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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Matt Bohmer sets new men’s lacrosse scoring record

Graduate student Matt Bohmer attacks the Towson defense, Feb. 23. PHOTO COURTESY OF SJU ATHLETICS

It didn’t take long for St. Joe’s lacrosse player Matt Bohmer to find the back of the net in the Hawks’ Atlantic 10 opener against High Point March 30.

Less than a minute into the game, attacker Bohmer put St. Joe’s (7-3) on the board and etched his name in the program’s record book.

Bohmer, a graduate student, entered the game with 128 career goals, just one shy of tying the record held by assistant coach Mike Rastivo ’17, M.S. ’19. After scoring his second goal within the opening five minutes, Bohmer became the program’s leading scorer. He now has 136 career goals in 63 games.

“It honestly feels great,” Bohmer said. “It was special to do it at home, opening up conference play. I had a lot of family and friends there, which was also nice, and it’s a great honor.”

As one of Bohmer’s coaches, Rastivo stood on the sideline as he watched his school record fall. Along with Bohmer, graduate student midfielder Levi Anderson and senior attacker Carter Page are also closing in on Rastivo’s total.

“I remember the moment for myself was really special,” said Rastivo, who played from 2014-18. “No one deserves it more than Matt and Carter and those guys with the amount of work that they put in. I’m glad I got to witness it, and I’m glad they get to live it.”

Bohmer, Page and Anderson make up the trio of Hawks leading the team in points this season, with 30 each. Behind them are sophomore midfielder Jesse Jason (24) and graduate student attacker Toron Eccleston (23). The balanced attack, Bohmer noted, is something “you don’t see when you look at many Division I team stat lines.”  

“I’m just lucky to be around good players, good coaches,” Bohmer said. “I’m lucky to have been healthy for five years.”

Now in his final season with the Hawks, Bohmer had been around the program long before he arrived on campus in the fall of 2019.

“I feel like I’ve known Matt for almost as long as I’ve been at St. Joe’s,” said Taylor Wray, who’s in his 13th season as the team’s coach.

Bohmer’s recruiting process began the summer before his sophomore year at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina when he attended a camp at St. Joe’s. Wray has witnessed much of Bohmer’s transformation as a player in the eight years he’s known him.

“When he committed to come here, we knew we were getting a terrific player,” Wray said. “But I don’t think we knew how good Matt was going to be, and how steady he was going to be over the course of his career.”

Wray said that Bohmer’s physical growth was a result of the work he put in in the weight room, making him more of a physical presence on the field. He also has become a more vocal leader for his teammates as a four-year captain, giving tough love when necessary but also being his teammates’ “biggest cheerleader,” Wray said.

“I think for college student-athletes, that’s a bit of a balancing act. It takes some practice to understand you can’t be the hammer all the time,” Wray added. “He’s done a terrific job managing that, and it’s probably his best job of his five years here, now as a grad student.”

Starting in all but one game over five seasons, Bohmer has become an integral part of a program that has not lost a regular-season conference game in more than three years.

“The program has changed over the last five years at St. Joe’s, and Matt has been a big part of that transformation, and he’s had tremendous players around him as well,” Wray said. “He’s the first to compliment his teammates and give credit to others. He’s made a tremendous imprint here on the culture of our program, and the lasting one, to say the least.”

The extent of Bohmer’s impact is not lost on his teammates.

“He’s been the most energetic guy on our team every single day,” Page said. “It’s hard to put into words what he does for our team, the chemistry that he builds, whether it’s in the locker room and the social scene off the field, putting guys in early in the fall and developing that camaraderie and reinforcing our culture that we’ve developed here within the program. It’s countless times that Matt goes the extra mile to make sure guys feel welcome, make sure that our team is functioning in the right way, and it’s great to see.”

More recently, Bohmer reached his 200th career point in a game against Hobart on April 13, a milestone that no Hawk has ever reached. While Bohmer was aware of this impending milestone, going into the game, he said it is more of a testament to his teammates and a program that caters to its players’ strengths.

Instead, the goal is to not take the time he has left for granted.

“I’m humble and hungry for the next one,” Bohmer said. “My clock’s ticking. I don’t have many games left. So I’m taking each one as they come and just trying to go out there and do my best.”

An earlier version of this article was first published by the Philadelphia Inquirer April 10 as part of the Inquirer’s college correspondent program. 

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Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
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