Quinnipiac eliminated from MAAC playoff contention in close loss to St. Bonaventure

Julius Millan, Staff Writer

Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse (2-9) suffered a tough 10-8 defeat to St. Bonaventure (9-3) Saturday afternoon in the Bobcats’ final home game of the season.

Attacking duo sophomore Dylan Donnery and senior John DeLucia scoring their five goals were the highlights for a team that couldn’t get going in the first half and were haunted by great opposing goaltending by senior goaltender Brett Dobson.

The Bobcats were relentless, shooting the ball 45 times, 29 of those being on target. Unfortunately for them, Dobson made his best impression of a brick wall by saving 21 shots. 

The first half was marked by Bonnie domination, both offensively and defensively. Senior attacker Jackson Rose scored a hat trick while Quinnipiac goaltender Nick DiMuccio struggled mightily, only registering six saves. The three man-up goals St. Bonaventure scored against the Bobcats compounded their first-half struggles before going to the locker room down 8-4. 

However, the Bobcats did well to make it a close contest in the second half, cutting the Bonnies’ lead to just one. Quinnipiac played excellent defense most of the half, allowing just 11 shots overall in a valiant comeback effort before a late goal by junior midfielder Brady Wijbrandts stifled the Bobcat’s momentum and ultimately won St. Bonaventure the game. 

Quinnipiac head coach Mason Poli said the Bobcats did what they needed to do on offense, but Dobson’s goaltending was the real challenge. 

“I thought the boys kept their composure for the most part,” Poli said. “They kept getting some quality takes but unfortunately he kept bailing them out on the other end.”

Poli said Saturday had a special meaning for him with this being his fourth year as head coach. This is the first class he oversaw throughout the entirety of their college careers from freshmen to Saturday’s senior day where they were honored for their contributions to the team.

“I couldn’t have asked these guys for more,” Poli said. “Everything we’ve been through, the pandemic, and then working our way back here, I’m proud of those boys.”

The Bobcats are set to lose 10 seniors and graduate students, including senior midfielder and face-off specialist Demitri George, who scored the opening goal of the second quarter after winning the initial face-off, blitzing across half the field and shooting a rocket past Dobson.

With the loss, Quinnipiac is eliminated from MAAC playoff contention. Despite that, Poli said he knows the team has a solid foundation that needs to be built on.

“I’m a big Eagles fan,” Poli said. “I use a quote from my boy Nick Sirianni: ‘the roots are in the ground, but unfortunately (we) just didn’t get the seeds to grow this year.’”

Poli said there is still room to grow as a team with two games remaining this season, regardless of playoff implications.

“It’s about pride at this point,” Poli said. “We’re still working on getting our product better. We gotta minimize some of the turnovers and take care of the ball more.”

The Bobcats’ final two games are away from home. The first at Yale April 26, followed by a trip to Siena April 30 for the final conference game of the season and these seniors’ collegiate careers.