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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Bonnies NCAA Tournament Preview: First Four

By: Jeff Uveino

“You dream as a player to play in the big dance.”

That’s what St. Bonaventure Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt said in his press conference after the Atlantic-10 tournament this past weekend, and it’s what his Bonnies will be doing on Tuesday.

For the first time since 2012, the Bonnies are back in the NCAA tournament.

After receiving an at-large bid, St. Bonaventure will travel to Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday to play in the ‘First Four’ round.

The Bonnies will take on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins at 9:10 P.M. for the right to become the 11th seed in the Eastern Regional and face 6th seeded Florida.

This will be the first matchup between the Bonnies (25-7) and the Bruins (21-11) in over 40 years. Their last meeting came in 1975, when UCLA rolled over the Bonnies on the way to a National Championship.

UCLA comes in at 21-11, including an 11-7 record in their conference (the Pacific 12). They were eliminated in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament via an overtime loss to the Arizona Wildcats, who enter the NCAA tournament as a 4th seed.

The Bruins have a good amount of offensive firepower, averaging nearly 82 points per game. They rank 2nd in the Pac-12 and 28th in the nation in scoring.

The Bruins offense is led by junior guard Aaron Holiday. Holiday can shoot it with the best of them, averaging 20.3 points per game. He is an 83% free throw shooter, and 43% three point shooter. Holiday scored 34 points in back-to-back games in the Pac-12 tournament, in wins over USC and Stanford.

Another factor into the UCLA attack that could trouble the Bonnies is their size. The Bruins start three players who are 6’8 and taller, including 6’8 freshman forward Kris Wilkes, 6’11 senior forward Gyorgy Goloman, and 7’0 senior center Thomas Welsh.

Welsh averages 13 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, and poses a significant threat under the basket. Wilkes averages 13.7 points per game, and Goloman averages 7.3 PPG. Welsh and Goloman can also shoot it from downtown, as they both average over 40% shooting from three point range.

The Bonnies big men will be faced with the task of slowing down this attack from under the basket, which will be no easy task given their recent injury problems. Bonnies forwards Courtney Stockard and Josh Ayeni both suffered injuries during the Atlantic-10 tournament in Washington, DC this past weekend, and their status for Tuesday is still up in the air.

Stockard suffered a hamstring injury during the Bonnies quarterfinal win over the Richmond Spiders, and did not play during their semifinal loss to the Davidson Wildcats. Ayeni went down with an apparent knee injury during the Davidson game, and did not return.

No official word has come out about Stockard yet, but sources have told the Intrepid he’s probable to play. Ayeni is currently questionable, though sources said they don’t expect him to play.

St. Bonaventure will still have forwards Amadi Ikpeze (4.7 PPG) and LaDarien Griffin (8.7 PPG) for starters, as well as Tshiefu Ngalakulondi (2.3 PPG) off the bench.

Getting healthy, as well as controlling the glass, will be big factors if the Bonnies want to be successful on Tuesday.

Despite the challenges the Bruins bring to the table, Coach Schmidt is confident in his team’s ability.

“We won thirteen straight games, had some huge non-conference wins, and some big wins in our league,” he said. “I don’t think there was a hotter team going into the postseason than us.”

The Bonnies will look to their high-scoring guards to keep pace with UCLA, including seniors Jaylen Adams (19.8 PPG) and Matt Mobley (18.5 PPG).

Mobley earned A-10 All-Championship Team honors last weekend after his performance in the conference tournament, including making 9-of-13 three pointers in a 29-point outing against Richmond.

Coach Schmidt has been to the NCAA tournament before, appearing three times as a player at Boston College. However, none of his current players have, and he knows that they will be getting an opportunity of a lifetime.

“It’s probably the best day of your life as a college basketball player [when selected],” he said. “They deserve to have those goosebumps.”

St. Bonaventure Halts Skid Against UMass

By: Joe Phelan, Assistant Sports Editor, @jphelan13


Mosley for Three:
 Eric Mosley had a career-high 39 points, including five three-pointers as the Bonnies defeated the Minutemen 99-94

Freebies:  St. Bonaventure took advantage of UMass’ 29 fouls. The Bonnies connected on 32-33 free throws (97 percent) 

Senior Stars: Seniors Mosley, Demitrius Conger, and Chris Johnson and Marquise Simmons combined to score 85 points. 

CJ Delivers: Johnson scored a career-high 22 points. He also had seven rebounds and three assists. 

Complete Game: Conger had 16 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and one block. He netted timely three-pointers in the second half. 

KO’d: UMass had four players (Sampson Carter, Terrell Vinson, Maxie Esho and Raphiael Putney) foul out. 

Key Postgame Quotes: 

Coach Mark Schmidt: “Eric (Mosley) couldn’t have played better offensively.” 

Coach Mark Schmidt: “Some how, some way we scored more points then them.” 

Coach Mark Schmidt: “You are going to hit some adversity. It how you deal with that adversity that determines the outcome. 

Coach Mark Schmidt: “A team scores 63 points in the second half, and you still win.”

Chris Johnson: “We trying to get to Brooklyn.”

Chris Johnson: “Looking at the playoff picture, we needed this win.”

The Bonnies Are Back And Ready For The Season.

By Joseph Phelan, Assistant Sports Editor, @jphelan13

St. Bonaventure led Edinboro 10-9 with 13:19 remaining in the first half. That would be the Bonnies last lead until 5.2 seconds left in the ball game.

Senior Jordan McGee knocked down a jump shot to give her team a 63-62 win.

“She worked really hard on that shot,” said head coach Jim Crowley. “There was no hesitation.”

An exhibition game was important, especially for a team with six new players and three new starters.

“Other people are in new roles; we don’t know what they are going to deliver, so there’s some excitement with that, but there’s also some frustration with that and, we got to build that consistency,” said Crowley.

Edinboro took advantage of the Bonnies lack of defensive consistency, connecting on eight 3-pointers and shooting 48 percent from the field.

“Our defense is really built on trust,” said junior Doris Ortega.

There were obvious wrinkles in the Bonaventure defense.

“We were leaving people out on islands because we were worried about our kid scoring instead of defending everyone. The best way to teach that is against another opponent,” said Crowley.

But what did Crowley like about Saturday’s win?

“The two things that I really liked: that we made plays late and, we took care of the ball,” said Crowley. “The team pressed us pretty much the whole game, and I think we had nine turnovers.”

One of those players who made plays late was junior Ashley Zahn.

Zahn struggled with her shot for most of the game.

“I thought she passed up a few shots. I thought she got bothered at times that she missed some, but we know she is a competitive kid,” said Crowley.

She finished 2-8 from the 3-point line.

But her last three with 4:44 left in the game was huge.

“For her to make that last one doesn’t surprise us, but it is also really good to see because now we can make sure she remembers that on other days she struggles,” said Crowley.

Moving forward, Crowley trusts Zahn and her abilities.

“We need a shooter. Everybody does, but the way we play, we especially need it,” said Crowley. “She (Zahn) is the kid most ready to do that for us.”

This Saturday, the Bonnies will face off against Binghamton in the team’s first official game of the season.

It’ll be an exciting time when the Sweet 16 and Atlantic 10 regular season champion banners are raised, but for the Bonnies, it’ll be all business with test No. 1.

phelanjc11@bonaventure.edu

Runs cleared to practice with basketball team

[Photo courtesy of gobonnies.com]

By Ryan Lazo, Co-editor in chief/feature columnist, @RMLazo13

St. Bonaventure University’s Athletic Department released a statement this afternoon regarding redshirt freshman Matthias Runs’s status. 

Runs, a 6-foot-11-inch center from The Netherlands, was cleared to practice but is not eligible to play this season as deemed by the NCAA. 

In a press release, head coach Mark Schmidt said he is happy that a decision has been made.

“I am glad a resolution has been reached regarding Matthias’ eligibility,” Schmidt said. “We are excited about Matthias’ potential as a player. A year of practicing and working with our team will provide him an opportunity to grow in our program, as well as continue his development as a player. We look forward to next season when he can play in games.”

With the decision being made, the Bonnies will have just two front court players this season in Marquise Simmons and Youssou Ndoye. However, depth will not be an issue in the front court.

Runs is part of a three-player recruiting class following the program’s first Atlantic 10 Conference Championship last season. He will have just three years of eligibility starting next season. 

The Intrepid will continue to follow the situation and post new information when it becomes available.