Men’s X-Country Looks to Continue Success at Notre Dame this Weekend

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt 

The St. Bonaventure University men’s cross-country team is coming off a recent win and great team performance at the Seton Hill Classic, and will look to continue its success this weekend at Notre Dame for the National Catholic Championships.

Nick Masiello, a junior, finished fifth in the Seton Hill Classic.

Masiello wants to do even better this weekend.

“I’d like to set the school record individually for the men in the 8k,” said Masiello.

Masiello tied the school record his freshman year with a time of 26:46.5

“It’s something I’ve been trying to do (since then),” said Masiello.

Masiello would also like the team to continue their success in South Bend.

“I’d like us to do at least what we did last year and finish in the top-15 overall.” Masiello says.

This certainly is no easy goal with over 35 other cross-country programs competing. 

Harley Thompson, a junior, doesn’t have an individual goal, but he has team ones.

“I think we’re (Nick and Harley) the best duo on the team when it comes to working together and pushing each other,” said Thompson. “I’d also like a top-15 team finish, and I think that’d be huge coming off that win last week.”

The dynamic duo stressed the importance of working hard in practice.

“We need to get a little bit stronger everyday, whether it’s running, hitting the weight room, or stretching…it’s the little things that can give you the advantages to work off of,” said Masiello

Not every runner gets to go to Notre Dame to compete.

Masiello actually has some family ties to the big meet today.

“It’s my dad’s alumni school, so I’ve always got to try and make my dad proud,” said Masiello. “Also, it’s nice to compete against some of the bigger schools, even though it’s not really competing, it’s more of a Notre Dame showcase. They always usually put most of their runners in the top 10.”

Thompson is also excited for the race.

“I look forward to it,” said Thompson. “It’s a whole different kind of racing style. I love competing against schools like that to push myself, and hopefully learn some new things, and run some good times.”

The men look to continue their success today at 5 p.m.

fasoldjc13@bonaventure.edu

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

September 28, 1946

After World War II ended, there was an increased enrollment of new college students all across the country. Because of this new increase in students, many of the administrators at St. Bonaventure University wanted the school to be among the members of “big time college football.”

The university would hire Hugh Devore to direct its football program. Devore was a former All-American from Notre Dame who also coached at Providence College.

Also, former mayor Fred Forness announced shortly after the war ended that he would donate up to $100,000 to the university to build a new football stadium on campus. This new stadium was planned to be much larger than the Brown Indians’ home at the time—Bradner Stadium in Olean.

It was on this day that the first game was ever played in Forness Stadium. However, Bonaventure lost the game 20-14 against Youngstown.

Forness Stadium was located on the front lawn of the campus near the current location of Hopkins Hall.

Things would later improve for the Brown Indians. Bonaventure defeated Canisius College to win the Little Three Championship a short while after.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu

Behind the Wolfpack: Bona Fans Chant Shows love for team

[Bona fans stand up and applaud St. Bonaventure for a magical season that ended in the Sweet 16- Photo by Ryan Lazo]

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – “We love Bona’s…we love Bona’s.”

The chant reverberated throughout the areas of PNC Arena occupied by the St. Bonaventure faithful with 2:06 remaining in a game that had been decided much earlier.

But that didn’t matter to the Bona fans in attendance.

While the final score read Notre Dame 77, St. Bonaventure 35, Bona fans stood on their feet, clapping wildly, continuing their chant and saluting the team that had accomplished so much this season.

“That’s our place; that’s our area,” Bona coach Jim Crowley said as he reflected on the moment. “The fact that the people who were here behind us still believed in us, still appreciated it, speaks volumes about the character of our school area and our fans.”

And that is precisely what makes St. Bonaventure special to those alumni and students who have graced the campus on an everyday basis.

It’s the ability to see through the bad and notice the good. Sure, the Bonnies were beat by an athletically superior team, but that does not take away the special season they had.

“Forty minutes isn’t going to define our season,” Crowley said. “It didn’t earlier this year and it doesn’t now.”

And their season began to be defined in the first game of the season when St. Bonaventure marched into Carnesecca Arena and handed the then No. 19 St. John’s Red Storm a season-opening loss.

The Bonnies would continue to display their road warrior mentality by handing West Virginia just their fourth non-conference loss at home under current coach Mike Carey.

Then, with a chip on their shoulder after being picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches Poll, the Bonnies steamrolled through the conference slate.

Finishing with a perfect 14-0 record, they proved that they were the class of the conference, setting numerous records along the way.

They finished the regular season with a perfect road record, achieved the program’s first national ranking, eclipsed 30 wins for the first time and had an 18-game win streak.

After losing to the Dayton Flyers in the A-10 Finals, the Bonnies gathered in the Reilly Center, with more than 1,000 fans in tow, as the selection show was played on a big screen.

Roars erupted as St. Bonaventure was given a No. 5 seed and an opening round match-up with Florida Gulf Coast. But the opponent didn’t matter in the moment.

Instead, those in attendance focused on one note – it would be the Bonnies first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in their history, another record set in a season full of firsts.

And in their tournament debut, the Bonnies recovered from an 11-point deficit against FGCU to win an overtime thriller. Next up was Marist, a team the Bonnies beat in each of the past two seasons.

True to form Bona executed their game plan to perfection.

Jessica Jenkins supplied the scoring load, erupting for 22 points while the defense forced Marist into bad shots as they advanced to the Sweet 16.

But waiting for them were the Irish who did not take the Bonnies lightly and imposed their will from the start, playing fluid on offense and suffocating on defense, holding Bona to 18.8 percent shooting for the game.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw still came away impressed with St. Bonaventure.

“I told them in the handshake line that they had a great season,” McGraw said. “To make it to the Sweet 16 in your first NCAA Tournament is quite a debut.”

While Bona’s four seniors – Jenkins, Armelia Horton, Megan Van Tatenhove and Jennie Ashton – have played their final game, the impact they have had on the program will last forever. 

“We have 2,000 students,” Crowley said. “We have no women’s basketball history at all and we’re in the Sweet 16.”

After setting numerous records this season, Bona has made their own history. 

It’s a recent history full of winning, one that should continue thanks to the foundation laid by the seniors who saved their best for their final season.

lazorm09@bonaventure.edu

Bonnies Dream Season Ends In Sweet 16

[Photo courtesy of gobonnies.com]

By Joseph Phelan, Staff Writer, @jphelan13

Flashback to Nov. 4, a day the Bonnies barely escaped Division II Edinboro in their season-opening exhibition. 

Then flash forward to Sunday and the Bonnies lost to Notre Dame, 79-35, in the Sweet 16. 

Yes, they lost to the Notre Dame team that is ranked No. 4 in the nation and is led by their star junior Skylar Diggans.

What a journey it has been for the 31-4 St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

Yesterday’s loss will not dictate how this team is portrayed.

“Forty minutes does not define our season,” Bona coach Jim Crowley said.

He is right.

The memories and moments from the season are aplenty. There is much to be pleased about in Olean, N.Y.

The Bonnies just happened to run into a more superior team in Notre Dame.

Notre Dame, led by a balanced scoring attack, had its way early on against the Bonnies and never looked back, jumping out to a quick 16-2 advantage.

“They came out ready to go,” Jessica Jenkins said of the Irish. “They were playing with a chip on their shoulder.”

It was readily apparent in the defensive pressure shown by the Irish on defense, suffocating any Bona player who dared take a shot.

They took pride in not allowing the Bonnies to get a shot off, let alone score.

And score they didn’t. 

The Bonnies only drained one field goal over the first 10:47 of the game. 

“My biggest worry the whole time was whether we could score,” Crowley said. “And obviously that came to fruition.”

Doris Ortega and CeCe Dixon, grouped together as a “package deal” when they were recruited, were the only Bonnies who found success Sunday.

Ortega finished with 11 points while Dixon chipped in 13 as the duo scored more than half of the Bonnies points.

Meanwhile, Kalya McBride led the way for Notre Dame in the first half. 

At 5-foot-11 she completely shut down the smaller Jenkins on defense and dominated her on offense.

She recoreded all 10 of her points in the first half and was one of three Irish to reach double-figures.

Kaila Turner and Natalie Novosel  also combined to score 30 points for the No. 1 seeded Notre Dame.

But Notre Dame really put the game out of reach in the second half, outscoring the Bonnies by a 44 to 22 margin.

With the win, Notre Dame will take on No. 2 seed Maryland tomorrow night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC.

The final score indicates that the Bonnies historical season is over, but that is not the case.

The moments and memories will remain with the players, fans and alumni for eternity.

“Having the crowd chanting at the end of the game was special,” Jenkins said hiding back the emotion of the moment.

For the first time since 1970, a St. Bonaventure basketball program won a tournament game.

Setting numerous records along the way, the Bona women gave fans something to believe in, helping warm up the cold and harsh winters in Olean, N.Y.

phelanjc11@bonaventure.edu