WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley men's soccer team earned its way into the NE10 Playoffs with a blistering October. They get to face the top seed and regular season champions Adelphi Panthers in the quarterfinals on Tuesday night on Long Island.
Kickoff is slated for 7:00 pm, and the match can be seen live on AUPanthers.TV
The Falcons played their way into the postseason with a strong run in October that saw them go 5-1-1, with the only loss a one goal defeat to a Southern New Hampshire team (2-1) that finished in the top four of the standings. It was quite a turnaround from September, where the team only tied once, and ended the month with a 5-0 defeat at Saint Michael's.
Junior forward Julian Stewart (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) was often the catalyst offensively. He scored six of his seven goals on the season over the final seven games. Others were certainly involved in the goal scoring as well. Senior Sean Sullivan (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) scored the winning goal in overtime of a 2-1 victory over Saint Anselm on Oct. 24. Sophomore Alec Foster (Wayland, Mass./Wayland) netted what was the winner in Friday's 2-1 victory over Le Moyne, off an assist from captain Eric Spangler (Lafayette, Colo./Centaurus). Freshman center back Adam Watkins (McConnells, S.C./Clover) had a goal just before halftime in the 2-1 win over AIC on Oct. 21, and also had the assist on Stewart's first half goal against Le Moyne.
Bentley's defense tightened up as well over the last month, with no more than one goal allowed in any game. The back four of Watkins, seniors Chuck Leone (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) and Dan Anderson (Bedford, Mass./Bedford) and freshman fullback Connor Mote (Lisle, Ill./Benet) has been solid, while junior Charlie Lopez (Madrid, Spain) has excelled after switching to a midfield role.
The goalkeeping duties have been mostly split this season between juniors Harrison Rapant (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) and David Price (Needham, Mass./Beaver Country). Rapant started nine matches in the regular season, and Price seven, with Price the starter the final three games.
In last year's regular season game at Adelphi, Rapant made 11 saves in a 0-0 tie, when the Panthers were ranked 16th nationally. It was a performance that garnered him NE10 Goalie of the Week honors.
Bentley will certainly be facing a tough test in the Panthers on Tuesday. They went 11-1-1 in the NE10 for 34 points to win the regular season title by two points over Merrimack. They were ranked No. 10 in last week's Division II national poll.
In the other quarterfinal matches, Merrimack hosts No. 7 seed Franklin Pierce. The No. 3 seed Southern Connecticut hosts Saint Rose, and the No. 4 seed SNHU hosts the No. 5 seed Le Moyne.
The semifinals take place on Friday, Nov. 3 and the championship match on Sunday, Nov. 5, all played at the higher seed.