photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Jeff Uveino
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The past three weeks have happened quickly for the St. Bonaventure women’s lacrosse team.
After announcing the hiring of a new head coach a week before its 2020 regular season opener, the team now has more wins than it had in the previous two seasons combined.
After Jason Levesque was hired on Feb. 7, a three-game win streak to open the season has given the Bonnies their best start since 2013.
“I think the biggest thing with coming in late like that was saying, hey, let’s have some fun,” Levesque said. “I think the girls have bought into a new mindset and have been hungry to win.”
SBU started the year with a 16-8 win at Hartford before edging Central Connecticut State, 10-9, on the road. The Bonnies then rolled by Kent State, 15-7, in their home opener.
“You have to learn how to win, just like you learn how to lose,” Levesque said. “If you get complacent, you become content with losing. We’ve tried to push them more to not be okay with that and help them understand that winning is tough, but at the same time we can have some fun.”
Senior midfielder Destinee Johnson has netted 12 goals and handed out six assists over the course of the young season. She scored 18 goals a year ago.
“The girls around me instill confidence in me,” Johnson said. “The seven of us playing as one on the attack is what has made our offensive so much more successful this year. Having that backup gives you that much more strength to go score a goal, or assist the next girl.”
The Bonnies have scored nearly 14 goals per game this year, and are tied for 13th-best in the nation with eight goals allowed per game.
Ashley Easterday has scored six goals for the Bonnies, while Nora Anderson has scored five goals.
“This has been everything we’ve worked for over the past four years,” Johnson said. “Having it come together is absolutely amazing.”
Levesque said that despite Bona’s offensive success, he thinks that his team could be scoring even more than it has.
“We want to keep the ball moving and be selfless,” Levesque said. “It doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as St. Bonaventure scores them. If we share the ball and remain selfless, good things will happen.”
The Bonnies will play five more non-conference games before beginning Atlantic 10 play in late March.
“(A10) play will really show us where we’re at,” Levesque said. “The top end of our conference is very, very good. It will prove to be a strong challenge, and we’ll see where we need to be better.”
SBU will travel to the Carolinas next week, playing Wofford on Tuesday and Gardner Webb on Thursday.
Bona will not play at home again until March 14, when it takes on Butler.
“After last week’s game, I told the ladies that it’s only going to get harder from here,” Levesque said. “We need to make sure that we’re focusing game-by-game and preparing for that A10 schedule.”