The Bellarmine University lacrosse team opens its regular season on Saturday, traveling to Moon Township, Pennsylvania to take on the Robert Morris Colonials in an 11 a.m. matchup.
Bellarmine Coach Kevin Burns said the team and his staff are glad the season opener is at hand. “I’m excited to see the new guys in action,” he said. “We’ve had a great build up to this week, now it’s time to get the reward.”
Burns added the concentration has been on Bellarmine. “All week long the staff has had the same message for the team…that this weekend is about us,” he said. “Robert Morris is a very good team so we need to execute our game plan correctly to give us the opportunity for victory.”
The Colonials and Knights are familiar foes. Despite never being in the same conference, Bellarmine and Robert Morris have squared off 11 times, making RMU the Knights’ most frequent opponent in the 12 years of Bellarmine lacrosse.
The Knights own an 8-3 record in the series, including Bellarmine’s thrilling 11-10 victory last year in Owsley B. Frazier Stadium. After opening up with a commanding 10-0 lead last year, Bellarmine thwarted a ferocious Robert Morris comeback to hold on for the narrow victory.
Coming into the 2017 season, both squads have been picked to finish fourth in their respective conferences-Bellarmine in the Southern Conference and Robert Morris in the Northeast Conference.
The Knights return four of their top five scorers from last season’s team. Tucker Ciessau, a preseason All Southern Conference selection, returns after leading Bellarmine in goals and assists last year with 23 and 13 respectively. Other top scorers include the three captains: Jack Perkins (19 g, 6 a), Andrew Schoeneck (14 g, 1 a), and Brian Wall (9 g, 11 a).
Robert Morris returns three of its six top scorers from a season ago, compiled of a talented trio in Adrian Torok-Orban, Alexander Bohl, and Eddie Smith, who combined for 52 goals, 26 assists, and 78 points in 2016.
Bellarmine opens at home on Feb. 12 with a 6 p.m. contest against Michigan.
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by John Spugnardi