St. Bonaventure and VCU will have a rematch in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Sunday night. The Bonnies defeated the Rams, 2-1, on Wednesday night at home to clinch a berth to the A-10 Tournament.
ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT PRIMER
With their win over VCU, the Bonnies clinched the seventh seed in the A-10 Tournament. St. Bonaventure won the seventh seed by way of a tie-breaker over Saint Louis based on criteria of conference record vs. highest common opponent. This will be the first postseason appearance for the Bonnies since the 2010 season and comes as a culmination of proving many preseason prognostications wrong. The Bonnies were picked last in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll at the start of the year, but instead finished the season with four straight wins to clinch a spot in the conference tournament.
The winners of this weekend's quarterfinal games will advance to the Atlantic 10 Final Four next week in Dayton, Ohio.
QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS (at campus sites)
#5 Fordham at #4 Dayton – Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
#6 Rhode Island at #3 George Washington – Saturday, 1 p.m.
#7 St. Bonaventure at #2 VCU – Sunday, 7 p.m.
#8 Saint Louis at #1 UMass – Sunday, 1 p.m.
SEMIFINALS (at Dayton)
Winner of UMass/Saint Louis vs. Winner of Dayton/Fordham – Friday, Nov. 10 – 4:30 p.m.
Winner of VCU/St. Bonaventure vs. Winner of George Washington/Rhode Island – Friday, Nov. 10 – 7 p.m.
FINALS (at Dayton)
Sunday, Nov. 12 – 12 p.m.
WINNING CLOSE GAMES
All eight of the Bonnies' victories this season have been by one goal and their seven overtime contests are the most in program history. The Brown and White have a record of 4-1-2 in overtime games this season while three of those wins have come in double overtime.
WHEN IT MATTERS
After starting conference play 0-4, the Bonnies have won four straight A-10 games which is their most conference wins in a row since the 1999 season. During that streak, the Bonnies won 1-0 at Duquesne and 2-1 in double overtime at La Salle along with scoring wins at home over George Mason (1-0) and No. 22 VCU (2-1).
BONNIES STATS LEADERS
- Senior Kieran Toland leads the Bonnies with 14 points on the season and a team-high six assists.
- Junior Kosi Nwafornso is tied with Toland for the team lead with four goals on the year and second with 11 points.
- Senior Paul Afful adds three goals and three assists for nine points.
- Freshman Nicola Bonso has scored three times, adding two assists for eight points. He's also the only Bonnies player to start all 18 games.
- Bonso leads the team with 1,665 minutes played. Junior Anthony Sileo has logged 1,439 minutes on the season while Afful and junior Remi Dujardin each have played more than 1,300 minutes.
- Junior goalkeeper Luke Iacobellis has started 17 of 18 games this year, recording a 1.21 goals against average while ranking among the Atlantic 10 leaders with 74 saves and five shutouts.
At the head of the charge down the stretch for the Bonnies have been senior Kieran Toland and freshman Nicola Bonso. With 14 points on the season, Toland has the most points in a season for any Bonnies player since Emmett O'Connor tallied 29 in 2013. Bonso, meanwhile, has been one of the top freshmen in the Atlantic 10 this season and has tallied three goals in the last five games.
FIRST GOALS ACCOMPLISHED
The members of the Bonnies senior class have been at the heart of the program's turnaround in recent seasons. The seniors battled through a 1-15 season in 2014 and 2-16-1 campaign in 2015, but have set the foundation for future success for the program. Last year, the team was alive in the A-10 playoff race until the season's final day before finishing one win shy of a post-season berth. This year, the team got over that hump and will play in the post-season for the first time in seven years, marking the next step in the progression of the program.
A Bonnies win on Sunday will advance them to play at the University of Dayton where the semifinals and finals of this year's tournament will take place. The winner of the Bonnies/VCU match will take on the winner of the George Washington vs. Rhode Island quarterfinal on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in Dayton.
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