2013 Season Preview: Babson to Contend for Pilgrim Title

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Coming off its third straight 10-win season, Babson College enters the 2013 campaign as a major contender for the Pilgrim League title and a trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Despite losing eight players from last year's team to graduation, fourth-year head coach Brendan Gorman's squad welcomes back a strong mix of veteran stars and talented newcomers. During Gorman's brief tenure, the hallmark of the program has been its stingy defense - a trend that should continue this spring.

Anchoring the group will be senior captain and 2011 All-Pilgrim League second-team honoree John Clausing (Ridgewood, N.J.), who last year totaled 15 groundballs and 11 caused turnovers despite missing five games due to a mid-season injury. He will be joined by sophomore standout Christian Cattaruzza (Guilford, Conn.), who garnered first-team All-Conference recognition after recording 46 groundballs and 40 CTs in his rookie season, and senior goalkeeper James Whalen (Westwood, Mass.), who played 860 of the team's 1020 minutes in goal and compiled a 9-7 record with a 6.97 goals against average and a .588 save percentage last spring.

Although relatively young, Babson's midfield is shaping up to be a force in 2013. The unit will once again be led by junior long-stick middie and two-time first-team All-Conference selection Ryan Dawidjan (Worcester, Mass.). The star veteran led the team with 54 caused turnovers a year ago while also ranking second on the team with 86 groundballs. Sophomore face-off specialist and first-team All-Pilgrim League honoree Phil Russo (Middleton, Mass.) also returns after a magnificent freshman campaign that saw him lead the team with 120 groundballs, 217 face-off wins, and a .648 win percentage.

Bolstering the midfield will be junior Brad Bero (Carlisle, Mass.), who will switch positions after amassing 17 goals and seven assists as an attackman last year, sophomore Kyle Barsalou (Longmeadow, Mass.), who transferred to Babson this year after spending his rookie season at Division I Sacred Heart, and freshman newcomers Scott Doten (Western Springs, Ill.) and Brendan Coan (Towson, Md.).

The centerpiece of the Babson offense will continue to be senior captain Alex Patinkin (Providence, R.I.), who earned his third straight All-Pilgrim League selection and his first as a member of the first team last spring. The veteran attacker led the team with 29 goals and 20 assists for 49 points in 2012, and he enters his final season ranked fifth on the program's all-time list with 171 career points (95-76).

Also returning to the front line will be senior captain Scott Schachter (Runford, R.I.), who scored a career-high 15 goals last year after missing the entire 2011 season with an injury. The Beavers' attack unit will also feature talented first-year Spencer Low (Natick, Mass.), whose older brother Tyler '09 played 35 games for the Green and White from 2006 to 2009.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing what we're capable of this season," says Gorman, who has guided Babson to a 30-22 record in his first three years as head coach. "We have a great mix of talent, experience, and energy, and I feel confident that our guys will work hard all season to maximize their potential.

"In addition, there are several new rule changes this year designed to speed the game up, and I think those will really benefit us and our up-tempo style of play."

Among the rule changes Gorman mentioned are a new 30-second shot clock that goes into effect whenever a referee judges a team to be stalling as well as the elimination of the substitution horn on all sideline out of bounds plays. Teams will now be forced to sub on the fly unless there is a goal, timeout, or injury stoppage.

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