Bona men fall short to Hartford

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Hayden Robinson

The St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team fell short in a 1-0 loss to the Hartford Hawks on Sunday. his loss brings the Bonnies season record to 1-3. 

Hartford was the first to tally one on the scoreboard, as it scored its first goal in the 11th minute of the first half.  

The Bonnies had many opportunities to score throughout the first half, but none resulted in a goal.  

Junior midfielder Fredrik Hansen had a very good look in the 36thminute, but it was blocked on its way to the net.  

Hansen led the team with two shots in the game. Despite their lack of scoring, the Bonnies outshot the Hawks 7-3 in the first half.  

The second half would result in more of the same for the Bonnies. 

The Hawks would not let the Bonnies score, however, allowing just two shots throughout the second half. There were also some opportunities for Hartford to score, but the Bonnies defense made sure none of them would make it past the goalkeeper.  

The Bonnies accumulated nine shots on the day, outshooting the Hawks, who had six shots. 

The Bonnies have scored just two goals in their first four games of the season. Head coach Kwame Oduro talked about their inefficiency scoring after the game.  

“We have to just be a little more composed in front of goal,” he said. “We’ve got to keep being positive and hopefully the ball will start going into the net for us.” 

The Bonnies will be hosting Little Three rival Canisius on Sept. 17.  

In their preparation for their Tuesday game, coach Oduro said, “What we can do on Monday is just make sure we get the lactic acid out from our boys and then kind of walk through and get ready for Canisius which is another tough game.” 

The Bonnies will look to add a win to their record under the lights, as the game’s start time is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

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“Hollywood’s Bleeding” has new twists that will excite listeners

By: Matthew Stasiw

Post Malone’s new album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding”, brings an exciting-new mix to the table, and reveals more about his lifestyle than ever before.

The album has been long awaited by fans and critics alike.  With the teaser songs of “Wow.”, “Sunflower”, “Goodbyes”, and “Circles” sparking interest in what was to come next, Post Malone delivered. The new songs on the album bring back everything fans were craving to hear.

It’s obvious Post Malone incorporated a new vibe into this album.  When listening to the songs, a higher focus in instrumental reinforcement and a classic OG feel makes every song a rock session. For example, “Take What You Want” proves Post can master any genre of music.  By featuring Ozzy Obourne and Travis Scott together, fans get the collaboration we never knew we needed.  A classic rock feel and sick guitar solo will have anyone jamming in the car.

“Staring At The Sun”, “Circles”, “Allergic”, and “Sunflower” takes the slower pace in just the right way to deliver a more classic pop vibe.  Post Malone’s roots of inspiration flourished throughout the album.

Fans might also find themselves respecting Post’s new attitude.  Through songs such as “Enemies”, “Saint-Tropez”, “I’m Gonna Be”, “Myself”, “Internet”, and “A Thousand Bad Times” Post seems to understand where he is in life.  Instead of dwelling in past depressions, like the songs of “I Fall Apart” and “Stay” in previous albums, Post throws the sadness behind him and is now looking forward.  Upon examining the lyrics, Post knows he can no longer deal with the drama in life.  He knows he is talented at what he does, and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about him.  It’s clear he had a fun time making this album, and he did it for himself.

When looking for songs to vibe to in the car with be sure to make “Enemies”, “Allergic”, “Circles”, “Take What You Want”, and “Staring At The Sun” the top five songs to add to any playlist.

What more can be said about this album?  Besides the fact that it’s a 12/10, nothing much.  Post Malone truly delivered with this new album, and he gave the fans what they were looking for.  Name one bad song by Post Malone.  Trick question, you can’t.

Filian’s two goals lead Bonnies over Merrimack

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Hayden Robinson

On Sunday, the St. Bonaventure women’s soccer team defeated Merrimack at home, 2-1.

The Bonnies improved their season record to 4-4 and their home record to 3-0 with the win.

Kacie Filian led the way for the Bonnies with two goals.

It was a defensive battle throughout the first half. Both teams went back and forth down the field, each trying to find the weak point of the other. 

St. Bonaventure goalkeeper Lauren Malcolm led the game with nine saves, seven of them coming in the first half.

The second-half scoring started in the 69th minute of the game. 

After the Bonnies earned a corner kick, senior forward Bella May gave Filian, a sophomore mid, a perfect pass for her to find the back of the net. 

From there, all it took was seven minutes for the Bonnies to march back and score again, when Filian was on the receiving end of freshman defender Kenzie Tarmino’s assist. 

Merrimack would soon follow with a goal of their own in the 80th minute by Katelyn Richardson. 

Merrimack continued to try and fight their way back into the game, but the Bonnies defense held onto the lead till the final buzzer.

Head coach Steve Brdarski spoke after the game about his team’s win. 

“At the end of the day, we were able to come back and come after them and do the things we needed to do,” Brdarski said. “We’re 3-0 this year at home. I don’t know if we’ve ever done that in my seven years here, so I think it’s important to say that.”  

Brdarski said that at halftime, talking about some of the things that they did and didn’t accomplish in the first half fueled the win.

“We didn’t come out the first 45 minutes with the effort we’ve played in the last two or three games,” Brdarski said. “We challenged them to give more work, more effort, be better on the ball and then to be a little bit gritty. I think we got that grit.”

Filian’s two goals in the game were also her first of the season. 

When asked what was working for her during the game, she said, “We had some in the first half that we didn’t finish so I knew we had to get on the end of them.

“Our defense held us together and it was nice to finally be able repay for them for all the hard work they have been doing in the backline.”

The Bonnies will look to improve to above .500 on Sept. 22 when they travel to Fordham to take on the Rams.

West coast superstars are bad for baseball

By Jeff Uveino

 

Late on a Saturday night, I found myself in a familiar place.

Sitting in front of the television, a baseball game projected from the screen.

The Los Angeles Angels were on –a rare sight for my home in upstate New York.

As the night crept into the early morning hours, my thought was, “I’ve gotta stay up until Mike Trout hits.”

About a half-hour later, the stud outfielder came up to the plate and crushed a fastball into the left field bleachers.

I sat back and thought, “wow, that guy is good.”

It’s hard to argue that Trout isn’t the best player in baseball. Some even maintain that when his career is over, Trout will be the best to ever play the game.

He’s finished top-four in American League Most Valuable Player voting in each of his seven full years in MLB, is a seven-time All Star and six-time Silver Slugger. And he’s only 27. It’s a pleasure to be able to have that type of player in the game today.

Here’s the problem. For the majority of Americans, you’ll need to stay up until midnight to watch him.

Since Trout plays for a west coast team, many of his games don’t start until 10 p.m. eastern time. ESPN will sometimes feature Trout and the Angels on its “Sunday Night Baseball,” but other than that, I’m lucky to get five or 10 Angels games a year on television.

And that’s if I’m willing to stay up late to watch them.

Trout started his career with the Angels in 2012 after they drafted him in 2009, and after recently signing a contract extension for 12 years, $428 million, it looks as if he will finish it with them.

Playing on a west coast team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014 isn’t exactly a great way to for Trout to market himself.

It seems impossible that a guy who could be the best player in Major League history could fly under the radar. But it’s rare to see headlines from Trout during the regular season.

He’s just kind of there, in center field of Angel Stadium, being the best player in the game.

Maybe it’s my east coast bias, maybe I’m jealous of the Angels fans who get to watch Trout for six months every year (not to mention Albert Pujols!), but it seems to me that Trout playing on a lackluster Los Angeles team for his entire career is a waste of talent.

That’s true for Major League Baseball, which is looking for any way possible to market a game that is in danger of falling behind the National Basketball Association in popularity.

Another example? Nolan Arenado.

The Colorado Rockies third baseman just signed a seven-year, $260 million contract extension before the 2019 season.

Arenado, a four-time All Star who finished third in National League Most Valuable Player voting last year, is another top 10, maybe top five, player in the game who can rarely 

be seen by east coast fans.

The recent success of the Rockies, who have reached the postseason each of the last two seasons, helps Arenado’s exposure. Good teams are on national television more than bad ones.

arenado.jpg

But playing in Colorado still hurts Arenado’s exposure.

Look at Aaron Judge. He’s an MVP-caliber player, but not a generational talent like Trout.

Judge in constantly in the press. He’s the face of TOPPS baseball cards this year. I would be willing to argue that the most casual baseball fans, especially young ones, would be more likely to recognize Aaron Judge than Mike Trout.

What has helped Judge become one of the faces of the game (other than his historical size)?

He plays for the New York Yankees, of course.

And when you play for the Yankees, or other east coast teams such as the Red Sox, Phillies, Indians and Nationals, America gets to watch you a lot more than when you play for the Angels.

Am I bashing Trout and Arenado for taking those extensions?

Of course not, those decisions are bigger than baseball and they’ve found a comfort zone with their clubs.

But when it’s hard for the majority of the game’s fans to watch its superstars, it’s easy to see why baseball is struggling to promote itself.

 

Before you hit the panic button…

By: Isaiah Blakely 

The sports world tends to hit the “panic button” early on in the season, no matter the sport.

This year the Golden State Warriors were questioned early on when they were in third place almost 25 games into the season.

Super Bowl Champion New England was behind the Miami in the division going into Week 5 and there were questions being asked about they would fare this season.

Well the Warriors just clinched the one-seed in the NBA’s Western Conference again and the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.

The new team to be questioned is the defending champion Boston Red Sox who are 5-9 are and near the bottom of the AL East. With a slow start comes immediate questions of what’s wrong with the team.

What if there’s nothing really wrong with the Red Sox, or the Patriots or the Warriors? Great teams figure it out. Sure the Red Sox have holes especially in their bullpen, but can we hold off on asking questions about what’s wrong with a team this early in the season?

On this date last year the Red Sox were having a hot start at 8-1. But there were some other teams that were playing great baseball in April as well. The Toronto Blue Jays (6-4), Los Angeles Angels (7-3), New York Mets (7-1), Pittsburgh Pirates (7-2) and Arizona Diamondbacks (7-2).

None of those teams made the playoffs and they all started with a .600 winning percentage or better. In the Pirates and Diamondbacks cases they were top of the division halfway through May and still missed the playoffs.

Today we live in a world of instant results because of technology. But when it comes to sports, people including myself, need to relax and let the process play out.

That’s what playing a professional sport is…. A long process starting in the offseason with a goal to win a championship.

People just ignore the process and are quick to tear down a player and or a team.

The Patriots are a prime example. Tom Brady has been “declining” according to several talking heads on networks such as ESPN and Fox Sports 1 for years. That declining quarterback has led the Patriots to the Super Bowl four of the last five years including winning three.

People are also too quick to crown teams.

This year’s Los Angeles Lakers for a lot of people including myself were an easy playoff team. Halfway through December they were a game out of third place. Then poor play and injuries derailed their season. In reality though, a team made up of guys not known for their defense or their ability to shoot the three very well should have never been considered a high seed. But we all bought into the LeBron James hype and were all very wrong as the Lakers didn’t even eclipse 40 wins this year.

Even in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres were top of league and on a 10-game win streak in late November. It appeared this was going to be the year the Sabres finally return to the playoffs. Instead the only thing that returned was dysfunction and poor play. That led the Sabres to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 76 points.

Early season performances aren’t completely pointless but it’s not always an indicator of a team’s future success. At this point it’s getting ridiculous. Media people are just making knee-jerk reactions to get the most views or clicks on an article.

If a surprise team is over-performing, you have to take a look at how its winning and decide whether you believe that’s a realistic and sustainable way to be successful.

It’s rare that a talented group, especially a defending champion, has such a big problem the next year that can’t be fixed over the course of a season. That’s what makes a team great, its ability to adjust and overcome adversity.

I’m not saying no more “hot takes”. I enjoy the “Monday Morning Quarterback” type takes just like everyone else. But before we hit the panic button on the Red Sox in April or question if the Patriots dynasty is over hold off another week and save the panicking for everyone else.

 

 

 

 

Bona fans– Don’t think what it could have been. Think what it can be

photos courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Jeff Uveino

BROOKLYN– It looked like a story book ending.

But it ended in a way that broke the hearts of the thousands of Bonnies fans that traveled to Brooklyn over the weekend.

When the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team’s 2018-19 season came to an end Sunday afternoon, it left an opportunity on the table that could have only been dreamed about at the beginning of the year.

The Bonnies fell to Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 championship game, and the college careers of Courtney Stockard, LaDarien Griffin and Nelson Kaputo came to an end.

St. Bonaventure entered the tournament as the fourth seed, but once Sunday came around, it looked like everything they needed to happen to win the tournament came true.

 

The top three seeds in the tournament (VCU, Davidson, Dayton) had all been knocked out, and the Bonnies awaited a Saint Louis team in the final that they had beaten eight days before.

 

But when the final buzzer sounded, it brought sorrow instead of joy for Bonnies fans.

Bona was so close, so close, to making an an improbable run to the NCAA tournament. It would have been the first time the program had ever went to the tournament in back-to-back years and a remarkable end to the careers of three seniors that have been through a lot over the past four seasons at SBU.

But for many Bonnies fans, it became the game, the championship and the tournament run that could have been.

 

Sure, it’s easy to look back at the past and think what could have resulted if a bounce or two could have gone Bona’s way. It’s also easy to look at the turnaround that this team had, after starting the season 4-10 and then coming within seven minutes of an A10 championship.

But at the culmination of this season, what Bonnies fans should really be excited is the year to come– and probably the next three.

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Bonnies center Osun Osunniyi during their win over Rhode Island

The team started three freshmen (when they were healthy) for the majority of the season. Kyle Lofton, Dom Welch and Osun Osunniyi averaged a combined 30 points and 14.4 rebounds per game during the regular season. The trio also scored 35.3 points per game and pulled down 18 rebounds per game during the A10 tournament.

 

Under a coach that is notorious for giving freshmen time to develop before he gives them significant playing time, it is remarkable what this year’s freshman class did.

Lofton and Osunniyi, prep school teammates, each blossomed into impact players in the Atlantic 10 over the course of the year. Both were named to the conference’s All-Rookie team, and Osunniyi was also named to its All-Defensive team.

For his play over the weekend, Lofton was named to the A10 All-Tournament team.

Welch, who missed nine games in the regular season with an injury, took longer to come around than the other two.

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Bonnies guard Dom Welch after hitting a three against George Mason

But the Buffalo native showed his potential in Brooklyn. Welch shot 6-12 from beyond the arc and scored 20 a career-high points in Bona’s quarterfinal win over George Mason, and followed it up with a 13-point performance the next day against Rhode Island.

 

What impressed me the most from Welch over the weekend was his defensive awareness. He was all over the court, and his defensive play, along with his offense, showed that he was finally ready to play at the level Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt had hoped he could.

“The future is bright,” said Schmidt after the loss to Saint Louis. “We’ve got to bring in some more guys, but they are a talented group that is going to continue to get better.”

Schmidt has already landed several players who could fill the roles the seniors left, including Bobby Planutis, a transfer from Mt. St. Mary’s who had to sit out this season, and Justin Winston, a three-star recruit from the same prep school that Lofton and Osunniyi came from (Putnam Science Academy).

Those players and the other returners will have 25-point-per-game shoes to fill that Stockard and Griffin will take with them when they graduate.

Sounds tough, but Bona was put in the same situation this year after they lost Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley’s combined 37.2 points per game.

Maybe I’m just trying to be positive.

But it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Bonnies have a special trio of freshmen on their hands who have big-game experience after playing into Sunday of the A10 tournament. That experience will go a long way in future years if they can find themselves in the same spot.

The 2019 Bonnies came close. But this tournament run, which was almost one for the ages, could be just the beginning of what this young group can accomplish.

I’m not the only one who feels that way. In the final press conference of his career, Griffin showed his enthusiasm for the future of the Bona program.

“Those guys are gonna use this season as motivation and as long as they stay together they’re going to be really special,” said Griffin.

“They’re going to be really, really good.”

Saint Louis second half comeback clinches A-10 title

By: Isaiah Blakely 

With 3:04 left in the first half the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (18-16) were up 34-19 and had a 91.8 percent chance to win and book their ticket to the NCAA tournament.

But Saint Louis (23-12) didn’t give up.

The comeback started when the Billikens ended the first half strong by cutting the lead down to nine because of a Jordan Goodwin three pointer.

The second half completely flipped in St. Louis’s favor.The Billikens outscored the Bonnies 30-19 in the second half.

Saint Louis started out on a 7-0 run. The Billikens stymied the Bonnies offense in the second half. The Bonnies shot 26 percent in the second half and had multiple long scoring droughts including a six-minute drought in the middle of the half.

Goodwin was the catalyst for the Billikens scoring 16 points and had 13 rebounds including six offensive rebounds.

Courtney Stockard was keeping the Bonnies in it by scoring 10 of the final 12 points for the Bonnies, but he fouled out with a less than a minute to go in the game.

The Billikens down the stretch went on a 12-2 run to take a six-point lead with 1:30 left. Missed free throws and a turnover gave the Bonnies the ball back down two with 45 seconds left.

The Bonnies had three chances to tie or win the game, but shots from Dom Welch, Kyle Lofton, and Nelson Kaputo all missed, and the Billikens came away with the 55-53 victory in the Atlantic 10 championship and now have an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

“We had three opportunities that we missed, but they were good shots…that’s the way it goes. Some jump shots just don’t go in, Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt said.

The Bonnies freshmen struggled to score. Lofton, Welch and Osunniyi combined for 13 points.

Stockard ended his Bonaventure career with 22 points and five rebounds. LaDarien Griffin was the only other player in double figures. Griffin finished with a double-double 10 points and 11 rebounds.

A-10 tournament’s most valuable player Tremaine Isabel had nine points and five assists.

Lofton joined Isabel on the A-10 tournament all conference team alongside Isabel’s teammate Javon Bess, VCU’s Marcos Santos-Silva and Rhode Island’s Cyril Langevine.

 

A10 Championship Preview: Bonnies will battle Saint Louis

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Jeff Uveino

An improbable run by the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team has put them in a place they haven’t been since 2012– the championship game of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The Bonnies (18-15) came into the tournament seeded fourth, and a quarterfinal victory over No. 5 George Mason followed by a semifinal win over No. 8 Rhode Island propelled them to Sunday’s title game against the No. 6 Saint Louis Bilikens (22-12).

The run that Bona is currently on has been somewhat remarkable, as they have played to a 14-5 record since beginning the season 4-10. Two months ago, it was hard to think that this team could have turned their season around and put themselves a game away from the NCAA tournament.

“We’ve persevered and fought through it,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “The kids believe. You’re always going to hit adversity and need to find a way to get it done, and that’s what they’ve done.”

The Bonnies have relied on their freshmen so far in the tournament, as Kyle Lofton has averaged 21.5 points over the first two games and Dom Welch has averaged 16.5 points.

Saint Louis defeated No. 11 Richmond in the second round of the tournament before taking down No. 3 Dayton and No. 2 Davidson in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

Tramaine Isabell, Jr. has been a force for the Billikens on offense, averaging 20 points per game so far in the tournament. Javon Bess will also look to cause problems for the Bona defense. He has averaged 17.7 ppg, and scored 24 points  in the semifinal win.

The Bonnies and the Billikens played just eight days ago in each side’s regular season finale. St. Bonaventure won at home, 66-57, behind 20 points from Courtney Stockard and 14 points from Lofton.

The game was tight the whole way, and Saint Louis led by five points at halftime (27-22) before the Bonnies pulled ahead late in the second half and put them away.

Isabell Jr. scored 21 points for the Billikens in that game, and Hasahn French added 14 points.

A key matchup in this game will be French against SBU’s Osun Osunniyi in the paint. French, regarded as one of the best big men in the A10, got Osunniyi in foul trouble the last time the two went head-to-head.

If the freshman can control the boards for the Bonnies, there may be some 2012-type magic on tap for Barclays Center.