By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20
A goal in the 12th minute of action proved to be the difference as Saint Louis slipped past the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team on Bona’s Senior Day at the Marra Athletics Field Complex on Saturday.
Prior to the game, St. Bonaventure honored its six seniors- Bobby Diaz, Ryan Zebuth, Jimmy Barrios, Breno Calegari, Mitch Skrabacz and Michael Pingelski.
The Billikens (8-5-2, 4-1-2 Atlantic 10) set up what would be the game-winning play after being awarded a corner kick early in the first half. St. Louis’ Joe Saad found Vince Cicciarelli, who blasted a header into the upper left corner of the net and past Bona goalkeeper Bobby Diaz.
Diaz, a redshirt senior, made five saves for the Bonnies (2-15-1, 1-6-0 Atlantic 10), including two one-on-one situations coming in the second half.
“It’s a sour note to go out on on senior night, but we played well and only gave up one goal,” said the New Jersey native.
Although he is not an official captain, Diaz embraced a leadership role this season and became the team’s number one source of motivation when things got quiet on the field.
“As a fifth-year guy, people looked to me for support and encouragement, said Diaz. “I had to be loud and tell people where to be. It’s a role that I embraced, appreciated and took for what it was.”
With 1,166 minutes in goal and 82 saves on the year, any goalkeeper would be entitled to bragging rights. Instead, Diaz focused on the experience of playing for Kwame Oduro and the new era of Bonnies’ soccer.
“Coming up here for the fifth year and Kwame’s first year was a big deal,” said Diaz. “It’s a new era for the program.”
While Oduro and the Bonnies may not have had the record they hoped for, they will return many players from this team and continue building on the progress made thus far.
St. Bonaventure concludes its season next Saturday at St. Joseph’s.