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Bona's Playoff Run Closes in MAAC Semifinals

Jake Rosa had two goals and an assist in Wednesday's semifinal game.
Jake Rosa had two goals and an assist in Wednesday's semifinal game.

Box Score (PDF)

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – St. Bonaventure led by a goal after an impressive opening 15 minutes, but Monmouth dominated the final three quarters to earn a 12-5 victory Wednesday afternoon in the MAAC Men's Lacrosse semifinals.

St. Bonaventure ends an impressive third season at the Division I level with a 5-5 overall record while second-seeded Monmouth improves to 7-2 and moves on to this weekend's conference championship game.

Monmouth got on the board first with a goal from Zach Clemente one minute in.

Jake Emmick provided his first goal of the year for a 1-1 tie with 7:15 left in the first, beginning a stretch of alternating scores for the next five and a half minutes.

The Bonnies finished the quarter with a flurry, though, to grab the lead.

MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Jake Rosa struck for a highlight reel goal, flipping a shot over his shoulder in front for the 3-3 tie. Then, with just over 20 seconds left in the quarter, goalie Brett Dobson picked off a Hawks pass in front, immediately lobbing ahead to midfield to start the Bonnies in transition which, after two more quick passes, resulted in a goal from Sean Westley off a feed by Mark Belles for a 4-3 lead as the opening quarter came to a close.

St. Bonaventure had finished the first period in similar fashion to last Friday when the Bonnies upset Detroit Mercy in the quarterfinals after a ferocious close to the first 15 minutes.

On this day, though, the host Hawks would quickly throw the brakes on Bona's momentum.

The 4-3 lead lasted until the 8:39 mark of the second, but then Dwayne Mattushik scored to start what would become a 5-0 Monmouth run.

Monmouth's lead grew to 8-4 four minutes into the third quarter when it seemed like the Bonnies would get one back on a power play goal. A shot right in front from man-up specialist Jackson Rose was denied by Hawks goalkeeper Noah Lode, however, and the Bona dry spell would last over 20 minutes before Rosa's second of the day off another Belles assist got the visitors back on the board.

It was still just an 8-5 game with seven minutes left in the third quarter, but the Hawks would score four more before the end of the period to take all control. Any time Bona seemed to have a chance to begin clawing back, Lode would make another impressive save.

Monmouth's defense entered the day ranking second nationally in goals allowed per game and the Hawks never relented Wednesday, allowing the Bonnies offense to get away just 24 shots in all including just six between the second and third quarters.

Westley and Rosa each had three points for the Bonnies.

Mattushik, Cade Stratton and Zach Clemente all had two goals apiece for Monmouth while Connor Macrae led all players with a hat trick.

Defensively, Brady Wijbrandts registered three caused turnovers and five groundballs for the Bonnies, Zack Belter produced three caused turnovers and three groundballs and David Steria had two caused turnovers and three groundballs. Brett Dobson stopped 12 of the 24 shots against him.

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