St. Bonaventure makes the short trip to Ithaca on Tuesday with a big test ahead at fifth-ranked Cornell. The Big Red was ranked as high as No. 3 in the national polls before dropping two spots in this week's rankings.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 1.75 - Freshman Sean Westley ranks third among all MAAC players in assists per game at 1.75. He has multiple assists in three of five games thus far.
- 3 - St. Bonaventure has three freshmen who were All-America selections in high school: Zack Belter (North Tonawanda, N.Y.), Nick Conklin (Johnson City, N.Y.) and Ben Mazur (Lancaster, N.Y.).
- 4 - Freshman Jackson Rose set what is, for now, a Bonnies program record with four goals at Manhattan in his MAAC debut. They were the first four goals of Rose's collegiate career.
- 4 - Freshman Austin Blumbergs has scored in four straight games - one each at Saint Joseph's and Manhattan and two in each of the past two games vs. Detroit Mercy and at Siena.
- 10 - The Bonnies will be road warriors in their first season, playing 10 of 13 games away from home. The lack of home games came as a compromise for becoming full members of the MAAC in year one, joining the league officially in July.
- 23 - Brett Dobson's 23 saves Feb. 2 at High Point are the most by any goalkeeper in the MAAC this year and tied for fourth nationally with Tommy Heidt of Michigan. The leader is Tate Boyce of Providence who had 27 saves in one game.
- 100 - Bonnies head coach Randy Mearns owns 100 career victories during his Division I coaching career.
BONNIES FACE FIRST NATIONALLY-RANKED FOE: When St. Bonaventure makes the trip to play at Cornell this Tuesday, it will be the first time the Bonnies have played a nationally-ranked opponent in program history. The Bonnies do, however, have experience playing some of the top talent in the country - though unranked at the time of their season-opening game back on Feb. 2, High Point - which was the program's first-ever opponent - has risen to No. 10 in the national rankings with a 7-1 record after wins over No. 2 Duke and No. 9 Virginia after beating the Bonnies at home.
ABOUT CORNELL: Ranked fifth in the preseason polls, Cornell still occupies that spot after a 4-2 start to the season. The Big Red owns wins over Hobart (19-16), Lehigh (14-9), Albany (17-16) and Towson (18-11) and its setbacks are to Penn State (19-13) and this past weekend at Yale (16-11). The Big Red is 2-0 at home this year and is averaging 15 goals per game. Cornell is led by Clarke Petterson who has 23 goals on the year while John Piatelli has scored 21 times. Chayse Ierlan and Caelahn Bullen have split time in the cage with Ierlan's 41 saves leading the team.
GO WEST, YOUNG SEAN: Freshman Sean Westley made Bonnies history on Feb. 9 when he scored the program's first goal, a tally with 10:04 remaining in the first quarter at Saint Joseph's. Later in that game, he became the first Bonnies player to score multiple times in one game as he beat the keeper again late in the third. March 9 vs. Detroit Mercy, Westley handed out three assists – another team-best this season. He then tallied a hat trick - the first of his career - last time out at Siena. For the year, Westley leads the Bonnies in points (15), goals (8), assists (7) and shots (27).
KILLCOMMONS MAKING AN IMPACT: Freshman John Killcommons got a late start to his Bonnies career - he joined the program for the spring semester and did not play for the team until the third game of the season. He's quickly taken a big role on the squad, though, scoring four goals in the past two games - two each vs. Detroit Mercy and then two more at Siena last Tuesday.
CAGE DUO: St. Bonaventure head coach Randy Mearns has two solid options when it comes to the goalkeeper position. Freshmen Brett Dobson and Ben Mazur have alternated starts through five games with both players likely to continue seeing reps as the season continues. A key part of back-to-back GEICO national champions with The Hill Academy, Dobson was the MAAC Rookie of the Week Feb. 4 after making 23 saves at High Point, then made 12 more stops Feb. 23 at Manhattan. A high school All-American, Mazur got the start Feb. 9 at Saint Joseph's and made 14 saves in the cage. In his next effort March 9 vs. Detroit Mercy, Mazur faced 52 shots and was able to make 15 saves with five groundballs. Dobson leads the MAAC in saves per game (17.5) and is second in save percentage (.556).
IN THE CLEAR: One spot where the Bonnies have made strides in their first five games is in clears – though the team has a 74 percent success rate on the year, the Bonnies were successful in 27 of 31 clear attempts March 9 vs. Detroit Mercy. In three MAAC games, the Bonnies have been clearing at an 81 percent success rate after going 18-for-28 at both Saint Joseph's and High Point.
ON THE GROUND: Freshman Nick Conklin enters the week leading the Bonnies in groundballs (16) - he also is second on the team in caused turnovers with seven, just behind longstick midfielder Zack Belter's nine.
MAAC-TION: Five Bonnies have scored four or more goals during three MAAC games so far - Sean Westley (6), Jackson Rose (5), Austin Blumbergs (5), Matthew DeGirolamo (5) and John Killcommons (4).
- By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications
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