By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
When his Bonnies were down 2-0 to the Cleveland State Vikings midway through the second half on Sunday afternoon, coach Steve Brdarski was wistful about the game’s outlook.
“I thought we were done, realistically,” Brdarski said.
Bona didn’t lack chances in the first 70 minutes of the contest. Lauren Hill and Gretta LaCouture were denied a few times by Viking goalie Jamie Daniels on point-blank opportunities, while Cleveland State’s Allie Sieradzki was able to find the back of the net once in each half to put the Bonnies in an 0-2 hole.
In a six-minute stretch SBU was able to fight back, starting in the 70th minute. Freshman forward Jessica Scruggs, made her way into the box and, rather than firing a shot at net, slid a pass to senior Abby Maiello, who was able to slide in and register her fourth goal of the season to put the Bonnies on the board.
“Most forwards would have shot that, and 98 percent of them would have missed,” Brdarski said. “Sometimes all you need is that first breath.”
That first breath turned out to be all Bonaventure needed, because a half a minute later they struck again when sophomore Danielle Vis played a long thru ball into Scruggs, who provided the equalizer when she finessed a shot that beat Daniels.
“It’s funny, because last game we talked about Jess getting in and not finishing, and today she was able to get it done,” Brdarski said.
Vis continued the run of facilitators turning into scorers six minutes later when she collected a feed from freshman Marley Jarvis and rocketed a shot from the ride side of the box into the net’s left pocket.
Brdarski marveled at the game-winning play. “That goal was a bazooka,” he said. “I think she bent the post the way she hit it.”
After the comeback was complete, Bona focused on defending. Goalkeeper Christina Sarokon made a few saves and the back line thwarted any chance Cleveland State had at sending the game into overtime, improving SBU’s record to 2-2-2.
“Defensively, there were times in that game when we weren’t on the same page. In the last 20 minutes we started defending and kept it in front of us and defended a couple of set pieces well,” said Brdarski.
“That’s the sign of a team that wants it when you roll your sleeves up and do the work. As hot as it was, to see them come out and put in the work and energy to get back in this game, it was incredible.”
The Bonnies now embark on a three-game road trip and won’t play at home until Oct. 1. Their next game is at Niagara on Friday, with Cornell and Youngstown State also on the docket for the remainder of September.