New England Lacrosse Journal - April 2017 - 17
Division 2-3 Men
By Jonathan Sigal
Alex Astarita battles back from ACL tear
to continue the family tradition at Bentley
ALEX ASTARITA DOESN'T
remember feeling any sharp pain.
He knew something was wrong when
he collapsed in the New Hampshire Division 1 title game two Junes ago, and doctors initially said that his knee was intact.
Then a senior attack at powerful Bishop
Guertin, he already had won three state
championships, and would go on to be
named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American and
New Hampshire Player of the Year.
This wasn't supposed to be happening to someone like him, but it did. He'd
torn his ACL.
"It was probably one of the lowest
parts of my life in terms of my mental
state," Astarita said. "It was awful sitting
on the couch all summer, not being able
to do anything."
Flash forward, though, and Astarita's
tale has gone from one of devastation to
one of recovery. The sophomore is a starting attack at Division 2 Bentley (3-1) and
has been since he stepped foot on campus
for the second semester a year ago.
A transfer from Division 3 Connecticut College, Astarita put up 23 points
during his rookie campaign and was
named to the Northeast-10 All-Rookie
team. Then, in the build-up to 2017,
the Bedford, N.H., native was dubbed a
Preseason All-New England selection by
He said he's still not at 100 percent
after a "grueling" rehab process, but is
slowly starting to feel like himself again
nearly two years later. The nerves of reinjuring his knee are slowly going away,
too, he said.
As for his coaches, they offer a simple
explanation as to how Astarita returned
to the field 6½ months after surgery.
"I was amazed when I was working
with him a little bit this winter just with
the velocity on his shot," said Chris Cameron, his coach at Bishop Guertin. "It was
amazing how hard he rehabbed. He's a
guy I use as an example for other people
with injuries. If you work hard, you can
come back quicker and stronger than
ever. He did that."
Added Jim Murphy, Astarita's coach
at Bentley: "The one thing Alex has is his
work ethic off the field just as much as
on the field. With that, he's able to put in
the extra time, work hard to get himself
back and prepared. With any injuries,
he's been frustrated, but it hasn't held
him back from wanting to work hard to
get back out there."
His tale took another twist when he
traded in the NESCAC for Northeast-10:
He's the third of three brothers to play
at Bentley. The oldest, Nick, was a midfielder who graduated in 2014, while the
middle brother, Mike, also a midfielder,
Continued on Page 19
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