By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
Any St. Bonaventure-Canisius athletic contest is one to circle on the calendar. The Big 4 rivals have never liked each other, due in large part to geography (the campuses are located an hour and a half from each other, and some families have a student or students at each school) and the nature of college sports fandom.
The Bonnies and Golden Griffins will write the newest chapter in the rivalry when they take the pitch for a women’s soccer showdown on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo.
Both teams are looking to rebound from losses in their previous games. The Bonnies lost their season opener 2-1 at Binghamton last Friday, while the Griffins dropped a 3-0 contest at Old Dominion last Sunday after a record-breaking 16-1 victory over Hampton in their season-opening match.
There were plenty of positives and negatives to take from SBU’s first match, which head coach Steve Brdarski called a “typical first game.”
“We created chances and did not quit,” he said. “We showed some good moments and (in the) first 45 minutes we were organized defensively.
“We had a few defensive moments where we need to have better decision-making and do a better job dealing with the pressure and long balls (Binghamton) used in the second half.”
The game featured a penalty kick for each side, both of which were converted. Senior forward Stephanie Jenkins booted one past past Bearcats goalkeeper Katie Katziyianis in the 21st minute, while Binghamton’s Stephanie Church was able to score on Bona keeper Beth Moore in the 48th.
“I think the PK (Binghamton got was very unlucky,” Brdarski said. “I don’t think it was a penalty, and it took away from the command we had on the game.”
After the Binghamton loss, Bona coach Steve Brdarski said the team went back to work the first chance they got.
“We have been trying to work on being better and more efficient in the attacking third,” Brdarski said. “Our team continues to get closer and test each other everyday in practice.”
The women are testing each other without starting goalkeeper Christina Sarokon, who is being sidelined with a quad injury. Brdarski said that though the staff does not have enough information to provide a definite answer on the duration of the injury, Sarokon will miss at least the next two games.
Second-string goalie Beth Moore will start in Sarokon’s absence. The Bonnies do not have a third keeper available, and Brdarski wouldn’t divulge the contingency plan if Moore were to need to be replaced, calling it “top secret.”
“Hope we don’t have to go to that,” Brdarski said.
Bona won 2-0 in last year’s contest against the Griffs. This is their final game before Sunday’s home opener against Oakland.