OLEAN, N.Y. — With just four games left in the regular season, the St. Bonaventure men's lacrosse team has looked like one of the more premier groups in the country.
Since becoming a program in 2017, the men’s lacrosse team has won just five games. The Bonnies had several cancellations due to COVID, and quite frankly, as many college teams have faced, they dealt with a tremendous number of setbacks from the pandemic alone.
But with things shifting in a more positive way this spring, Bonnies head coach Randy Mearns, who also happens to be a former Buffalo Bandit, has lifted the program to historic heights.
The team has seven wins so far this season, which is more wins than the last three years combined. St. Bonaventure is on a tear heading into the final month of the regular season.
Randy Mearns commented on the teams success by saying: "Resulting of all that hard work we have been seeing some success, I am excited for our guys, but we still have a long way to go.”
Along way to go, meaning conference and maybe the NCAA tournament.
The goal for the team isn’t to settle for less than the best; it's aiming for the NCAA tournament. Two seniors, Cian Collins and Ryan Burns, told Mearns when they were freshman that by the end of their college careers, making the NCAA tournament is something that they feel is within reach.
A few years later, and it is clearly attainable.
“That is the long-term goal with all of our seniors," Randy Mearns said as he got up from the interview and said, "hold on real quick," running to the corner of his office to grab a photo off the shelf.
"I hope you can see this, it’s something Cian Collins and Ryan Burns gave me when they came to school as a freshman."
Mearns was talking about a photo frame with spots for four total photos. The first three photos were filled in, and the last one was left vacant with a sticky note, reminding coach that is where the NCAA tournament photo will go. You basically fill it in; you need to get to the NCAAs, Mearns said, to fill the frame.
The next step toward getting that picture in the frame is April 9, when the Bonnies host defending league champions, Monmouth.
It is also worth noting that for the first time in program history, the Bonnies swept the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference weekly awards this past week.
Junior Jake Rosa earned Offensive Player of the Week; senior Brett Dobson was named Defensive Player of the Week; and freshman Trent Grainger took both Rookie of the Week and Faceoff Specialist of the Week accolades.
St. Bonaventure is now 7-2 overall this season and 2-0 in MAAC play.