By Matt Strauss
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s soccer team heads to Newark, Delaware to take on the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens on Friday evening. The Bonnies have charged off to a great start this season and will carry their undefeated mark of 4-0 into the weekend, which also includes a match against NJIT on Sunday.
The Bonnies have to be thrilled with their offensive output in their first four games. They have tallied 13 goals in their four wins, which is more than half of last season’s total of 22 goals, which took them 19 games to reach. After this weekend, it is probably fair to say that they will have surpassed their 2011 total of 15 goals.
However, Bonaventure’s opponent tomorrow evening will be of equal offensive prowess. The Blue Hens hold a 3-1 mark early in the season, with their only loss coming in a double-overtime thriller. Delaware, like the Bonnies, has 13 goals over their first four games, translating to a 3.25 goals per game average, which is an enormous number for the sport. Delaware’s three wins were each three-goal efforts against UNLV, Manhattan, and Seattle in overtime. All three were home games for the Blue Hens. Their lone loss came against Big East-member Seton Hall in double overtime.
Delaware’s major threat is Guillermo Delgado, a 5-8 freshman from Spain. He has six of Delaware’s first 13 goals on the year. He has generally been fed by fellow Spaniard, senior forward Roberto Gimenez, who leads the team in assists early on in the campaign.
The speedy and dangerous striking attack of Delaware will be a lot to handle for the Bonnies back line and keeper Jeremy Figler, who has been brilliant so far this season. The University of Buffalo transfer has recorded 20 saves, while giving up only one goal in each of the Bonnies’ wins.
In great form offensively for the Bonnies is a trio of seniors: Nicholas Perillo, Emmett O’Connor and Brad Vanino. Perillo leads the team with four goals, while Vanino has netted two goals to go with his eam-high four assists. As for Emmett, his stellar start saw him break the school record for career assists, with his 23rd overall and third of the year in a five goal rout of Howard last Sunday. These three Bonnies totaled five goals and three assists amongst themselves in the two games at Duquesne University this past weekend.
Bonaventure will have a big test this evening, but the team feels they have prepared well for it and are looking forward to getting back to it after four days of training and film. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. in Delaware, and weather.com predicts a nice 70 degrees and partly cloudy evening for the match.
University of Delaware Quick Facts – University & Team
- A public and private university founded in 1743
- Just under 16,000 undergraduates
- An endowment of $1.09 billion
- They are conference members of the Colonial Athletic Association, the same conference that gave us Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason
- The Fightin’ Blue Hens best season was in 1968, which included a Round of 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament
- They have three NCAA tournament appearances, the most recent of which came in 2011