WESTON, Mass. - The Regis (Mass.) men's lacrosse team opens its 2018 season on Saturday, and a casual observer of the team may notice quite a few new faces on the turf at Regis Stadium.
Eleven of the 23 players on the Pride roster are freshman this season, a group that includes both goalkeepers. Regis also includes a solid returning core from last season's New England Collegiate Conference championship team, with captains Josh Bazail (Miami, Fla.), Calvin Brault (Colchester, Vt.), and Danny Rancano (Miami, Fla.) among the Pride's five seniors.
"We have a solid group of freshmen that will be heavily relied upon this season," said head coach Randy Fraser. "Our coaches and upperclassmen have done a great job preparing them for the speed and intensity of college lacrosse. Our captains set the tone through their work ethic and supportive, positive leadership."
Among a handful of young players to watch this see will be freshmen goalkeepers JJ LaRose (Litchfield, N.H.) and Nick Penta (Andover, Mass.). " LaRose and Penta have been competing fiercely for the starting goaltender spot," said Fraser. "Both have shown they are ready to play at the next level and we are looking forward to seeing them compete in live competition. Expect to see both in game action the first few weeks of the season." Long-stick midfielder Logan Bateman (Claremont, N.H.), defensive midfielder Brendan Donahue (Lynn, Mass.), and faceoff specialist Rocco Geary (Salem, Mass.) are all expected to log serious minutes this season in their rookie campaigns. At the back, the Pride returns three of its four main defenders last season, with Michael Tremblay (Arlington, Mass.), Andrew Cook (Bedford, Mass.), and George Pearson IV (Bellingham, Mass.) expected to carry the load defensively.
Freshmen will also have a strong impact on the offensive end of the field, with rookies Brent Young (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and Michael Daras (Danvers, Mass.) expected to start and see time in man-up situations. A solid veteran core will help bolster the offensive corps as well, with Rancano, Brault, senior Collin Spillane (Franklin, Mass.), and sophomore Brian Wagner (Melrose, Mass.) all returning to the team.
The new season in a new conference brings with it a very different looking schedule for the Pride, with one opponent the Pride will be playing for the first time. That opponent is Lasell College, the defending Great Northeast Athletic Conference champion and the Pride's lone opponent that competed in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Pride travels down the road to Auburndale for a meeting with the Lasers on Saturday, April 14. Other games to circle on the calendar include matchups against Salem State (March 24) and against former NECC foes Becker (February 28) and Mitchell (March 14).
The Pride opens its 2018 season on Saturday with a non-conference matchup against Dean College at Regis Stadium. "You always look forward to the season opener," said Fraser. "This year, playing Dean, who beat us last year, has been our focus all week." Face-off in the Pride's season opener is set for 2:00 p.m.