|At Bentley University, Julie Pomponi has the women’s soccer team off to a fast start this fall..
Bentley soccer, field hockey on rise
With a boost from tricaptain Julie Pomponi of Belmont, the Bentley University women’s soccer team emphatically put last year’s winless season in the rearview mirror, trouncing visiting Dominican College 7-0 in the season opener last Thursday.
A junior midfielder, Pomponi helped the Falcons get off to that positive start with a goal and an assist. The goal total, and margin of victory, were the highest for Bentley since a nine-goal outburst vs. New York Tech in 1995.
“We had the offseason to refocus, we have a great core of returning players, and we wanted to make a statement in our first game,’’ said Pomponi, who scored the second goal with a header off a corner kick.
“I wasn’t really expecting to be a captain, but it feels good to be recognized for your leadership. “Playing a sport I love is motivation in itself, but helping turn the program around adds to that,’’ she said.
Bentley coach Lauren Lukis said Pomponi has become an impact player this season.
“Julie’s a three-year starter at central midfield and she earned it through hard work,’’ said the Holliston native, who ran track and played soccer at Bentley.
“She’s improved her speed, which complements her presence. And she’s a stand-up woman who’s charismatic, kind of a team ‘mom’ and easy to talk to. Our program is better because of her,’’ Lukis said of Pomponi.
Joining her are junior defender Amy Margolius, who graduated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High; freshman keeper Nicole Derba of Franklin; sophomore defender Kelsey Regan (Holliston High); and freshman defender/midfielder Marissa Peoples (Hopkinton High).
Meanwhile, the Bentley field hockey team, which lost five overtime games last year, is looking to bounce back under the leadership of senior captains Stephanie Sideris, Tori Bergantino, and Lacey Cumming.
A midfielder from Watertown High, Sideris was second in team scoring last year (4 goals, 5 assists, 13 points) when she earned first-team All-Northeast-10 Conference honors for the second consecutive season. She was the NE-10 Rookie of the Year as a freshman.
Bergantino (Waltham High), who missed the 2009 season because of illness, started every game at midfield last year and was third on the team in scoring with 3 goals and 3 assists, while Cumming (Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) played in 18 games as starting defender.
“Stephanie is a playmaker,’’ said Bentley coach Jessica Spencer. “She makes good decisions and leads by example. Tori is a vocal leader who pushes her teammates to get better and Lacey has become a very good defender and leader who also contributes on corners.’’
Also returning is last year’s leading scorer, junior Beth Maguire (Medfield High), a two-time first-team conference selection who finished with 11 goals (3 of them game-winners) and 5 assists. She is joined on the roster by junior defender Kayleigh Hoffman (Nashoba Regional) and two Lincoln-Sudbury Regional grads as midfielders, junior Hannah Gerry and sophomore Lisa Giorgetti.
The Falcons opened the season with losses to West Chester (4-1) and Millersville (2-1).
Cyclist to embark on last benefit ride
A sentimental journey started 11 years ago will end Saturday when Natick resident David Chapin embarks on his annual 25-mile bike ride to benefit the Ron Burton Training Village in Hubbardston.
“It’s getting a little tougher, so this is my last ride, and although it’s hard to stop, my son will take over for me next year,’’ said the 49-year-old Chapin, whose effort is in memory of Burton, the former New England Patriots running back who died in 2003 after a long battle with cancer.
Chapin always appreciated the kindness Burton showed to him as a Pop Warner football player in Framingham. Burton, who founded the program with Patriots teammates Larry Garron and Charlie Long, waived Chapin’s registration fee because his family couldn’t afford it.
Chapin and his son, David Jr., will pedal from Bowditch Field in Framingham to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, starting at 8 a.m.
“I’ve done this for all that Ron Burton was and for what he accomplished,’’ said Chapin, whose son ran the Boston Marathon this year and raised $1,000 for the family’s special cause.
Established in 1985 by Burton and his family, the Village is a 300-acre facility that hosts a summer sports and academic camp for urban youngsters.
Chapin is still accepting pledges and can be reached at 508-740-1948 or 508-315-7324.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.