as Falcons. Grad students Taitz and Laura McDonough, along with seniors Kelly Sanborn, Jackie Gauthier, Chelsea Tamuk and Samantha Tierney, have all played significant roles this season.

12 – The team has 12 games remaining over the next two weeks. The team will continue one of their road longest road trips of the season. They will next travel to Southern New Hampshire for a three game series this weekend before traveling to Saint Anselm to play a double header that was postponed from March 29.

9 – This season marks the ninth season for Coach Michele DeGregorio. Before coming to Bentley, Coach DeGregorio had tremendous success as the softball coach at Merrimack. In 1994, she led her team to the Division II National Championship as the team went 45-4. In her nine seasons at Bentley, the coach has been unable to repeat her success. This year’s team is on track to finish with the program’s best record under DiGregorio, with only one other season above .500.

As the team wraps up their season, they will be looking to get some key wins and solidify their playoff spot. The team will return home April 22 against Assumption before playing their final home games on St. Michael’s in a season ending three-game series.

Falcons celebrate National Championship in style

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Basketball, Sports, Women's Sports

national champs

By Emily Ellis

The entire Bentley community was invited to the Green Space this past Saturday with the promise of an ice cream truck, free food and a T-shirt to all in attendance. However, though we Bentley students love our pulled pork and T-shirt giveaways, we needed no such incentive to gather in the amazing weather for the celebration of our very own National Champions, the women’s basketball team. This was a very worthy cause for celebration and I’m very proud to say that Bentley did it right.

Senior captain, Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for Division II and NCAA Division II Player of the Year, Lauren Battista, commented on the turnout for the celebration. “We were so grateful for all the people who came out to support us. There were so many members of the Bentley and Waltham community that it was hard to mention everyone in our speeches, but every person that was there deserved a shout out because they were all so meaningful to our championship run. It was awesome to get to celebrate our championship with everyone who was a part of it.”

The championship team showed up in style via duck boats. After a couple of celebratory laps around campus, the two duck boats pulled up in front of the Green Space and were greeted by hundreds of current and prospective students, alumni, friends and family. I think we can all agree that the Green Space has never seen such organized excitement before; we stood proud and united. Pompoms were waving, the tourist’s favorite duck beak necklaces were quacking and the crowd was chanting: “Barbara, Barbara, Barbara” in extreme unison. We were so proud of our team and glad for the opportunity to shower them with praise after winning such an honor for our school.

The team managers, athletic trainer, players and coaching staff were all announced one-by-one off the duck boat and led to the stage set up on the lawn. Then, the championship team’s number one fan, our eager president Gloria Larson, took to the podium. Freshman superfan, Alexis Baker, said Gloria was an “incredibly motivational speaker…everyone was really excited by her speech.”

President Larson included some very impressive facts about our national championship team before turning the microphone over to the mayor of Waltham. One of her facts included the impressive feat of having both the Coach of the Year in Coach Stevens and the Player of the Year in Battista on the national championship team. Because of this, she referred to this team as “the Ultimate Dream Team.”

Mayor Jeannette A. McCarthy then offered her congratulations on behalf of Waltham. She proudly announced that April 12, 2014 was officially “Bentley Women’s Basketball Team Day” in Waltham, MA. “Everyone was cheering so loudly when the mayor announced that she dedicated the entire day to the team. They definitely deserved that recognition because they brought so much pride to our entire community…even outside of our campus,” said junior superfan Christiana Hynds.

Senior captains, Christiana Bakolas and Battista, shared the podium to offer their many thanks to all of the support their team has received throughout the entire season. Bakolas started by thanking her family, who she joked made up a good portion of the crowd today because there were so many of them present and thanked some of the less recognized fans at Bentley. Bakolas gave a special shout out to Bentley’s Facilities Management team, the Bentley Police and all of the employees of Sodexo.

Battista elaborated on her speech after the ceremony concluded saying, “The purpose of my individual speech was to thank all of the Bentley students who have supported us all season, but especially in the playoffs. When we were in Erie, PA we could feel the love from the student body when we were sent videos from the viewing parties in the Dana Center and so many pictures and messages from students wishing us good luck. The students who made the trip out to Erie for the championship were so important to us because it helped make the arena we were playing in feel like the Dana Center. Since our return, so many students have reached out to us to congratulate us on our championship and have ignited Bentley spirit, taking it to a whole new level.”

The crowd continued to chant, “Barb, Barb, Barb” as our head coach, the WEBCA Division II National Coach of the Year, took to center stage. Proving just how much respect the legendary coach has earned from the Bentley community, the large and rambunctious masses of Bentley students were fell completely silent to hear what she had to say. When she wrapped up her speech, Stevens led a chant “We are: Bentley. We are: Bentley. And we are: National Champions.”

The hoopla continued for a while, eager fans got to offer personal congratulations to the team after the more formal celebration. Battista commented on some of her favorite parts from the “Rolling Rally.”

“The part of the rally I enjoyed the most was getting to interact with all of the people after the speeches were over. Being able to talk to students, alumni, fans and little kids who look up to us is so rewarding and makes us realize how many people we have been able to inspire through our success. Also getting a day named after our team by the city of Waltham was very cool!”

Before concluding the ceremony, one of the last things Coach Stevens assured the Bentley community, was that the underclassman on this all-star team are more than prepared to defend our national title. Even though we may have #FinishedBusiness with the Ultimate Dream Team, Stevens knows the potential of the program going forward and is setting her sights on back-to-back championships.

Kirkpatrick hopes to lead Falcons to Nationals

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Golf, Men's Sports

golf

By Matt Gustus

Ever since he was a freshman, grad student Harry Kirkpatrick has loved being a part of the Bentley golf team. Although he was only named captain this year, Kirkpatrick has always felt like he was an integral part of the team. “Mick, our coach, has been a great mentor and friend,” said Kirkpatrick. “I’ve gotten better in every aspect of the game and I’ve improved as a person as well.”

Throughout his time at Bentley, Kirkpatrick has improved upon his scoring average each year. Improving on his 80 stroke average last year, Kirkpatrick has taken a whole stroke off of his average, bring it down to a score of 79 per round this season. His best score of this season was 73, which he recorded on two occasions.

When asked about the difficulty of being a student-athlete, Kirkpatrick focused on time-management and a relaxed attitude as the keys for succeeding academically and athletically.
“I have always felt that keeping everything in perspective is key,” he said. “We’re out here playing a game for free and taking exams less-fortunate people would do anything to be taking. I have it pretty good, so there’s no need to stress.”

When asked what have been some of the reasons for his success at Bentley, Kirkpatrick was quick to give credit to his teammates and other individuals who have supported him throughout his time at Bentley. “I’ve been fortunate enough to make some great friends along the way,” reflected Kirkpatrick. “Some of my closest friends are the ones I have met through Bentley golf.”

The golf team at Bentley has a unique season with two month stretches in the early fall and late spring. This dichotomy can make things difficult for the team with a constant feeling of stopping and starting. Kirkpatrick says that the biggest issue facing the golf team is not enough practice time. “Not only are we limited with the cold weather, but many of the schools we compete against are facing a much less strenuous class load.”
Leaders like Kirkpatrick and next year’s co-captains, juniors Quincy Coulter and Jon Stoddard, have helped the team to overcome this main obstacle by fostering a close-knit environment. Kirkpatrick noted that the team usually grows closer throughout the season and that, even though only five of the thirteen players compete at any given event, there is a real feeling of camaraderie throughout the entire squad.

The spring season has been trying so far for the Bentley golf team. After a spring break trip to Delaware and a second-place finish, the season seemed to be off to a solid start. However, the last two events have not been up to par for the team. First in Long Island, Bentley struggled on a wind-blown course with extremely wet conditions with a fifth place finish. Last weekend, Bentley hosted the second annual Cape Cod Classic at Atlantic Country Club. For the second straight week, Bentley didn’t sniff the lead and allowed American International College to take the event for the second straight year.

Kirkpatrick expressed his thoughts on the season thus far, saying, “It just feels as if we’re not in the best position to win. I’m used to going to an event and feeling like our team is the favorite to win. It’s not a good feeling to be the leader of the team and watch us struggle and I will be the first to admit I have not played well enough for the team to win.”

Kirkpatrick also noted that this Wednesday will be a rarity for Bentley’s golf team when the entire team will compete against each other for the top five spots in the next two events. “Coach felt he needed to shake things up and I don’t blame him,” said Kirkpatrick. “I’m excited to see what some of the guys do with this opportunity.”

Kirkpatrick stated that the team’s main goal this season is to advance out of the NCAA East Regional tournament and earn a spot in the national event. If the team can fulfill Kirkpatrick’s goal, they will be the first team from Bentley to make nationals. “It’s all about getting the right guys playing at their best. We have guys who can win any day they go out there. Jon Stoddard and [sophomore] Malcolm Oliver are two of the best golfers I’ve ever played with. Then we have guys like [sophomores] Tom Ayres, Sal Visali and Zach Pollard who can really play.”

Kirkpatrick added that he’s most excited to see what fellow senior Ryan Hudson can do in the next month. “We’re certainly capable of making Nationals. It’s my expectation, even with this slow start.”
As Kirkpatrick prepares to finish his career at Bentley, he speaks of the importance of golf to him. “It’s a game that teaches you a lot about yourself. There are times when the game beats up on you, but there’s nothing like the feeling you get on the first tee. I wouldn’t trade my time on this team and the friendships I’ve made for anything.”

The team will finish their regular season schedule with trips to Ludlow, Ma and Baldwinsville, NY to compete in their final tournaments. The AIC Spring Classic will be Friday at the Ludlow Country Club followed by the Mike Bello Invitational at the Timber Banks Golf Club on April 13 and April 14.

Track and Field take on UMASS-Dartmouth Invitational

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Men's Sports, Track & Field

track

By Matt Gustus

This past Saturday, the men’s and women’s track and field teams took to the outdoors as they competed in the UMASS-Dartmouth Invitational.

Throughout the event, several Falcons shined, leading to both teams finishing in the top eight. The men earned top finishes in a wide array of events to finish fourth overall out of 22 while the women dominated the field events and took home eighth out of 21 teams.

The surprise of the day was on the men’s side, as sophomore Anthony Strong jumped 43 feet, 5.75 inches and landed eighth on Bentley’s all-time list in the triple jump. This was the first time Strong had competed in the event at Bentley and his distance earned him first place in the event.

In the long jump, Bentley showcased that they have many great leapers. Along with Strong, junior Anthony Charter and sophomores Edy-Elliot Uthman-Olukokun and Conor Hichens were able to take home four of the top ten spots in the contest.

On the track, senior Conor Higgins came up just short in the 800, coming in second by .44 seconds.

The male Falcons also had third place contributions by freshman Nik Haas in the 1500, freshman Andrew McCluskey in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and junior Chris Ricci in the javelin.

Meanwhile, the women were also enjoying success at the event.

Senior Aubrey Batzinger continued her assault on the record books while also recording some top finishes. Batzinger, who had previously set the school record in the hammer back in March, broke the record again with her throw of 109 feet, 9 inches. Her finish in that event was 15th out of 46.

In the discus, Batzinger nearly bettered her personal best while taking the top spot in the event with a throw of 121 feet, 7 inches.

In addition to Batzinger, junior Jackie Carlson also set a personal best at the event as she moved up to fourth on Bentley’s all-time list for the javelin. Her throw of 110’5” was almost five feet farther than her previous best.

Looking ahead, the teams have a busy April coming up. Both teams will be back at it this weekend at the New Hampshire Wildcat Invitational on Saturday. Five other meets will then stand in the way of the Northeast-10 Championships, which will be held at Stonehill College on May 2nd and 3rd.

Falcons heat up on the diamond

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Baseball, Men's Sports

baseball

By Austin Miller

The Men’s baseball team has been on a hot streak lately. After a rocky start to the 2014 season, they have won 12 of their last 15 and continue to improve every day. At the core of the team’s success is the outstanding play of junior center fielder Mike Muir.

Two weeks ago, Muir hit .471 with 4 RBI in a 4-0 week for the Falcons, on his way toward being named the NE-10 player of the week. “It seemed like my hits were just finding holes in the opponents’ defense,” Muir said last week. It is clear that the stellar play of Muir throughout this season has been due to him allowing his ability to take over. He added, “I just have to keep doing what I am doing and not change anything.” As athletes so often do during hot streaks, Muir has just been feeling it as of late.

Along with the accolade of being named the player of the week, Muir also ran up a substantial 11 game hit streak, showing that consistency is a key piece to his game. Not only on the field, but off as well, “I am a pretty superstitious guy. I have to do certain things before and during games in order to get in the right mindset,” he added.

Muir, who has been leading the team in between the lines, has also stepped up as a leader in the dugout as well. Muir’s sophomore season was plagued by injury, as he had to undergo shoulder surgery to be ready for this year. This bump in the road has led Muir to pick his game up another level, determined to prove his abilities.

“I feel I have something to prove to everybody, that I am better than the player that I was freshman year and my injury wasn’t going to hold me back.” Muir made the jump from a freshman to a junior with only one year of experience under his belt. This substantial leap is a tough one to make, but Muir has clearly responded to the challenge by picking up his game in the face of adversity.

While not a vocal presence on the field, Muir has needed to mature quickly on a young team and he’s embraced that leadership role. “If I see someone struggling, then I will go up to them and try to help them out.” Muir’s ability to pick up his teammates when they are in need and lead by example has been huge for the team this year. Staying focused and getting the job done both at the plate and in the field has proven to be a big part of the team’s success. The importance of leadership on the young Falcons team cannot be overlooked.

In a tough conference against some proven teams, anyone can beat anyone in a given game. The month of April will prove to be challenging for the Falcons, taking on 17 conference teams in the month leading up to the postseason. “Every game is going to be a dog fight,” Muir said, realizing that there will be a playoff atmosphere night in and night out the rest of the way.

As a solid all-around team, the Falcons look to continue their sound defensive play. Reliable pitching, good fielding and the team playing well together will help them continue their recent success. Sustaining their strong defense and working on “getting guys in when they are in scoring position,” will lead to continued success within the NE-10 going forward.

The leadership of the seniors on the team along with the young depth has the team hungry heading in the latter part of the season.

After making the playoffs the last two years and being bounced in the second round last season, they are looking to continue the upward postseason trend this year. The five seniors in the starting lineup will look to up their motivation even more, as the realization of their last run at a championship sets in. Their drive to make another playoff run and ability to pass their experience on to the four starting freshmen could spell success for the Falcons.

This past weekend, the team went 2-2, beating Pace twice and dropping both games of a double header on Sunday to Adelphi, causing them to slip to second in the NE-10. They strung together some good wins against Pace in a pair of close games. However, the Falcons then let two leads slip away against Adelphi. The team will look to correct those uncharacteristic losses going forward. With some tough games against Merrimack and St. Michaels coming up, the Falcons will look to get back to winning and start rolling through the month of April.

Falcons perched near the top of NE-10 standings

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Men's Sports, Tennis

tennis

By Ellie Dibenedetto

Until this past Sunday, the Bentley Men’s Tennis team had a remarkable record of 7-0 in the conference, putting them in first place. The head coach Rick Edelmann and assistant coach Michael Kopelman have created a strong team this year with a total of twelve players, including two seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. The two seniors, Jimmy Rindo and Andrew Waddington, are this year’s captains.

The season started rocky in their loss against MIT with a final score of 9-0. Bentley lost the following three matches against Marian, Webber International, and Florida Tech. However, on March 13, Bentley turned their season around with a strong match against Umass Boston, resulting in a winning score of 9-0. Bentley suffered another loss against Eckerd, but returned with four strong matches against Assumption, Stonehill, American

International, and Endicott. The Endicott match was the fourth straight win for Bentley. Sophomore Kamil Pilch and junior Alex DeMuth created a strong force in the doubles match, winning over Endicott with a score of 8-4. Rindo and sophomore Sam Frye also picked up a victory in doubles. Finally, junior Peter Koopman and freshman Jerry Liang defeated the last doubles match, setting Bentley ahead.

Rindo came out strong in singles, defeating Endicott’s player 6-0, 6-0. Waddington and freshman Chase Rosa also had victories in singles, improving the Falcons overall record.

Unfortunately, their most recent match against Merrimack on April 6 was a tough loss for Bentley, resulting in a score of 9-0. In the No. 1 singles match, Rindo won the first set against Merrimack’s Matt Pronesti. However,

Pronesti won the next two sets. In the No. 4 match, Rosa lost two sets against Merrimack’s Vince Bellino.

Although they had a tough loss against Merrimack, the Bentley Men’s Tennis team will regain spirit and come back strong in their next match against Southern New Hampshire next Saturday!

Frozen Four: Out of reach?

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Hockey, Men's Sports, Sports

hockey

By Ethan Hall

This next weekend the three most dominant teams in the country, with one surprise, will compete in college hockey’s most paramount weekend; the Frozen Four. Minnesota, Boston College, Union, and underdog North Dakota will compete for the national title. As college hockey fans from teams not in the Frozen Four watch, they can only wonder why their team is not among the frozen four and if their squad will ever rise to the level of champions.

For our Division 1 Falcons, the thought of a Frozen Four appearance has never really been a conceivable one, while few teams within the conference have had a fighting chance at it (Niagara last year and RIT who made it there a few years back). The Bentley hockey team has been trying to gain prominence in their conference first. So, if you look at the journey of ascension to national prominence and legitimacy, as a series of stepping stones, Bentley has achieved the first one; gain acknowledgement nationally. Obviously the Falcons are by no means a household name in college hockey, but they did their best Hockey East impression hanging in with the big dogs of the country (BU, Nebraska-Omaha, etc.) and outplaying most in their own conference.

The next step for the Falcon’s will be a conference championship hopefully paired with a conference tournament championship, which gives an automatic berth to the big dance. Both of these things very well could have happened this year, but the Falcon’s faded at the end while still having a legitimate chance to advance until their final seconds. For the ‘14-‘15 season, Bentley loses their all-time leading scorer and their winningest goaltender.

Yet they bring back two of the top scorers in the nation, the second leading assist man (among these two Hobey Baker nominees) and a total of four all-conference players on the squad. The losses of seniors forward Brett Gensler and goaltender Branden Komm will certainly hurt, but the goal of a conference championship is a very, very realistic one and something the team can rally around to attain. With the buzz generated for the program this year, expectations will be higher than ever and we will see if our rising Falcons can back it up. I for one will take anybody’s money that doesn’t think the Falcon’s won’t take the Atlantic Hockey Crown.