Bonnies outlast Tigers, advance to Charleston Classic final

photo courtesy of gobonnies.com

By: Anthony Goss, Sports Editor

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Through its first three games this season, the No. 22 St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team had shot 22% from three. The Bonnies’ offense found their groove down the stretch against Clemson, defeating the Tigers 68-65 in the Charleston Classic semifinal.  

Once again, the Brown and White found themselves in a grind. The Bonnies started the game with a backdoor layup from senior point guard Kyle Lofton, but Clemson rattled off 11 straight points and controlled the rest of the first half. 

The Tigers’ lead grew to 16 but the Bonnies cut the deficit to 10 at the intermission. 

“First half we really struggled,” St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said. “We were happy being down 10 at halftime the way we played.”

With 12:33 left in the second half, PJ Hall knocked down a jumper, giving Clemson a 53-42 lead. Hall finished with 22 points.

“Clemson is well-coached,” Schmidt said. We had a terrible time guarding Hall.”

After a media timeout with 10:59 left in the game, St. Bonaventure drastically turned the momentum of the game. A 16-0 run punctuated by a 3-pointer from senior guard Jaren Holmes gave the Bonnies a 58-53 lead and they stayed in front through the final buzzer.

“We just showed some physical and mental toughness,” Schmidt said. “We didn’t panic.”

Lofton and Holmes shot a combined 8-of-9 from three in the second half, finishing with 22 points and 19 points respectively.

“I was definitely confident,” Lofton said. “I’m one of those shooters where I see one go in, the basket gets bigger.”

St. Bonaventure’s backcourt not only made a difference from the 3-point line but also the foul line. Holmes and Lofton shot a perfect 8-of-8 at the line. Clemson shot 4-of-8 as a team. 

“Coach Schmidt prepares us for situations like that,” Holmes said. “I think our togetherness, and our brotherhood, it just shows.”

Bona’s fans made an impact for the second straight day in TD Arena, giving the team an extra boost as St. Bonaventure mounted its comeback. 

“The Bona faithful got us through it again,” Holmes said. “They’re the best fanbase in the country. We need them every game and every game is a home game for us honestly.”

St. Bonaventure faces Marquette in the Charleston Classic championship game, Sunday at 7:30 on ESPN.

Loyola Chicago accepts invitation to Atlantic 10, will join next season

Courtesy: loyolaramblers.com

By: Anthony Goss

CHICAGO — Loyola University at Chicago has accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic 10 conference beginning in the 2022-23 academic year, the school announced yesterday.

The move comes amid major conference realignment developments in collegiate athletics within the 2021 year.

“Loyola’s commitment to the high-level scholastic achievement of all of its students, coupled with its excellent athletic profile, from success in basketball, soccer and volleyball to outstanding facilities and resources is a perfect fit for the A-10,” said A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade. “The addition expands the A-10 footprint into the Chicago market, giving the conference a presence in three of the top four media markets in the United States.”

Loyola participates in 13 of the 21 sponsored sports by the A-10, but the move carries the largest weight in men’s basketball. In three of the last four seasons, the Ramblers have won at least a share of the Missouri Valley regular-season championship. The Ramblers reached the Sweet 16 last season and the Final Four in 2018.

St. Bonaventure has its own connection to Loyola athletics. Current Loyola-Chicago director of athletics Steve Watson previously served as the director of athletics at Bona’s. Watson hired Mark Schmidt in 2007, who revitalized the men’s basketball team by leading the Bonnies to their first A-10 conference title in program history in 2012. The women’s program had its best season to date, going 31-4 and reaching the Sweet 16

Besides the basketball programs, St. Bonaventure’s women’s soccer team qualified for the conference tournament in six straight seasons and both men’s and women’s cross country had historic seasons.

Watson oversaw several athletic facility improvements and upgrades in his tenure at St. Bonaventure, most notably the unveiling of Bob Lanier Court.

Bonnies defeat Saints, best start since 2012

photo courtesy of gobonnies.com

By: Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — “You can always defend and rebound,” St. Bonaventure women’s basketball coach Jesse Fleming said. 

The Bonnies grinded out a win against rival Siena on Tuesday night at the Reilly Center 50-42. The win came in spite of poor offensive execution, according to Fleming.

“I’m not happy, as far as execution goes,” Fleming said. “I don’t think we got a lot through the offense. Against the top teams in the A10 that’s not gonna work.”

Instead, the Bonnies secured the win through suffocating defense and control of the glass. Siena shot 22% from the field and St. Bonaventure outrebounded the Saints 44-39.

Down 22-21 at the break and finding offense sparingly, the Bonnies looked for a spark in the second half. Newcomer Tianna Johnson provided a boost for her squad with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

“Jesse is always on us about rebounding and crashing hard,” T. Johnson said. “If I get boards it’s just for my team.”

Senior guard Asianae Johnson helped the Bonnies close out the Saints at the end. She scored eight of her 19 points in the fourth quarter, including a perfect 4-4 from the foul line. 

To Fleming, Johnson’s defensive efforts proved the biggest factor in winning the game.  

With 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter, A. Johnson drew a charge on Siena guard Amari Anthony and proceeded to draw another foul at the offensive end. She hit both free throws and tied the score at 34-34 before the fourth quarter. 

“That was huge. I thought that was a big-time play by a senior,” Fleming said. “If she can do it, then everyone else on the team is gonna go and sacrifice their body.”

Siena guard Rayshel Brown had 14 points for the night. She and A. Johnson traded baskets throughout, reminding Johnson of their previous matchup in the PSAL in New York. 

“It felt like high school, honestly,” Johnson said. “It was a little scuffle during but it was all love at the end of the day.”

Neither team hit shots from the outside, but St. Bonaventure capitalized in key areas. The Bonnies outscored the Saints in the paint 28-14. They also made 14 free throws to only 11 from Siena. 

“Getting to the free-throw line was very much crucial to us,” A. Johnson said. “We didn’t hit a three but we made that up with getting to the line.”

The 2-0 start to the season marks the best for the Bonnies since 2012. They look to build on their hot start when they face the Cleveland State Vikings in their first road matchup of the year.

Bonnies host Saints in season opener

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By: Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — “The Reilly Center, there’s nothing like it,” St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt said. 

He and his nationally ranked Bonnies welcome back fans to the Reilly Center in Tuesday’s season opener against Siena after a successful season playing in front of empty seats. 

But besides the return of fans and the unveiling of an A-10 championship banner and rings provides one more chance for the Bonnies to reminisce on one of the best seasons in program history. 

“Those kids deserve to have the banner raised and given out their rings,” Schmidt said.

After the celebration though, Bona’s turns their full attention to reigning MAAC champion Siena Saints. The teams renew their rivalry in a battle traditionally known as the Franciscan Cup. 

Though the Bonnies’ expectations are lustrous, they have lost their last three home-openers with fans present.

They also lost their previous matchup with Siena 78-65 in 2019.

“There’s only a rivalry because both teams have won and both teams have lost,” Schmidt said. “There’s no rivalry if one team has dominated the other.”

In the Bonnies’ exhibition against Alfred on Thursday, redshirt sophomore Linton Brown and redshirt freshman Quadry Adams led the way with 19 and 13 points, respectively. While senior guards Kyle Lofton and Jalen Adaway remain game-time decisions, Bona’s will look to their newcomers to provide a spark.

“They just need to come in and play their role,” Schmidt said. “If they play to their strengths, I think they’re good enough players to help us this year.”

Siena will rely on newcomers of their own. Anthony Gaines, a former four-star recruit, boasts top-line athleticism and transfers Jayce Johnson and Colby Rodgers both look for bigger roles on head coach Carmen Maciariello’s squad.

But the Saints’ most dangerous weapon roams the paint, and his name is Jackson Stormo. He returns for his senior year after a breakout season, averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds. 

The Bonnies must attempt to slow Stromo while simultaneously accounting for the new talent without a lot of film to prepare them. 

“They’re really good players. We know what those guys can do. The question is can we stop them?” Schmidt said. 

Schmidt has tried to prepare them as best as possible, despite the lack of film on Siena’s newer players.

“Every season opener is the same way. You don’t know what they’re gonna run, you don’t have tape,” Schmidt said. “You really try to take care of yourself and prepare the best you can.”

Schmidt expects his team’s national ranking to become an afterthought come tip off. 

“When the game starts, Siena doesn’t care if we’re ranked twenty-third,” Schmidt said. “We’re gonna go out and play like we play all the time with a chip on our shoulder. We’re gonna play hard.”

Who are you?

I’m you, but stronger.

The girl on the top has just fallen in love with running.

Even though she does not think she is good, she knows she gives her entire heart each time she steps onto the line and that she loves her sport. The girl on the top does not think she will run again after high school or that she is fast enough, experienced enough, strong enough or fit enough to do so.  

The girl on the bottom is the same girl, but stronger, faster and now a collegiate student-athlete. The two girls look the same; the only difference is the school on their singlet. They have the same face, same form, same thumb-under-the-index-finger, same love for running and—of course—the same semi-relaxed look when they see the team photographer. 

If only the girl on the top knew her capabilities and who she could become with a combination of hard work and persistence. The girl on the bottom is strong as ever, because the girl on the top motivates her. She remembers why she’s a runner; she remembers everything she’s endured to become who she is today. If only the girl on the bottom could tell the girl on the top that her smile and her some determination could take her anywhere she wanted to go. 

The girl on the bottom is strong, but still has the same worries as the girl on the top once did: that she isn’t fast enough, experienced enough, strong enough or fit enough. But then she remembers that she is enough. She never runs alone; the girl on the top is always with her and cheers her on with every step she takes. No matter what the clock says, in the end, the girl on the top watches, in amazement and awe that she made it to the starting line in the first place.


“Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

Steve Prefontaine

When I first saw the bottom image from my race at the Watts Invitational in Edinboro, PA, I immediately thought of one of my favorite pictures from running in high school. When I looked at these images, I couldn’t help but reflect on how different a person I am today, yet my passion remains, as do my worries. I started running cross country my senior year in high school, the year of the first picture. Girls surrounded me who had ran since childhood, as well as girls relatively new to the sport but with seemingly natural talent. I couldn’t help comparing myself to those girls. But one of the greatest lessons I have learned since is that running is about your personal progress. Each runner has a different journey. I’m still shocked I’m on a team at all; the fact that I am now running more than 12 minutes faster than the first race I ever ran shows that I am doing something right. 

Am I the best? No. But I am doing my best, and that IS good enough. 

I’ll never become a record-breaking runner who makes headlines or one who makes people say, wow, she’s fast. But I am better than before, and I know I can become even better. What’s more, I do it all with a smile on my face; my smile keeps me going. In a sport like cross country, it is incredibly difficult not to compare yourself to others, because that is the nature of the sport. If you beat someone, that means you’re faster than them. Your time equals your performance and your speed on one given day, but it is important to not get caught up in what the clock says. 

Because the clock doesn’t say how long I’ve been running, or how many miles I ran during the summer or how much I’ve cried over my sport. The clock doesn’t show the expectations that I’m afraid I won’t meet. The clock shows one thing: time. But that’s just one thing. I can’t let a number define me. A number does not define my self-worth: I do.  

No matter what the clock says, the true measure of my performance and abilities IS how I feel about my own performance, which is something I’m still learning. The whole reason I started running in the first place was because I liked it and thought it was fun; I still run today for that reason, not for validation from a clock. Writing things like this helps remind me of why I make time for this sport day in, day out, and of what I can take from it long after I step to the line with “Bonnies” across my chest for the final time. I can bring these things to my job and hopefully show them to my future students and athletes when I am a teacher or a coach. 

It is also important as an athlete to have an identity outside of the sport, because athletics do not last forever. I am not only a runner, but also a writer, reader, musician, dog lover, friend, daughter, sister, future teacher and lifelong learner. This is my first year writing for The Intrepid, and one thing I hope to gain from my experience is to learn more about myself while conveying my thoughts and feelings to others in a relatable way. 

If you have made it this far, I sincerely appreciate your time, and I only hope you find something meaningful in my stream of consciousness. 

Don’t forget to smile today. 

(Iris Archer is a feature contributor to The Intrepid and a junior cross-country and track runner for St. Bonaventure University.)

Top photo courtesy RunningWorksPics 2018. Bottom photo courtesy GoBonnies 2021.

MLAX: Bonnies travel to Monmouth for MAAC semifinal

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Anthony Goss

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ — “We earned our right to get to the semifinals,” St. Bonaventure men’s lacrosse coach Randy Mearns said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we are excited for the opportunity.” 

The Bonnies played their way into their first ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinal after a fast start and eventual 11-8 victory over Detroit Mercy on Friday afternoon.  

“You kind of feel the confidence,” Mearns said. “We just continue to say, ‘don’t get too high or don’t get too low’.”  

Despite the excitement surrounding the team, the Bonnies remain quiet but confident in their ability.  

“Guys have this quiet energy, this quiet confidence,” Mearns said. “We got great guys in the locker room; they just work hard every day.” 

Bona came into its last matchup as an underdog when it hosted Detroit. This time, the underdogs will hit the road against the Monmouth Hawks, the No. 2 seed in the MAAC men’s lacrosse championship tournament.  

“I think we relish that role,” Mearns said. “We also know that we were in every game this year, even the Monmouth game (that) we lost.” 

In their lone matchup against the Hawks, the Bonnies took a 10-8 lead into the fourth quarter but could not finish the job. Monmouth outscored Bona 5-2 in the final frame to secure a 13-12 victory.  

“We had four or five failed clears, and that resulted in more opportunities for them,” Mearns said. “But that’s the learning experience.” 

Clearing was an issue for SBU, but face-offs were another area where Bona struggled. Monmouth crushed the faceoff battle, 24-5.  

Mearns’ squad has adjusted, however, and the third-year skipper believes his players are more confident heading into their second game against the Hawks. 

“We’ve made some adjustments on the wings, and I think that has provided some confidence to Austin (Holley),” Mearns said. “We’re hopeful he’s going to be able to give (Matt) Soutar a better run for his money.” 

Soutar and five other Hawks were placed on all-conference teams. Defenseman Chris Hervada was named co-defensive player of the year. Mearns knows the Bonnies will have to be on guard in this rematch.  

“We have to earn everything,” Mearns said. “If we hit singles and not go for home runs, we like our chances.” 

The Bonnies and the Hawks will square off at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at Monmouth’s Kessler Stadium, and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.  

“It’s the wacky MAAC,” Mearns said. “On any given day, anybody can beat anybody.” 

MLAX: Bonnies set to host Detroit Mercy in MAAC quarterfinal

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — “It was really important to us to build the foundation of the program.” 

St. Bonaventure men’s lacrosse head coach Randy Mearns has, in fact, built the foundation of a reborn Bonnies program looking at history Friday afternoon. 

The sixth-seeded Bonnies will host No. 3 Detroit Mercy in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Not only will this be the first postseason game the team has hosted since the program’s re-emergence three years ago, but will be SBU’s first-even playoff game under Mearns.
 

“It’s been exciting to kinda play in front of our home crowd,” Mearns said. “We really enjoy and love the confines of the Marra Sports Complex in the rolling hills of Allegany. I don’t think that it’s really any more pressure, I just think that we’re excited to actually be able to have it at home.” 

Heading into the matchup, the Bonnies pose a record of 4-4, having won three of their last four games. Mearns sees the recent stretch as a positive, but remains attentive to the current moment. 
 

“I think we do have momentum, but I think it’s also a guarded momentum as opposed to the win against Quinnipiac,” he said. 
 

The win against Quinnipiac was followed by an 11-7 defeat to Detroit Mercy on March 13.  
 

“Detroit got right up on top of us and we were like deer in the headlights,” Mearns said. “They took it to us that game.” 

Detroit comes into this game with a 3-3 record after having their last two contests cancelled. Mearns stressed the importance of stopping the Titans’ offense, as well as limiting midfielder Alex Jarzembowski on faceoffs.  
 

“It’s faceoffs and it’s goaltending,” Mearns said. “We’re going to need to have a strong defensive outing against Detroit. They can score with the best of them.”  

Despite the challenges Detroit presents, Bona’s improvement in recent weeks could give it an edge heading into the matchup.  

“We’ve gotten much more organized,” Mearns said. “Our defensive guys have built a lot of chemistry where we’re trusting each other and having confidence in our teammates and the game plan.”

In a shortened season with a schedule limited to only MAAC games for both clubs, there will be a sense of familiarity when the two teams face off on Friday. Nonetheless, Mearns remains confident in his team to be prepared for the moment.  
 

“We’re at home, but we’re the underdogs,” Mearns said. “They aren’t gonna surprise our guys.” 

WLAX: Bona concludes season without finding 2020 magic

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Ryan Surmay

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — After a 27-2 loss to nationally ranked UMass on Friday, the St. Bonaventure women’s lacrosse team concluded its season.

The Bonnies ended the season on an eight-game losing streak, as they played a quartet of Atlantic 10 opponents twice each (Duquesne, Saint Joseph’s, La Salle and UMass).

In head coach Jason Levesque’s second season with the team, the Bonnies deceased the amount of wins they had this year, as they went 5-2 in a shortened 2020 season before compiling a 2-10 record (0-8 A-10) this season.

SBU’s two wins came on back-to-back games against Bucknell and Akron back in March. The Bucknell win came in overtime, as Ashley Easterday scored the game winning goal.

SBU will lose seniors Savannah Gonsiorek, Jessica Losquadro, Destinee Johnson, Andrea Hill, Julia Davidson, Savannah Clarke and Easterday to graduation. 

This season, they were lead in goals by senior Destinee Johnson, who had 12 on the year. She started every game this year and had 10 assists. 

This put Johnson at 89 career points, good for 19th all-time in program history.

Sophomores Courtney Fox and Nora Anderson each were big contributors this season. Fox had 14 points in total, while Anderson had 11.

Clarke, the team’s everyday goalkeeper, had 62 saves this season, which put her career total at 282. That’s sixth all-time at SBU.