By Matt Strauss
The St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team heads to Pittsburgh today for their first of two trips to Duquesne University this season. This visit is for a pair of games in the Duquesne Invitational. The Bonnies kick off the weekend affair this evening at 5 against the Cardinals from the University of the Incarnate Word.
Incarnate Word is a Catholic institution located within the city limits of San Antonio, Texas. With an undergraduate population of just under 6,500 students, Incarnate Word is spending its first year in NCAA Division I athletics. The Cardinals, like the Bonnies, have two games under their belt heading into the Friday evening matchup. They were held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to Missouri State, but bounced back for a 4-3 win over Central Arkansas in overtime. Junior midfielder Victor Pinal scored the winner in extra time for his second goal of the game.
The Bonnies second game of the tournament will be an 11 a.m. kickoff on Sunday against Howard University. Howard is a private institution in Washington, D.C. with about 10,000 students. They are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and are nicknamed the Bison. Howard enters the weekend with a 0-2 mark overall, losing both games in the DC Cup, a tournament held annually for the surrounding Division I schools in the capital area. Howard has yet to score this season in losses to Atlantic-10 members George Mason and George Washington. After games against Duquesne and St. Bonaventure this weekend, Howard will have played its first four games against Atlantic 10 opponents. Howard has a roster of only 18 players, two of whom are seniors and seven are freshmen.
The Bonnies are looking to extend their hot start to the season with a pair of wins this weekend. Bonaventure is coming off a pair of 3-1 victories over local Western New York rivals, Buffalo and Niagara. The home opener against UB saw both Emmett O’Connor and Nicholas Perillo walk away with a goal and an assist each, while Brad Beaumont added the third tally. Then in Lewiston two days later, the Bonnies jumped all over the Purple Eagles, who are coming off a trip to the NCAA tournament last season. Kolby Banker and Steve Carcaterro each picked up goals in the first twenty minutes. Brad Vanino assisted both goals. The Bonnies picked up their third of the afternoon in the 53rd minute when Perillo scored his second of the year off an assist from Emmett O’Connor.
Six goals in their first two games is a promising number for the Bonnies. It took them six games last year and five games in 2011 to reach the six-goal mark. With a pair of three goal games, the offense is looking good and hoping to ride that form through the pair of weekend games.
The full capsule for the weekend is:
Friday, September 6
5:00 p.m. – St. Bonaventure vs. Incarnate Word
8:00 p.m. – Duquesne vs. Howard
Sunday, September 8
11:00 a.m. – St. Bonaventure vs. Howard
2:00 p.m. – Duquesne vs. Incarnate Word