Bonnies fall short in A-10 opener vs. VCU

 

By: Teddy Caputo  

The St. Bonaventure University women’s soccer team (0-6-4) lost on Thursday at the Marra Athletics Fields Complex to the VCU Rams (6-2) 3-0.

The match started with VCU aggressively attacking the net, with their first shot on goal coming in the second minute by sophomore CiCi Fox.  The Bonnies were fierce with on-ball defense from the start, with junior Micah Hoffbauer leading the way.  She made numerous plays during the game to prevent scoring opportunities for VCU.

However, the Rams were able to get the ball through some of the holes in the defense with crisp passes and accurate crosses, giving them numerous shot attempts early on.  All their shots missed, including two header attempts by sophomore midfielder Samantha Jarebek.

The game was still scoreless until the 44th minute when Jarebek fired a shot that went just to the right of Bonnies’ goalie Lauren Malcolm’s hands, and into the net.  The Rams’ next two goals came in the second half, with midfielder Alyssa Tallent scoring a goal in the 60th minute off a rebound. Jarebek scored her second goal of the game in the 79th minute when her shot deflected of the foot of  Bonnies senior Gretta Lacouture. The deflected shot bounced right and rolled past Malcolm into the net.

Although the Bonnies were behind for most of the game, they did not give up.  Both teams were physical throughout the match, slide tackling one another, colliding into each other and getting many fouls called in the process. There were six fouls called on the Bonnies and four called on the Rams.

The Bonnies had chances waved off by the referee, including the offsides call on junior forward Bella May late in the first half that wiped out the goal she had scored. May also appeared to have gotten tripped in the 66th minute but no foul was called.

Coach Abbey Pearson says the officiating was not to blame in this game. “We are able to handle the adversity and react to that.  Sometimes you get calls your way, and sometimes you don’t” said Pearson. “They (the officials) had an even called game, and the game wasn’t about them tonight, which is the way it should be.”

It also looked like there may have been a scuffle between Hoffbauer and Fox. “When she was pressed out, I don’t think she was expecting me to come up as fast I did, and our feet just got tripped up on each other,” said Hoffbauer.

When asked about improvements for next game Pearson said, “we need to work on connecting passes and playing a little quicker under pressure, which will come in practice. Putting more pressure on each other in practice will prepare us come game time.” Senior forward Mariah Marrero agreed with her coach’s statement. “We had a couple really good chances we could’ve put away,” said Marrero. “We just need to work on finishing and making that final pass to get through.  Once we get that down, more goals will start to come.”

The Bonnies have done well offensively this season, scoring five more goals this year already than their entire season total last year of seven. However, on Thursday the Rams outshot the Bonnies 11 to 7 and 8 to 2 in shots on goal.

I asked Hoffbauer what the Bonnies can do better moving forward, and she said although the team has improved tremendously since the start of the summer, they could do better listening to each other on the field.  “Listening is important for us, because we are talking a lot more than we did before,” said Hoffbauer, “Sometimes we need to stay a little more composed and just settle down.  If we do this, I think we’ll really be able to play around, switch up the field and really open things up on the attack.”

The Rams’ victory over the Bonnies makes the teams an even 2-2 in all-time meetings. The women’s soccer team looks for their first win of the season this Sunday when they face the Richmond Spiders (0-9) at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium in Richmond, Virginia.

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Mearns brings experience, optimism to jumpstart Bonnies lax program

By: Jeff Uveino 

“I hadn’t been on this campus in probably 26 years.”

Randy Mearns sat back in his chair, recalling his NCAA playing days with Canisius College.

Mearns, an All-American lacrosse player at Canisius from 1990-92 and the school’s all-time leading scorer, painted the gameday picture of a rainy afternoon at St. Bonaventure.

“When I was playing at Canisius, St. Bonaventure actually had a men’s NCAA lacrosse team,” Mearns remarked. “The last thing I remember was coming here to play, we lost at the back fields, and I ate bologna sandwiches.”

Little did he know that decades later, he would be put in charge of bringing lacrosse back to a school that hasn’t seen a Division I men’s program since 1993.

Mearns, a native of St. Catherines, Ontario, has spent his life around the game of lacrosse. He played in the National Lacrosse League from 1993-2002 for the Rochester Knighthawks and Buffalo Bandits. He was captain of the Knighthawks for six seasons, and captain of team Canada during the 1998 World Championship.

Mearns has served as a coach of team Canada since 2006, leading his home nation to a World Championship in 2014. He also served as head coach of his alma mater for 19 years, leading Canisius to NCAA tournament appearances in 2008 and 2012. However, after the 2017 season, the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame member saw a new opportunity arise.

“My family ended up getting a house in Ellicottville,” Mearns said. “But, when they announced that they were starting a D1 program here, I didn’t really think anything of it.”

It wasn’t until Matt Brown, associate head coach at the University of Denver and member of the Team Canada coaching staff, reached out to Mearns about the job that he started thinking about SBU.

“[Brown] told me, just so you know, Bill Tierney [head coach at Denver] put your name on a shortlist at St. Bonaventure,” said Mearns. “You’ve got to explore that.”

Mearns paused and sighed with a smile, recalling the revelation.

“I was in a situation at Canisius where I wasn’t going to be under contract,” he said. “Not that I was leaving, I just thought that I needed to explore what they were doing at SBU. I didn’t hide anything from my former institution, I just told them that I wanted to go explore this, and they said I had the opportunity to do that.”

After visiting SBU, Mearns was convinced that he could sell lacrosse in the hills of Allegany.

“When I met the staff here, it felt like a family,” Mearns said. “Everything is relationship based, and the academics are phenomenal.”

Mearns was named head coach of the St. Bonaventure men’s lacrosse team in June. His next task?

Recruit.

“What I knew during recruiting was because of the explosion of lacrosse, even though most Division 1 programs had their 2019 teams figured out, there were still 44,000 kids looking for a home,” said Mearns.

He remained confident throughout the recruiting process, recognizing that there are only 72 NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse teams, and there was a large amount of talent still available. Mearns’ experience in the game had also built connections that helped him find quality players.

“I spent 19 years at Canisius, so I already have great relationships with coaches from colleges, clubs and high schools,” Mearns said. “It’s just a matter of reaching out to these guys. You take advantage of the contacts that you have, and then do your own research on kids to make sure you’re bringing in ones that fit well.”

Mearns’ connections to team Canada were another recruiting help. Lacrosse has greatly expanded in the country in recent years, which is reflected by their recent World Championship victory under Mearns.

Of the 32 incoming freshmen men’s lacrosse players, nine are from Canada.

“I realized that we just needed to get the kids on campus,” said Mearns. “Once we get guys here, they understand the vision. They see the academic profile and the family-oriented culture, and it doesn’t become a hard sell.”

The Bonnies will go into the 2019 season as perhaps the youngest team in the NCAA, with a roster of 32 freshmen, one sophomore transfer and one junior transfer. They will open up competitive play on Saturday, Sept. 22, with a scrimmage against John Carroll University, a contest coach Mearns is excited about.

“We won’t know where we’re at until we play games,” he said. “But we’re going to be competitive. We have some really good lacrosse players.”

Mearns acknowledged that building up a new program is no easy task, but he has high expectations for St. Bonaventure men’s lacrosse in the near future. With the right resources, Mearns said, he wants to build the Bonnies program into a national power.

“My goal here is to evolve over the next four years,” Mearns said. “We could win a national championship. Some people might think that’s kind of crazy, but it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes.”

Mearns is bringing his decorated lacrosse background to SBU and is ready to put in the work to build this program up into what he thinks could be a perennial power.

“We haven’t earned anything,” Mearns said. “We have to be humble and work our tails off. Everybody has their own individual goals, and as a coaching staff it’s our job to provide all the resources and mentorship we can to help our guys start to realize those goals.”

Missed chances sink Bonnies against St. Francis (PA)

By: Justin Myers 

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies (3-2-1) lose to St. Francis (Pa.) (4-3-0) 3-1 on a Wednesday night at Marra Athletics Field Complex.

Within the first 10 minutes of the first half the Bonnies had three chances to take the lead. Shots by Jon-Michael Perkins and Isaiah Wilson missed wide. Minutes later Kosi Nwafornso’s shot on target was saved. After a scoreless first-half where the Bonnies out shot St. Francis 7-5, it was relatively even between the teams.

In the beginning of the second half Issac Boamah was fouled in the box in the 52nd minute. That lead to Nwafornso scoring his fifth goal of the season from penalty spot giving the Bonnies 1-0 lead.

This lead didn’t last long, 56 seconds later the Red Flash tied it up 1-1 with a goal from center back Eddie Ganime.

A few minutes later the Red Flash took the lead when forward Gabriel Castro put one in the back of the net giving them a 2-1 lead.

The Bonnies had a chance to even things up but missed their opportunities with attacks from Boamah and another shot attempt by Wilson.

The Red Flash put the game away in the last minute with a breakaway goal by forward Ryan Berhorst.

Bonnies coach Kwame Oduro liked the team’s effort, but the team needs to finish their chances

“Both teams had good chances they capitalized on theirs and we didn’t” Oduro said.

To improve for their next game Oduro said they need to finish their chances when they get them.

“We have to learn when you’re up a goal how to play and to mentally stay switched on” Oduro said.

Bonaventure looks to bounce back as they travel to Canisius on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

NFL Returns

By Matthew Shalloe

After a seven month wait from the conclusion of Super Bowl LII back on Feb. 4, the NFL is officially back. Whether it be the struggles of the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1), or the flaming hot start of quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick (eight touchdowns through two games), we have already been surprised on our beloved football Sundays. Although it’s early, the first two weeks of the NFL season has been exactly what we have waited all offseason for, both entertaining and enjoyable for fans across America.

Let’s start by talking about the previously mentioned Pittsburgh Steelers, who are off to a bit of a rough start, winless through the first two weeks of the season.

After a week one tie with the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers dropped their home opener in week two in a 42-37 loss at the hands of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes passed for 326 yards and a whopping six touchdowns, bringing his season total to 10 through his first two games as a starter.

It is still too early for the Steelers to hit the panic button, but it is the perfect time for them to finally give All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell the money he wants, as they need him back desperately. Bell has continued his holdout in dispute of being franchise tagged for the second year in a row. The offense is clearly not the same without him, and if the Steelers want to right the ship, they will need Bell in their backfield going forward.

Image result for le'veon bell
Courtesy: The Spun 

As we continue to talk about the electric start to the season of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it’s almost unbelievable to say that another NFL quarterback has gotten off to a better start. What Mahomes is doing is unbelievable and has Chiefs fans everywhere already thinking they’re bound for a playoff berth.

However, Buccaneers quarterback and NFL journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick might be just that much better to start the season. Fitzpatrick is filling in for Jameis Winston, who was suspended three games for breaking NFL personal conduct policy, and making the most of his opportunity. Playing on his seventh team in his 14 NFL season, Fitzpatrick is off to a flaming hot start, passing for 819 yards and recording 9 total touchdowns. Oh, and he is off to a 2-0 start after beating the New Orleans Saints and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. It will be interesting to see if Fitzpatrick can keep up his play throughout the season, assuming he won the starting QB job away from Winston, a former first overall pick in the NFL draft.

There are a few other teams that have come out of the gate hot to start the season, as seven teams have posted back to back wins to start the season 2-0. Some more surprising than others, as the Bengals, Dolphins and Broncos are among the teams that are off to a shockingly good start.

Quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green are clicking better than ever on offense in Cincinnati, and it’s the return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill from injury in Miami that has propelled the Dolphins to an unbeaten start. The signing of quarterback Case Keenum, who played for the Vikings last season, has the Broncos perfect to start the season.

Along with those three teams and the previously mentioned Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas Chiefs, the high-powered Jaguars and Rams round out the seven perfect teams through the first two weeks of the season.

Not all teams have been as fortunate as the ones mentioned above. The Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills, who have just not looked good in any of the three phases to start off the season, have both fallen to an 0-2 start. The Raiders, Texans, Giants and Lions are the others to stand at 0-2, but perhaps none have looked as bad as the Bills and Cardinals.

The Bills were forced to turn to rookie quarterback Josh Allen in week two after an atrocious outing from quarterback Nathan Peterman in week one. The rookie looked decent under center in his first NFL start, but the result was the same in another loss, a game that was so ugly at half that CB Vontae Davis left the stadium and retired.

As for the Cardinals, the signing of quarterback Sam Bradford has been a failed experiment, as he has led the offense to just six points through the first two games of the season. Meanwhile, 10th overall pick rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has to suffer on the sidelines watching Bradford struggle. As the season goes on, you can expect the rookie quarterback to join Allen and Jets quarterback Sam Darnold as the only three starting rookie quarterbacks in the NFL.

Courtesy:Yahoo Sports 

The first two weeks have been fun to watch, and we can expect it to continue as the season goes on. It’ll be interesting to watch if the hot starts of Mahomes and Fitzpatrick can stay alive, or if the Pittsburgh Steelers can get back to what they are accustomed to: winning. Whether your team is in good standing or not, one thing is for certain– NFL football has returned to excite Sundays everywhere.

Mac Miller: One of the Best Artists in the Game

By Meghan Hall

Contributing Writer

“RIP Mac Miller.” The sentence feels too hard to write, too surreal to be a phrase floating around on my Twitter timeline. Mac Miller really was one of those artists that grew with you and became part of life through good times and bad.

A wordsmith with his lyrics, Miller’s career truly took off at age 18 with his fourth mixtape, K.I.D.S.After the record put him on the map, his hip hop career soared, creating insightful, thought-provoking records that proved his ability to relate to an audience that stuck with him all the way through his latest release, Swimming.

His fanbase looked forward to the relatable, transparent records he produced. Showing his roots, his outlooks on life and his struggles, he bared his soul to a world that accepted it. Never ingenuine, always pushing forward, Miller’s music became better with time.

Unlike many artists, Miller’s need to succeed persevered and furthered his need to produce meaningful sound that would garner positive reactions and reviews. As we grew up, Miller grew with us, becoming more refined and always pushing to be the artist he’d dreamed of as a young Pittsburgh teen. The 2018 release Swimming proved Miller’s prowess. Leaps and bounds ahead of his initial albums, Swimming was a culmination of the untapped potential Miller had saved, yet he still relied on his roots.

Miller’s fanbase fell in love not only with his clever, eclectic music, but his reputation as the “nice guy” in an industry filled with iconic artists whose songs were a façade for their poor attitudes. Mac Miller was real. He was candid, open with his struggles, humble. He was human—the game now is filled with artists who enjoy the status of being “untouchable.” Miller never looked for that. Sure, his initial climb to fame was riddled with a bit of glory-seeking, but whose isn’t? Once Miller made it to the top, he stayed there gracefully, recognizing that all that he had could just as easily be taken away.

The fear of losing his status never seemed to bother him, though. His 2011 single “Donald Trump” was one of his top hits, one of his signature claims to fame. However, that didn’t stop him from voicing his opinions on Trump’s presidency. Recognizing the hatred and divide that Trump has caused this country, Miller shared his thoughts on the Trump administration without hesitation and without fear of what would come next. Miller easily could’ve lost some of his fanbase to the comments, but the thing about Miller was that candor came first.

Collaborating with countless other powerful artists inside the hip hop sphere, Mac Miller became a name that any rap fan knew, and knew well. Sure, not everyone liked Mac Miller’s tunes, and not everyone understood the important impact Miller had on the hip hop industry, but there was never a shortage of respect for Mac Miller.

When we remember Mac Miller, it’s hard to get over the fact that his life was cut short by drugs. Mac Miller fans, fellow rappers, music critics and casual hip hop listeners alike mourn his death and lament the fact that his enormous potential was severed so early.

But more than Miller’s drug addiction, it’s important to realize that in less than ten years, he changed the music industry forever. It’s important to remember the smile that persisted through the hard times. It’s important to recall the way he treated the world—with respect and love.

So today, I mourn Mac Miller. But I look forward to the recognition of his contribution to this world, in terms of music, and in terms of humanity. And so, although it still seems surreal to type these words… Rest in Peace, Mac. We’ll miss you.