OWINGS MILLS, Md. - A week after releasing its 2009 schedule, Stevenson University men's lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene announced that his captains for the 2009 season will be seniors Nick Bevacqua (Booton Township, N.J./Mt. Lakes), Greg Furshman (Miami, Fla./Towson), Austin Hale (Baltimore/Eastern) and Michael Simon (Fallston/Fallston) as well as junior Richie Ford (Baltimore/Towson).
Bevacqua begins his third season with the Mustangs in 2009 after having totaled 39 goals, 19 assists and 58 points in 24 career games. A year ago, he had 24 goals, 14 points and 38 assists along with 19 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers.
"Nic has really grown over his 3 years at Stevenson," said Cantabene. "The leadership he supplies on and of the field is a really asset to our program. We hope Nic's Lead by example mentally by doing what is right off and on the field and sacrifice he makes off the field will help push our program over the top."
Furshman was named All-CAC First Team and USILA Honorable Mention All-American last year after totaling 27 goals, eight assists and 35 points. He also had two-game winning goals and 30 ground balls. In three seasons as a Mustang, Furshman has played in all 51 of the team's games while totaling 73 goals, 28 assists, 101 points and 176 ground balls.
"Greg is one of the hardest working student athletes on the team," added Cantabene. "There is not a day that he doesn't play wall ball or work out. His work ethic is something we hope will rub of on our younger players. Greg's team first attitude towards the program has earned him the highest respect from his teammates and coaches."
Hale led the team in caused turnovers last season with 19 while also adding 26 ground balls and a goal against Trinity on March 19. In three seasons with the team, he has appeared in 50 of the team's 51 games with 68 ground balls and 47 caused turnovers.
"Austin is a very vocal tough player for us," commented Cantabene. "His vocal leadership and willingness to sacrifice his well being of the betterment of the team is his best quality. His real life experience has lead to his maturity as a senior to help lead the Stevenson lacrosse program into the 2009 season."
Simon totaled 16 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers last season, a year after totaling a team-high 20 caused turnovers and ranking fourth in ground balls with 50 in 2007. In 48 career games, Simon has posted 97 ground balls, 48 caused turnovers, one goal and two assists for three points.
"Mike is one of the most intelligent kids on the team," said Cantabene. "He consistently is trying to improve his self every day. We are counting on him to be a vocal leader on the field and in the locker room. His character off the field is one quality that we hope the team and younger kids try to copy in there daily lives."
Ford was also an All-CAC First Team and USILA Honorable Mention selection a year ago after totaling a school-record 59 goals along with 27 assists and 86 points. He finished the season ranked second in the nation in points and third in goals while his points were the second-most in school history.
In just two seasons at Stevenson, Ford has totaled 70 goals, 33 assists and 103 points while adding 38 ground balls.
"Richie is one of the most well rounded kids we have in our program," said Cantabene. "His hustle and desire to be the best he can be day in and day out our is one of his great traits. he is a leader by example and lets his gentleman like play speak for it self. The only underclass to be a captain we expect him to be a big part of team this year."
Last year, the Mustangs went 13-4 and were ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation. Stevenson's 2009 season officially gets underway on Friday, February 20 with the team's annual kickoff banquet and the team opens the season on the field on Saturday, February 21 versus Widener at home.