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.

Soccer: Lauren Hill named A-10 player of the week

By Chuckie Maggio

The St. Bonaventure University women’s soccer team got some well-deserved recognition this week when sophomore forward Lauren Hill was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week.

Hill, from Webster, N.Y., scored the game-tying goal with seven minutes left against La Salle on Oct. 27, and scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime against St. Joseph’s on Oct. 29. Those goals helped propel the team’s win streak to four and clinch a spot in the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.

Hill expressed gratitude towards her teammates after receiving the award.

“It wouldn’t have happened without the help of the team, so I’m more happy with how we’ve been winning and how we’ve played the past few weeks,” Hill said. “The first goal, Alyssa (Lapp) pretty much did it all, then the second one Britt (Brittany Charles) played me a nice ball and I really just kicked it as hard as I could; I didn’t even know if it was going to go in so that was a really nice play.”

Continue reading “Soccer: Lauren Hill named A-10 player of the week”

Behind the Wolfpack: Plan Is A Boost To Athletics

[Photo courtesy of department of athletics]

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

The women’s lacrosse team could not field a single home game two years ago, the men’s and women’s soccer teams have had to play at high school fields, and the basketball programs have had to deal with less than ideal facilities to sell to recruits.

That is the current state of St. Bonaventure University’s athletics program. It’s a program that is below par in facilities for almost any sport in the Atlantic 10 Conference, but a new strategic plan that was announced on Monday, Oct. 22 could change all of that.

A five-year plan, two years in the making, is set to reconstruct or rennovate 15 different facilities at St. Bonaventure at a cost of $18.8 million. The reason behind the idea is simple — to continue to provide the athletic teams with a chance to win.

“Our goal is to strengthen our position in the A-10 Conference of the NCAA,” athletic director Steve Watson said. “The result is to have all of our 14 Division I teams to finish in the top half of the A-10 Conference on a yearly basis.”

The competitive disadvantage that our teams face on a daily basis is mind numbing.

While the women’s lacrosse team plays its season in the Spring, the team members still practice during the fall, and that’s where troubles arise. The lacrosse team shares a locker room with the women’s soccer team, so instead of having a place to store their equipment, the players have to carry around their sticks from class to class.

And the problem may be even more apparent on the baseball field. Watson tells a unique story of Bona head coach Larry Sudbrook and how he has seen the need for more funding.

“Larry will tell me that when he goes through the handshake line at the end of the game, he shakes the head coach’s hand, then an assistant coach and another assistant and then another,” Watson said. “Then, those opposing coaches look for his assistants to find no one because Larry doesn’t have full-time assistants.”

It may sound funny, but it’s not a good problem to have. While Bona managed to have success with both the men and women’s basketball program’s last season, that success cannot be maintained unless improvements are made.

To read the related news story on St. Bonaventure’s strategic plan, click here.

When on a recruiting trail, what will make a recruit choose St. Bonaventure over a Big East school? Bona sure doesn’t have the facilities they do. Bona can’t offer the same type of financial package either.

But these things will slowly change as the plan is implemented, and some of that is already beginning to show.

In order to retain the coaching services of both’s National Coach of the Year Jim Crowley and Sporting News Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Mark Schmidt, St. Bonaventure had to shell out some additional cash.

“Like any business out there, if you want to recruit top-level employees, you need to be competitive with your compensation,” Watson said. “And surely if you want to retain successful coaches, you need to be competitive as well.”

While Bona has overcome many obstacles to have success, most notably last season, it won’t last without improvements, and it’s the right time for the university to back this plan.

SBU Unveils Strategic Plan For Athletics

[Photo courtesy of department of athletics]

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

St. Bonaventure University teamed up with the Athletics Department to announce the school’s first-ever comprehensive strategic plan for athletics to position St. Bonaventure to maintain and surpass last season’s success on Monday, Oct. 22.

The five-year plan highlights key areas of need for St. Bonaventure’s Division I athletic teams and aims to reconstruct or renovate 15 different facilities. The idea is to make the fields into one sports complex with separate entrances to each field.

While the biggest draw of the university is its basketball program, the initiative aims to help all of St. Bonaventure’s athletic teams.

“Two years ago, the women’s lacrosse team could not even field a true home game because of the condition of the field,” athletic director Steve Watson said. “Our women’s soccer team and women’s lacrosse share locker rooms.That puts at a serious competitive disadvantage.”

An estimated cost of the plan is $18.8 million to cover the renovations and reconstructions of the numerous facilities. But the first of those projects that is aimed to be completed is the reconstruction of the women’s basketball locker room.

The $300,000 campaign to fund a new locker room was started by University President Sr. Margaret Carney following the team’s Sweet 16 success. To this point, over $100,000 has been raised and it will only proceed once 100 percent of the money is accounted for.

However, Watson is confident that it will be ready.

“We plan to have it ready in the fall of 2013 which means it would be a summer reconstruction,” he said. “I’m confident with the alumni we have that this will get done. No one deserves it more than them.”

Following that is the reconstruction of the soccer and softball fields into a turf fields, much like Fred Handler Park. If put into place, no longer would the men’s and women’s soccer teams have to travel to high school fields to play their home games.

“We want our players to have the true division I experience,” Watson said. “They aren’t getting it by playing at high schools. We have a long way to go.”

But this is not a plan that just benefits the athletes that are part of the student body, but those who attend St. Bonaventure for academic purposes.

To read Ryan Lazo’s column on the plan being a boost to athletics, click here.

Watson said he envisions a time when the multipurpose turf field is used for intramural flag football games under the lights or hosting a rugby match.

It’s the idea that this is not just for the benefit of the athletic department, but it’s also for the students that drives the plan.

St. Bonaventure has never hosted an A-10 Championship on campus, and that could change if the fields are put in place.

“At the end of the day, this is for the students,” Watson said. “Athletics are a part of any university, and it’s our job to make sure it is up to par with the rest of the conference and the NCAA.”

ST. BONAVENTURE (Sept. 23) — Despite an early goal by Nicole Rosso, the Bonnies lost to the Raiders, 2-1, today at McGraw-Jennings Field.

St. Bonaventure (5-4-1) outshot Colgate (6-4) 9-3 in the second half, but a 78th-minute goal by Jillian Kinter gave the Raiders the lead for good.

Additional pictures from the game can be found here:

[Photos by Tony Lee, @sHecKii]

Bonnies show academic leadership

Student athletes’ GPA averages for spring 2011 semester is higher than the university student body’s

By Tony Lee, editor in chief, @sHecKii

ST. BONAVENTURE (Aug. 23) — St. Bonaventure University student athletes had a higher average semester GPA for the spring 2011 semester than the university’s entire student body, according to data supplied by the athletics department

The data showed students who compete in Division I athletics earned a 3.114 average GPA, compared to 3.035 of the student body this spring. Eleven of the university’s 14 intercollegiate teams had higher than a 3.00 average semester GPA, too.

Women’s soccer, coached by Manoj Khettry, had the highest semester team GPA at 3.476. Softball, coached by Mike Threehouse, had 3.395; women’s cross-country, coached by Bob Macfarlane, had 3.329; and women’s tennis, coached by Mike Bates, had 3.305.

“They take great pride in their achievements in the classroom, and our coaches make sure they understand the importance of academic success,” said Steve Watson, director of athletics.

Out of 240 Division I student athletes, senior cross-country runner Elizabeth Moran was one of nine who achieved a perfect 4.0 in the spring.

She said time management skills helped her handle the delicate balance between athletics and academia.

“It’s being able to decide what’s the most important thing to do and (do it) at a certain time,” said Moran, an elementary and special education major. “I don’t sit around and watch a bunch of TV. Basically, I go to class, go to practice, and go do my work.”

The average semester GPA for women was 3.241; the average semester GPA for men was 2.991.

“I am very proud of the student athletes for achieving such great success in their academics,” said Michelle Kent, assistant athletic director for academic support and student services. “They have a lot of things they have to balance and they do a great job of managing their time to be successful.”

Women’s basketball (2.830), baseball (2.760) and men’s basketball (2.607) fell below 3.0.

Cross-country had the highest semester average amongst men at 3.204.