SONOMA, Calif.— The senior class of 2020 had their season stolen from them.
For reasons outside of their control, they will never be able to pursue goals for which they worked so hard.
As part of a recurring segment for the remainder of this spring, coaches have the opportunity to thank their seniors one last time.
Continuing the series is Sonoma State coach Ben Hewitt honoring his nine seniors.
#30 Joey Piombo, Midfield
Joey was a four-year starter at Sonoma State following a championship level career at Monte Vista High School, in Danville, Calif..
He was named a Second Team all-WCLL midfielder in 2020 while earning WCLL honorable mention selection and Commanding Performance of the Week honors in 2019.
Joey was chosen as a captain for the Seawolves by his teammates in his final season at SSU.
“Joey is one of the most clutch players I have ever had the chance to be around," said Hewitt. "He lived for the big moments and left some very special memories at SSU.”
#33 Alex Hassna, Midfield
Alex became an impact player as a freshman at Sonoma State after graduating from Granite Bay High School.
He was one of the pillars of defensive midfield for his first three years at Sonoma before making the move to offense in his senior year.
Alex’s leadership skills earned him the honor of being voted a captain for the 2020 season, where he started on the first offensive midfield line and functioned as a two-way player in every game he played.
“Alex represents the best of what Sonoma lacrosse is all about," said Hewitt. "This is a young man that bleeds Sonoma blue and represented that with character and class every single time he took the field.”
#18 Ben Casas, Defense
Ben came to Sonoma State four years ago from Hanford High School in Richland, Wash.
He competed against a deep depth chart, earning the opportunity to start for the Seawolves in his senior year.
Ben started all eight games in his final season and became a symbol of what can be earned through consistency and tough, blue-collar work ethic.
“I cannot express how much I respect Ben," said Hewitt. "This is a young man that did it the hard way, never made excuses, and when his time came was ready to execute for his team.
#9 Jared Baer, Defense
Another Granite Bay product, Jared came to Sonoma State after a brief stint at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Md.
A high impact starter at both defense and long-stick midfield in his first two seasons with the Seawolves.
Jared suffered debilitating knee injuries during his junior season in Rohnert Park. Following months of difficult rehab, Jared was able to find his way back onto the field in his final season at SSU and provided high quality minutes when they were need most.
“Jared never gave up his desire to rejoin his brothers on the field and went through a long and painful process in order to be able to do so," said Hewitt. "In the minutes in which he was able to give us everything that he had, Jared was as good as anyone on the field.”
#26 Jimmy Beglin, Long-stick Midfield
Jimmy came to Sonoma State following a brief junior college stint with his brother John.
Originally recruited as an LSM, Jimmy supported the Seawolves at defensive midfield during his first full season in Rohnert Park.
Midway through the 2020 campaign, Jimmy again picked up his pole eventually earning the opportunity to start in SSU’s final game of the season at Nevada.
“The practice in which Coach Smith asked Jimmy to play with a long pole was like watching a player reborn," said Hewitt. "Jimmy brought so much fire and enthusiasm to our practices and games and made the entire experience more enjoyable for him being a part of it."
#28 Jose Morales, Midfield
Originally recruited as a faceoff specialist out of Mountain View High School in the South Bay, Jose became a “do it all” type of player for the Seawolves in his senior season.
However, it was as a defensive midfielder where he stood out the most, becoming a starter for SSU and playing a critical role given his ability to match up with quick offensive midfielders.
“Jose is an absolute warrior," Hewitt said. "He was always willing to do anything and everything he could to support his teammates and became a valued asset on the defensive side of the ball as a result.”
#12 Justin Baer, Midfield
Following his brother Jared to both Stevenson University and Sonoma State, Justin came to SSU following a stellar career at Granite Bay High School.
Justin found playing time early as defensive midfielder, where he started for the Seawolves in his senior season. Justin played a pivotal role on face off wings and 6v6 play in which a stopper was needed at defensive midfield.
“Justin plays lacrosse with a spark and is absolutely fearless," Hewitt said. "His passion for the game was evident in every shift he took for our team this past season.”
#13 Michael Gonzalez, Midfield
Coming SSU from Redwood High School in the North Bay, Mikey was a hard working, gritty defensive midfielder who proved him-self to be incredibly coachable and willing to maximize his efforts to help his team win.
Off the field, Mikey served the program as a Sonoma State ambassador, setting up tours for recruits, meeting with families and becoming a force of positivity for the programs’ on campus image.
“Mikey is the kind of kid any coach would be proud to call one of his players," said Hewitt. "This is a young man who did it the right way for the right reasons and did so consistently."
#25 John Beglin, Attack
Joining his brother Jimmy, John came to Sonoma State from St. Francis High School and then via the junior college route.
Featured as an offensive midfielder in his first season, Beglin caught the eye of the offensive staff after working out at the left wing attack position.
John soon found himself on the starting attack line for the Seawolves and remained in that position through his final game.
“John is an incredibly high-character young man with a competitive edge that put him in the position to earn a starting job on offense," Hewitt said. "His work ethic is second to none and he was nothing but a joy to coach over the last eight months.”