Bobcats get off to slow start in 13-6 loss


Photos: Emma Robertson

The Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s lacrosse team (0-1) fell to the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (1-0) by a score of 13-6 in the first game of the 2021 season. It was the first game played for both teams since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all spring sports in March of 2020.

The Bobcats came into the game expecting to use this game as a tune-up for their upcoming MAAC schedule. The Bonnies had other ideas.

St. Bonaventure got on the board early and quickly. Halfway through the first quarter, Mark Belles put the Bonnies in front 1-0. By the time the 13-minute mark rolled around, St. Bonaventure was able to triple their lead, forcing the Bobcats to put a stronger emphasis on offense as they fell behind 3-0.

With two minutes left in the quarter, Evan Perry and Ryan Donnery were able to get two quick goals back, sending the Bobcats into the break down 3-2.

The second quarter was all St. Bonaventure.

After both teams went goal-for-goal midway through the second quarter, St. Bonaventure scored five unanswered goals in a six-minute span, putting the Bobcats behind 9-3 with four minutes left in the first half.

A last-minute goal by Donnery cut the Bobcats’ deficit to 9-4 as head coach Mason Poli took his team into the locker room for a much-needed break.

The halftime break did enough to make the Bobcats competitive. They came out aggressive and with an emphasis on ball control throughout the 2nd half. So much so that the Bobcats limited the Bonnies to just two goals, going so far as matching them to make it 11-6 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

That competitiveness did not last the entire 15-minute quarter. During the last 10 seconds of the third quarter, the Bonnies scored two goals, taking advantage of the lackluster defensive shape employed by Quinnipiac to end the quarter.

Ironically, the most disciplined stretch of play by the Bobcats ended with undisciplined defensive play.

Neither team scored during the final quarter, but not for a lack of trying. The Bobcats could not take advantage of three different St. Bonaventure penalties during the last 15 minutes of play. The Bonnies were happy allowing Quinnipiac to maintain possession. When they did have the ball, they simply passed enough to let the shot clock to as close to zero as possible.

The Bonnies, picked to finish last in the pre-season MAAC poll, put everyone in the MAAC on notice. While this game against Quinnipiac will not count towards conference play, the Bobcats will be looking to get revenge in three weeks’ time when the two teams meet again in Olean, NY.

In the meantime, the Bobcats will look to bounce back on Saturday, March 13 as they travel to Poughkeepsie, NY to take on Marist in their first game of MAAC play.