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Bonnies Return Home To Face Monmouth Tuesday Afternoon

Bonnies Return Home To Face Monmouth Tuesday Afternoon

ST. BONAVENTURE (0-8, 0-4 MAAC) vs. MONMOUTH (1-7, 0-3 MAAC)
Tuesday, April 2 – 4:00 p.m.
Marra Athletics Complex – St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
Online Coverage: Live Stats | Live Video
TV: ESPN+
Complete Game Notes (PDF)

After nearly a month without a home game, the St. Bonaventure men's lacrosse team finally returns to the Marra Athletics Complex when it hosts MAAC foe Monmouth for a 4 p.m. opening face-off.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 2 – SBU is entering its ninth game as a Division I program, but just its second on home turf. The Bonnies will play 10 of 13 games away from home in their first year.
  • 4 – Monmouth has had four straight seasons of .500 or better records in the MAAC.
  • 7.6 – St. Bonaventure's defense causes on average nearly eight turnovers per game from opponents. Bona's 7.6 caused turnovers per game stands fourth in the MAAC this year.
  • 23.5% - If the Bonnies are to pick up their first win, they will need to improve at the face-off X. Bona has won just over 23 percent of its face-offs this year, a total that ranks last in Division I.
  • .671 – Prior to Tuesday's game, none of the opponents the Bonnies have faced so far this season have a losing record. In fact, the Bonnies have played three teams inside the nation's Top 20 (Cornell, High Point, Hobart) and overall Bona opponents have a .671 winning percentage this year.

TOUGH TESTS: St. Bonaventure has certainly tested itself in its first season as an NCAA Division I program and the Bonnies will know exactly what it takes to ascend at this level as they have faced three teams currently inside the nation's Top 20 poll (Cornell, High Point, Hobart). All of Bona's first seven opponents had a record of .500 or better as of March 31 and had a combined winning percentage of .671.

WESTLEY LEADS THE CHARTS: 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. That started what has become a continuing trend as Westley leads the Bonnies – and ranks among the MAAC's top players – in most offensive categories. Bona's leader in goals (10), assists (11) and points (21), the Whitby, Ontario native ranks fourth in MAAC play among all conference players with 3.5 points per game during MAAC games. He's also fourth in assists per game (1.38).

DEGIROLAMO POSTS FIRST HAT TRICK: In the Bonnies' last game at No. 19/20 Hobart, Matthew DeGirolamo scored a team-high three goals for his first career hat trick. The Vermilion, Alberta native became the third Bonnies player to record a hat trick this season, joining Sean Westley and Jackson Rose. DeGirolamo moved into a tie for the team lead in goals as well, joining Westley with 10 on the year.

THE CIAN TO SUCCESS: Cian Collins has posted perhaps his best two games in back-to-back contests March 23 at Quinnipiac and March 27 at No. 19/20 Hobart. He's posted seven points in the past two games after turning in the first two-goal effort of his career at Quinnipiac, adding an assist, and following that up two goals and two assists for a career-best four points at nationally-ranked Hobart. For the year, his 13 points stand second on the Bonnies behind only Sean Westley.

THE FOX AND THE POINTS: John Fox has seven total points on the year and four of them have come in the past two games. At Quinnipiac March 23, he delivered his first multi-point effort with a pair of assists. Then, at No. 19/20 Hobart March 27, he found the net twice for his first two-goal game as a collegiate player.

KILLING TIME: St. Bonaventure has been one of the nation's top teams this season in the penalty kill. In man-down defense situations, the Bonnies have had a 78.6 percent success rate in killing penalties, ranking eighth among all Division I teams. In 28 opportunities, opponents have scored just six man-up goals vs. the Bonnies.

AUSTIN ASCENDS: Austin Blumbergs saw what was a six-game goal streak snapped at No. 19/20 Hobart last Wednesday, but he has still found the net in six of eight games this season. The Penn Yan, N.Y. native also ranks third in the MAAC with three power play goals this spring.

CONKLIN'S CAREER DAY: Nick Conklin has turned in a strong debut effort this season, ranking second on the team in caused turnovers (13), behind just Zack Belter's 14, and tied for the team lead with Belter in ground balls (25). He set a team season-high with four caused turnovers March 23 at Quinnipiac and also scooped up five ground balls, most by any Bonnies field player this spring until Belter bested that with six ground balls March 27 at No. 19/20 Hobart.

TURNOVER TANDEM: Zack Belter and Nick Conklin have been strong defenders for the Bonnies this season. The tandem ranks second and third in the MAAC in caused turnovers per game – Belter is second in the league (1.75 CT per game) while Conklin is third (1.63). The duo also ranks 37th and 46th nationally.

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 alternated starts through five games and in recent games have split action by half. 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. March 23 at Quinnipiac, Mazur made 12 first half saves. Both players are among the MAAC leaders as well – Dobson is fourth for the year among all conference players in saves per game (12.67) while Mazur is eighth (8.57). Nationally, Dobson's 12.67 saves per game ranks 15th among all goalkeepers. As a team, Bonnies goalkeepers rank No. 1 among all Division I teams with 17 saves per contest.

ROSE RIGHT ON TARGET: Jackson Rose has made an impact during MAAC play this season. The transfer from Utah, Division I's other first-year program, is fourth on the team with seven goals on the year – all coming in four MAAC games. Rose has made the most of his shot attempts this season – for the year 78.6 percent of his shots have been on goal. On the season he also has a team-best 50.0 shot percentage.

ABOUT MONMOUTH

  • Monmouth has followed a blueprint the Bonnies would like to emulate as a startup program. The Hawks are also fairly new to the Division I level, starting up in the 2014 season. Though Monmouth went winless in its first season, 2015 saw the team much improved, finishing 6-8 overall and 3-3 in conference play. In year three, Monmouth improved to .500 overall at 7-7 and by 2017 the Hawks went 14-4 and a perfect 6-0 in the MAAC, winning the league title and reaching the NCAA Tournament.
  • Last year's team went 4-2 in the MAAC and finished third in the league standings.  The Hawks returned 28 letterwinners and six starters off that squad.
  • Monmouth is 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the MAAC after suffering losses on the road at Marist (10-7), at Detroit Mercy (6-4) and home vs. Canisius (12-2). Offense has been a true struggle – the Hawks rank last nationally in scoring offense, averaging six goals per game, but the defense ranks 18th in the country while giving up just 10 goals per contest. Goalkeeper Noah Lode is 30th in the country in save percentage (.536) while as a team the Hawks are 12th in the nation in caused turnovers per game (10.43).

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