Lauren Battista sets sights on future after Bentley

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Basketball

basketball

By Matt Gustus

When the final buzzer sounded in Erie, Pennsylvania, senior forward, Lauren Battista, launched the ball in the air and threw her fists up in triumph as her and her 14 teammates had reached the pinnacle of the basketball world. She met her team and the several hundred students in attendance at midcourt in celebration of their national championship.

Moments later, after the nets had been cut down, Battista made her way back up the ladder and sat perched on the rim, soaking in the moment that she described as the best of her life.

“The best basketball moment of my life was without a doubt winning the national championship,” Battista explained. “I have been fortunate to have played for many successful teams in my life that competed for championships, but no feeling comes close to the feeling of ending your collegiate career with a national championship to cap off an undefeated season.”

Over the last four years, Battista and the rest of the Falcons have brought memorable moments to the Falcon faithful. Over her four years, Battista led the Falcons to a record of 123-11 while compiling the most points (2,112), field goals (821), games played (135) and games started (133) in program history. In addition, she was named the Northeast-10 tournament MVP each of her four years.

However, as sad as it is, her time as a Falcon athlete has come to an end.

As she moves on from her collegiate basketball career, there are many options facing the WBCA Division II Player of the Year.

“I am still undecided as to what I am doing after I graduate, but one option I am pursuing is playing basketball professionally overseas,” said Battista. “There is a lot that goes into that such as hiring an agent, getting dual citizenship if possible and trying to market myself to teams in foreign countries. I would love to stay in the world of basketball if the right opportunity presents itself.”

While playing professionally may seem like a difficult task for a Division II athlete, there have been Falcons in the past who have found success overseas.

Most recently, two members of the men’s basketball program left Bentley and found themselves playing professionally in Europe. 2010 graduate Jason Westrol and 2011 graduate Brian Tracey, the leaders of the men’s basketball team that went to the Final Four in 2010, are currently starters on teams in Belgium and the Czech Republic, respectively.

Westrol, who scored a team-high 21.1 points per game his senior year as a Falcon, first started his career playing in Romania before spending some time in the NBA’s Developmental league. When he was cut from the Iowa Energy, he returned to Europe in hopes of continuing his basketball career and is currently the starting point guard for the Leuven Bears in Belgium.

Tracey, who led the Falcons back to the Sweet 16 in his senior year, while averaging 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds, is matching his college stats by scoring 17.5 points and grabbing 8.1 rebounds per game this season while playing for the BK Lions J. Hradec basketball team in the Czech Republic.

Battista is hoping to follow a similar path and continue playing the game she loves.

Before coming to Bentley, Battista’s success on the high school court opened the door for basketball opportunities at some of the top schools in the area. In high school, Battista led her Oliver Ames High basketball team to a State Championship in her senior season. She was selected as the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year in that season, which is one of the top accolades awarded to high school basketball players in Massachusetts.

However, with some high level Division I teams recruiting her, a unique connection played a part in her selection of Bentley as the place she would spend her next four years.

Other than Coach Barbara Stevens, “the other coach that has had the greatest impact on my basketball career was my high school coach Laney Holbrook. Ironically, Laney and Coach Stevens were college roommates and still are very close friends so I have been very lucky to have two very extraordinary people in my life throughout high school and college. Laney taught me the importance of being humble and a good leader and helped me improve my game before joining Coach Stevens’ team. I am so glad that I could win a State Championship while playing for Coach Holbrook and then a National Championship while playing for Coach Stevens since they are both remarkable people that deserve so much for the amount that they do for their teams.”

As she prepares to move forward, Battista noted that the one thing she will miss the most will be the bond she shared with her teammates.

“I think what I will miss the most about being a part of the Bentley basketball team is the large family-like bond I have been able to form with the players, coaches, their families and fans,” reflected Battista. “It is the time we all spend together off the court that is special to me and where so many of our memories are made. I loved being able to come out of the locker room after a great team win and see our families waiting to congratulate all of us. Being able to share these past four years with them has made all of our accomplishments even more special because they are such an important part of our success.”

With Battista and six other players from the National Championship squad graduating this spring, the future is uncertain for the Falcons. However, one thing will be certain come next November: the women who have taken us fans on this outstanding ride will be sorely missed.

Ryan O’Connor tosses first no-hitter in 42 years

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Baseball

baseball

By Austin Miller

The Falcons have battled their way to a 17-12 record this regular season and are looking to continue their solid play heading into the playoffs. The trend of defense first continued this past weekend when junior Ryan O’Connor threw a no-hitter.

O’Connor has started eight games on his way to a 5-2 record with a microscopic 1.50 ERA this season. He started off his day against Saint Anselm’s with two walks and was determined to settle in after the first. “I wanted to make sure I locked in for the rest of the game,” O’Connor said. The starter was near perfect the rest of the way.

The junior may have been the last to realize he was on the verge of a no-no. “It wasn’t until before the 9th inning I was sitting in the dugout and I couldn’t really remember them getting a hit, but I had assumed it had happened at some point,” he said, perhaps making the final pitch even sweeter.

On top of the personal recognition, this was the first no-hitter to be thrown at Bentley in 42 years. “To be a part of something that rare is sweet,” reflected O’Connor. He then humbly added, “to throw a no- hitter with only five k’s is really tough, so it’s a great testament to the work of the other eight guys on the field.”

A performance like this can go a long way for the team. Being in the presence of something so close to perfect is fun, and this is of course at the center of focus for the forward looking pitcher. “Overall I want this team to keep the role going because I think we’ve committed to what we’re trying to do, and we get along way too well to have it ruined too soon.” This team clearly has something intangible going for them. It’s tough to manufacture team chemistry but when you’re winning 13 of 15 and no hitting opponents things can really start to come together; and it’s coming at the perfect time for the Falcons.

“We haven’t clinched anything yet so my biggest focus is the next time I pitch up at a real tough place to play against Franklin Pierce. Being able to win the series against them would be huge for our regional rankings,” O’Connor mentioned. The mindset of this team is awesome. They are hot right now and want to build on all of their momentum, but they also recognize that there is much left to be done this season, and they still have their eyes set on the ultimate prize of a championship.

Bentley finds themselves in second place in the NE-10 only behind the 15-6 Franklin Pierce. This is a big weekend and the Falcons will definitely look to gain some ground on them. With eight games left in the regular season, it is important to keep up the high caliber of play they have maintained all season.

SAAC enchances the student-athlete experience

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Other Sports

saac

By Ellie Dibenedetto

The Student- Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is made up of several student-athletes who provide information about their experiences as a student- athlete. The mission of the NCAA Division II SAAC is to enhance all of the student- athletes’ experiences by promoting opportunity for all, protecting student- athlete welfare and fostering a positive image. This committee also provides input into the rules, regulations and policies and how these affect student- athletes’ lives on NCAA campuses.

There are three different national committees for each sports division: I, II, and III. The NCAA requires all institutions have a SAAC committee present on their campuses.

The Student- Athlete Advisory Committee works to improve and shape the intercollegiate athletics policy and enhance the overall experience. Some of the initiatives present on the Bentley campus include SuperFan

Events, Community involvement, Athletes Supporting Athletes, Charity Committees and Make-a-Wish.

The SuperFan Events enhance community support at the games, which are important to each of the teams.

The Community Involvement initiative allows athletes to make an impact on the local community of Waltham. They host events such as Jr. Falcon day where young athletes can meet the Bentley athletes and have a fun day of games and activities.

The Athletes Supporting Athletes initiative encourages teams attend other games to show their support and expand their falcon spirit other than their own.

The Charity Committee promotes activities that raise money for charities including Relay for Life and Up ‘til Dawn. Both of these events raise money and donate to organizations such as American Cancer Society and St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Make- a- Wish also raises money. This initiative works through special events and donation buckets at different sporting games. Currently, the SAAC committee of Bentley is made up of co- presidents, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, a communications director, two representatives, a WebMaster position, a CAB spirit position, and two advisors. Thanks to the members involved with this committee, we have a fabulous athletic community, with supportive athletes both on and off the field.

Why students love intramurals

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Other Sports

intramurals

By Matt Gustus

In the minds of most guys in college, they are unstoppable athletic machines. In most cases they were “recruited” by several colleges to play a sport, but did not either because “a coach hated them” or “a freak injury” occurred. While they may have not played a second for their varsity team at their small suburban school, each guy thinks they are one of the best athletes on campus. As a result, they turn to intramurals to prove their worth.

Whether their goal is to prove their athleticism or simply to stay active, several thousands of students participate in intramurals every year. At Bentley, there are several sports in each season for students to play. In the fall, there is flag football, men’s soccer, coed soccer and ultimate Frisbee. In the winter, men’s and women’s basketball dominate the Dana center on weeknights, along with coed volleyball and coed dodgeball. Finally, as the weather gets nice in the spring there is a single-elimination coed softball tournament.

By the numbers, the men’s basketball is the most popular sport. The popularity is so high that there was the need to create an A-League and a B-League. The main difference between the two leagues is talent level and athleticism, although many of the players in the A-League also play with their friends in the more relaxed B-League.

In total, anywhere from 65-75 teams enter into the B-League each year in hopes of earning the coveted championship crown.

“I play intramural basketball because I like being able to still play competitively,” said junior Dave Whitney, who has competed in intramurals each year since coming to Bentley.

Whitney, a member of the Burlington High School varsity basketball team in his senior season, has loved basketball since he was a kid. He began playing when he was in elementary school and never misses an opportunity to lace up his shoes.

In his three years of intramural basketball, Whitney has co-captained three playoff teams. In his sophomore season, his team was able to go undefeated in the regular season, earning the top seed in the playoff tournament.

For athletes like Whitney who were varsity athletes in high school, intramurals provide a place to not only play basketball, but play in a competitive environment.

Similarly, other ex-varsity athletes love to assert their dominance and show that they “still got it.”

“Playing intramurals is a good way to relive the glory days of high school,” said junior Matt McCaffrey, who was a varsity baseball player in high school. To him, one of the main appeals is showcasing his athletic abilities on the intramural courts.

In addition to the action between teams, the action within one also adds to the appeal of intramurals. Many teams do more than just meet up once a week for their games. In most cases, when teams have Thursdays games, win or lose they celebrate post-game with a trip to Skellig.

“Team dinners are a must,” said junior Ryan Aberdale, co-captain of The Eye Test in the men’s B-League basketball league. “Anything from meals to post-game celebrations to even making scouting reports for the big games is part of the intramural experience.”

Another athlete, senior Isaac Potvin, echoed Aberdale’s thoughts on how teamwork makes intramurals fun.

“I’ve participated in intramural dodgeball, basketball, and soccer,” explained Potvin. “I play intramurals because it’s a good way to have fun with your friends and do something that’s enjoyable!”

In addition to being a fun experience, Potvin also mentioned how winter intramurals is a great way to stay in shape.

“[Intramurals are] a convenient way to help keep in shape,” he added, “especially for the senior Bahama trip!”

After competing on his high school’s basketball, track and cross country teams, Potvin came to Bentley and hoped to stay active. In his freshman year, he was a member of a B-league basketball team that made its way into the final four. Potvin was a huge factor on that team, using his speed and defensive tenacity to help his team win.

Currently, the five winter sports are awaiting their championship games, which will all be held on Monday. Winners are hoping to earn t-shirts, a picture on the athletics website and, best of all, bragging rights for a lifetime.

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.