Football Team dominates Pace 31-0 on Senior Day

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

football team

By Rusell Cloon

After a frustrating five-game losing streak, the Bentley football team’s hard work was finally represented on the scoreboard with wins over Southern Connecticut State and most recently Pace.

“The Pace game was exactly what we hoped it would be,” graduate quarterback Danny Guadagnoli said. “We came out to a special group of fans and got a W against an inferior opponent. We made plays and had fun out there. Great team-win on senior day.”

The Falcons (3-5) jumped on the Setters early and took a 24-point lead going into halftime. Guadagnoli, who threw three touchdowns in the game and tallied 357 passing yards to surpass 8,000 in his career, set the tone early with a 47-yard strike to junior Chris Walsh to put the Falcons ahead just halfway through the first quarter.

In the second quarter, a six-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Sean Myers was followed by a three-yard touchdown run up the gut by sophomore Martin Bannerman to give the Falcons an insurmountable 21-0 lead. A field goal just before half-time only added insult to injury, putting Bentley up 24-0 and closing the door on any realistic second-half comeback chances for Pace.

Although the Falcon offense flourished, first-year head coach Bill Kavanaugh credited the team’s defense for setting the tone.

“We were able to play sound in all three phases of the game,” Kavanaugh said. “The defense shut down their offense, providing a spark.”

The Bentley defense was led by senior linebacker Blaine Hopwood, who notched eight tackles and recovered a fumble that resulted in the Falcons’ third touchdown. As a result of his performance, Hopwood was named Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Week.

Along with his performance against Pace, Hopwood said that the atmosphere of Senior Day was a factor in the Falcons’ victory.

“I have to say I was very pleased with Saturday’s atmosphere,” Hopwood said. “When the crowd is large and everyone is into the game, we feed off that and want to win, not only for ourselves, but for everyone who took the time our of their busy Bentley schedules to show their support.”

The game marked the last regular-season home game for the Class of 2015, who Kavanaugh said has set the tone in the program for years to come.

“The senior leadership has been what has kept our team together through the tough times,” Kavanaugh said. “And they are why we have rebounded recently.”

Along with honoring seniors, the game paid tribute to graduate students Guadagnoli and Alex Farkes, who transferred to Bentley after a four-year baseball career at Penn State. The 2014 season is Guadagnoli’s second-season as a team captain, which encompasses much responsibility from the seasoned Falcon veteran.

“Being a two-time captain is an honor and a privilege,” Guadagnoli said. “I’m truly lucky to be leading such a great group of friends and football players. I cherish this responsibility and work hard every second in an effort to demonstrate with actions what it means to act the right way.”

Guadagnoli, along with sophomore Bryan Hardy, joined Hopwood in the Northeast-10 Conference honor roll. The quarterback also holds the second spot in program history for passing yards. After five years, Guadagnoli has mixed emotions about reaching the end of his Bentley career.

“It’s so bittersweet having this wonderful experience of Bentley football come to a close,” Guadagnoli said. “It’s been a wild ride that’s helped shape me into a better person. I can’t express with words my gratitude for these years. They’ve prepared me to pursue my dreams after college with confidence and conviction.”

Hopwood, also a fifth-year senior, had similar feelings as Guadagnoli.

“It’s definitely bittersweet for me. I have put in countless hours of work on and off the field for this team and after five years of college football, your body starts to feel the physical toll that has been racked up. I do, however, love this game and being able to call myself a Bentley Falcon, and saying goodbye will be one of the hardest things I will ever do.”

Although disappointed with the team’s results this season, Guadagnoli was impressed with the attitude the Falcons brought to the field every day.

“The season has been so promising yet extremely frustrating,” Guadagnoli said. “Losing five games by a combined 20 points is devastating, and still every day our guys came to work. We stayed hungry and motivated, and most importantly we stayed together. It’s a special group, and we are hoping to make a run to finish off the year right with a string of W’s.”

Kavanaugh agreed.

“Our team plays extremely hard. They come to practice ready to work every day. This group has been a joy to coach.”

While Guadagnoli has many memories over his career, none sticks out more than Bentley’s electric come-from-behind victory at Assumption in 2012 of his junior year.

“Favorite memory is beating Assumption my junior year on the final drive in my first come from behind win,” Guadagnoli said. “Crazy finish.”

Kavanaugh commended both Guadagnoli and Hopwood for their leadership in his first season at Bentley.

“Both guys are high effort guys and the leader of their unit,” Kavanaugh said. “They have both played a lot of football and are driven to succeed. They are mentally tough and fun to work with.”

Hopwood said that the seniors and graduate students have set the tone for the program in seasons to come.

“Having a solid group of seniors is key to being a successful football team,” Hopwood said. “With the new program this year, led by Coach Kav, we were responsible for setting the tone and making sure everyone had bought in to the new direction of the program.

That’s where I believe this year separates itself from previous seasons. This group of seniors is setting the tone for the program for years to come. However, just like with most senior groups, we are basically the heart beat of the team. We make sure everyone is focused and giving everything in terms of effort on a daily basis.”

Guadagnoli, Hopwood and the rest of the Bentley football team will have a chance to make some more memories at Assumption, as they finish the regular season with two road games against the Greyhounds on Nov. 1 and at LIU Post on Nov. 8. The Falcons hope to improve their record before the Northeast-10 Championship Weekend on Nov. 15.

Women’s Soccer suffers crushing double OT loss

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

women soccer

1-0 defeat to So. Conn. drops Falcons to 2-13 on the year

By Joseph Greeley

In a game pitting two teams headed in very opposite directions against each other, the Bentley women’s soccer team suffered a painful defeat at the hands of Southern Connecticut State last Friday, losing 1-0 in double overtime to drop to 2-13 overall and stay winless in NE-10 play.

The Bentley women’s soccer team took on Southern Connecticut on Friday in its last home game of the year, looking to play the role of spoiler in an attempt to win its third game of the season and first in conference play. On the other end of the spectrum, Southern Connecticut came into the game looking for its ninth win in 11 matches, already focusing on the upcoming NE-10 playoffs.

In what amounted to an incredibly fierce defensive battle, neither team recorded a goal during the 90 minutes of regulation. However, Southern Connecticut ultimately pulled away in the minute 103 of the second overtime period, when sophomore Kieran DeBiase scored for the Owls. DeBiase ripped a shot high and beat goalie Deirdre Macrorie for the unassisted goal, raising her total to three on the year and improving the Owls to 10-4-1.

The win also improved the Owl’s record in conference play to 9-3-1, leaving them third in the standings behind Assumption (10-2) and Saint Rose (9-1-2). Southern Connecticut’s next game will help to ultimately decide the final standings, as they take on Assumption at home.

It was another tough loss for the Falcons, who struggled to score even with a 10-8 shot advantage in regulation. The drought of goals has been a theme for the team, as it has only scored seven goals in 15 games. More goals would undoubtedly have helped the Falcons this season, who have lost seven games by only one goal. The team has two away games left this season to earn its first conference win of the season. Still, the Falcons have some influence in the standings, as a win away at Saint Rose could potentially affect Saint Rose’s playoff spot. Saint Rose currently holds second place with a 9-1-2 record.

Even with this disappointing season, the Lady Falcons have a bright future ahead of them. The team is young, with ten sophomore seven members. The experienced play of senior captains Patty McAllister and Tamzin Ellerbeck will be missed next season, but there have been bright spots out of younger players who have gained valuable experience this season. Freshman goalkeeper Deirdre Macriorie has been one of those bright spots, having started 13 out of 15 games this season with a solid 1.66 goals against average.

Sophomore Ana Tantum has built upon her breakout season in matching her four goal total from a year ago.

The young members of the team hope to lead the team next season and use their experience to bring the Falcons back into NE-10 relevance in the years to come.

Bentley Ice Hockey sweeps RPI in weekend series

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

bentley ice

By Cameron Estelle

Troy, N.Y.: The Bentley Ice Hockey Team swept the Rensselaer Engineers in last weekend’s home-and-home series to bounce back with authority from a tough loss the week before.

On Friday night, the Falcons used a four-goal third period to spark the 5-2 win, with sophomore Will Suter netting the game winner at 13:26 of the final period. The scoring opened in the second period with freshman Kyle Schmidt tallying his first career goal. RPI answered late in the second to draw even, but senior Alex Grieve gave Bentley the lead with a dazzling goal at 9:09 of the third period. Grieve pulled the puck off of the right wing boards, and after fooling the defensemen with a nimble toe-drag, ripped a backhand shot top shelf to take the lead.

Suter’s game winner came on the power play, when he tipped in a point shot from defenseman Matt Maher. Thirteen seconds later, RPI forward Lou Nanne added his second goal of the game, but that was as close as the home team would get. Max French added an empty netter with 44 seconds left, and Schmidt scored another empty netter, his second of the game, with 16 seconds left. Among the notable efforts was that of junior goalie Gabe Antoni, who was solid in goal with 18 saves for the win.

The Falcons wrapped up the series with a 4-0 victory to sweep the Engineers. Three of the four Falcon goals came from special teams, and senior goalie Blake Dougherty was a brick wall, stopping all 19 shots he faced for his first career shutout. As Schmidt had done on Friday night, freshman Ryan McMurphy scored his first career goal at 15:15 of the first period.

This power play goal would have been good enough for the win, but the Falcons were not close to done. Freshman Andrew McDonald followed the trend and scored his own first career goal, a shorthanded effort at 17:49 of the first. Senior Alex Kubiak scored the only even strength goal at 14:17 of the second, and Matt Maher tallied another power play goal at 18:58 of the period to round out the scoring. A scoreless third period preserved the shutout for Dougherty and the win for the Falcons, who improved to 3-2 for the season.

The Falcons head into a premiere event this week: for the first time ever in school history, Bentley will take on Big Ten opponent Penn State in a two-game series, with back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday night. Get ready to support your team and be there for the historic event!

Mayor’s Cup success for Cross Country

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Cross Country, Cross Country, Men's Sports, Sports, Women's Sports

mayor cup

By Thomas Day

The twenty-fourth annual Mayor’s Cup in Franklin Park, MA was held on Sunday, October 26 featuring runners from colleges all across the United States. The field consisted of predominantly club athletes from respectable running organizations, but also featured independent runners. In their final meet before the NE-10 championships, the Falcons received several incredible individual efforts that give the teams hope, heading into the climax of the season.

On the men’s side, Bentley displayed impressive resiliency, placing four of its elite runners in the top 80 out of the entire field of 178. The leader of the pack for the Falcons was sophomore Cullen McHale, who finished with an astounding time of 25:41. He placed 45 overall and finished in second place out of all collegian runners. The only collegian runner to surpass McHale was Luiz Cruz from Merrimack College.

The next Falcon to cross the ribbon was junior David Cooper from Woburn, Massachusetts at 26:30. He placed 57 overall, good for sixth among all collegian runners. Freshman Graham Chapski came in 70 overall and 11 among collegiate runners with a solid time of 26:44. The final Falcon to finish was Ruben Mehta, who came in at 26:48, just behind Chapski. It should be noted that this was Ruben’s fastest 8K time of his career at Bentley University, an impressive feat for a sophomore on such a big stage.

Overall, the men’s team finished third out of five rival Northeast-10 schools and their score of 220 slotted them in eighth place out of 14 clubs overall. The only two colleges to outscore Bentley were Stonehill University, at 214 points and first-place finisher Merrimack College, which finished with 217 points. The men’s cross country team had an excellent performance on Sunday and looks to carry this momentum into the Northeast-10 Conference Championships.

The women’s field featured a total of 130 runners, similar to that of the men’s. The leader for the Lady Falcons was junior Sarah Brennan, who finished in first out of the entire team for the third consecutive race. Brennan posted a fantastic time of 19:40, which warranted an eleventh place finish among all collegians and 55 overall.

The next two Falcons to place finished neck and neck, freshman Marianne Bartolotta finished 74 and sophomore Katie Burke finished at 76. Bartolotta and Burke crossed the line at 20:28 and 20:30, respectively. Burke saw a noticeable improvement on her recorded time from earlier in the season, finishing a whole minute earlier than her previous time. Another freshman runner for the Falcons, Caroline Conrad from Bedford, New Hampshire, finished at 20:40.

Overall, Bentley finished nine out of 10 in the team standings. The women’s cross country team pieced together a respectable performance against a field consisting of numerous, experienced runners—most of whom have had collegiate experience in the past. The Bentley University women’s cross-country team had some nice finishes from upperclassmen, as well as a lot of improvement from the underclassmen who will only get better as the weeks progress.

With the Mayor’s Cup now a memory, both the Men and Women’s cross-country teams will have a much needed two week period to recuperate and recover from this race to prepare for the much anticipated Northeast-10 Conference Championships. When asked about the current standing of both respective teams, Coach Kevin Curtin said, “Overall, we were okay at Mayor’s Cup. This was the last race before the NE-10s and NCAA Regionals so I took the opportunity to rest a few kids who were sick or slightly injured and that definitely hurt us. We had a  couple of athletes, like Cullen McHale and Katie Burke, who ran their best races of the season but by and large we were tired and ran like it. We’ve put in a lot of good work over the last couple of months so the plan now is to rest up and get ready for NE-10s.”

This year’s Northeast-10 Conference Championships will be held on the campus of Franklin Pierce University on November 9. The teams competing in the championship include: Adelphi, American International, Assumption, Bentley, Franklin Pierce, Le Moyne, Merrimack, New Haven, Pace, Saint Anselm’s, Saint Michael’s, Saint Rose, Southern Connecticut, Southern New Hampshire and Stonehill.

Both cross-country teams will be looking to carry their momentum from the Mayor’s Cup into this year’s Conference Championships, in the ultimate hope of upending defending champion and archrival, Stonehill University.