BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Three years ago, St. Bonaventure didn’t even have a men’s lacrosse team. Now, they’re ready to host their first conference tournament game in school history later this week. The MAAC Tournament is set to start, and the Bonnies will have a home game in the opening round against Detroit. It’s a great feat for a team that wasn’t even sure they’d take the field this year.
“We didn’t know if we were going to be able to last two weeks, with COVID and everybody returning and all the uncertainty that was going on,” head coach Randy Mearns said.
It’s been a season of firsts for the Bonnies. They also won their first game in school history, and it came in the first contest of the season against Quinnipiac.
St. Bonaventure finished the regular season with a 4-and-4 record and earned the sixth seed in the MAAC Tournament. They host the three-seeded Detroit Mercy Titans on Friday. According to a release from St. Bonaventure, since Detroit Mercy is planning to leave the conference after this season, the Titans weren’t allowed to host the game.
Both teams met earlier in the year, and Detroit won 11-7. Even though the Bonnies are the lower seed and lost in the first meeting, Mearns said the team is OK with being overlooked.
“We’re the underdogs, but we’re very very talented and we have a lot of momentum going our way,” Mearns said.
after a 1-3 start to the season, the Bonnies won three of their last four games. Mearns said Manhattan coach Drew Keller spoke to him about Bonaventure’s hot streak, and shared what his conference opponent said.
“[Keller said] ‘You’re kind of the team that nobody wants to play because we know that you’re just going to continue to get better because you’re just so young and you’re going to continue to get better,'” Mearns told the media.
With the way they’ve played, they’re hoping momentum can carry them in the postseason.
“We’re just going to try to ride the fire, I think,” Mearns said. “That’s the way we’ve got to ride it. It’s there for the taking. We’re at home and if things go right and we’ve got great goaltending and we win some ground balls and our offense can put the ball in the net, maybe we can get to move on to the semifinals.”
And while they are the underdog, they’re ready to give Detroit Mercy a fight in the first round.
“Detroit’s the obstacle in front of us and it’s going to be a hard obstacle to get over, but I believe our guys can do it,” Mearns said.
The first round matchup starts this Friday at 1 p.m.