By Brian McLoughlin & Brian Cohen – Sports Editor & 1851 Staff
Men’s basketball opens up the 2018- 19 campaign with three games in five days beginning on the road at Fitchburg State on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12:00 p.m. Two days later, the Lasers will host Regis a non-conference home opener at 7:00 p.m. Hopping back out of conference action, the Lasers host 2017 National Champion Babson on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
The Lasers are coming off a tough 2017-18 season where they accumulated a 13-14 record, including 10-6 in GNAC play before falling in a semifinal match-up at Albertus Magnus. The non- conference slate for the Lasers continues following their previous game at Nichols on Saturday, Nov. 17 and their upcoming match against Brandeis on Monday, Nov. 19.
On Dec. 1, the Lasers will travel to face nationally-ranked MIT, who is
ranked fifth in the D3Hoops.com pre-season rankings. Lasell finishes the fall semester slate on the road at Amherst on Saturday, Dec. 9.
MIT, Nichols and GNAC Champion Johnson & Wales are all coming off NCAA Tournament appearances.
When asked on scheduling a tough non-conference schedule year after year, head coach Aaron Galletta explained, “We schedule that way because [it is] really the way we’ve been playing, having 16 to 18 league games and stuff to get an at-large bid. Scheduling that way allows you an opportunity.” He continued, “also scheduling that way allows you to kind of realize what you need to work on quickly. I don’t care about my overall win-loss record. I care about the team getting better each day and they care about getting better from the start of the season.”
Lasell will look to the leadership from captains’ seniors Joe O’Brien and Lamont Gooden and junior Stefan Masciarelli.
On the court, O’Brien and Masciarelli are coming off career seasons. Masciarelli averaged a team second-highest 32.3 minutes per game in his sophomore sea- son. The GNAC First Team All-Conference selection contributed a team-high 492 points, 107 rebounds, 80 assists and 16 steals in 2017-18. In his junior campaign, O’Brien was a spark off the bench with 32 points, 17 assists and 15 of his 16 rebounds coming from the defensive end to go along with three steals.
As the men’s basketball season journey begins, the Laser will try and make the 2018-19 season a memorable one, and come March, sit looking down from the top.
The women’s basketball season is set to take off shortly. The ladies are led by head coach Todd Montana who is in his fifth season. Starting Nov. 13, the Lasers open up the 2018-19 campaign with a home matchup against Northern Vermont-Johnson. For Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play, Lasell will wait until after the holiday break hosting Simmons on Jan. 8.
“We definitely have high expectations coming into this season,” said sophomore Megan Sears. “We have some new players, some transfers and some freshman and the same coaching staff. We were ranked 11 out of 13 GNAC teams so we are trying to show people that we are much better than that.”
The Lasers are looking to improve upon last season after going 5-19, including 2-14 in conference play. The challenge of overcoming the loss of two key seniors will be present as well. Two of last year’s starters, Morgan Church and Brianna Hoffman, both graduated last spring.
This season, the team has four seniors in Rebecca Fenton, Liz Bougie, Taylor Hughey, and Jaime Caron. Fenton and Caron will be captaining the team. The team also has a strong mix of underclassmen and upperclassmen. Ten out of the twenty players on the roster are underclassmen. “Our senior leadership has been awesome,” said sophomore Nicole Yeager. “It has always been something that Coach Montana focuses on.”
The Lasers will soon be in action with this mix of players and with the goal of competing for a GNAC title.
Track and Field
The season for the men’s and women’s winter track and field teams heat up on Dec. 1 at the UMass Boston Invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Last season, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams placed 4th out of 5th in the GNAC Championship race.
“I think the key for our success this year is to work hard and give it our all,” said senior women’s track and field member Jordan Immerman.
Senior men’s track and field member Ben Lane is excited for the upcoming season. “I’m excited to compete in my senior year and see how it all plays out,” says Lane. “I’m really looking forward to the GNAC championship meet at Regis at the end of the year.”