(Marley Jarvis Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
The St. Bonaventure women’s soccer team’s performance on Sunday afternoon may have dissuaded a few young fans in attendance from wanting to be goalies.
Niagara keeper Shania van Nuland was bombarded with 19 shots- 10 on net- and allowed four goals to an SBU offense that scored more goals than it had in the first three matches combined (three).
Freshman Sydney Cerza and junior Alex Pochop scored their first collegiate goals, while junior Danielle Vis registered her first of the year and sophomore Marley Jarvis became the first player on the team to score two this season.
Bona was relentless, defending all 120 yards of the field and thoroughly outplaying the Purple Eagles from start to finish. Niagara could never get comfortable with players like Cerza, Vis, Jarvis and sophomore Jessica Scruggs in relentless pursuit of the ball. Scruggs tested the line judge’s acumen a handful of times; the offsides flag was the only thing standing in the way of a fifth goal.
If the brown and white had tallied that fifth score, it would have been the most goals the team has scored in a game since a 5-0 win over Temple in October 2008. It has scored four in just three games over the past five years, including a 4-3 win over Niagara in 2012.
After a frustrating game offensively on Friday night, when a Canisius own goal saved SBU from being shut out despite many chances, everything was clicking two days later.
“Some of it was scrappy defense, some of it was great shots,” coach Steve Brdarski said. “I told them, it could’ve been more, five or six at least. Hopefully that shows what we have in our players and gives us confidence to keep going forward.
“One of the things we told them this morning leading into the game was ‘Hey, do what you did on Friday.’ There wasn’t a lot about Friday that we didn’t like, with the exception of final passes and being able to finish.”
At times during the Canisius loss, the Bonnies held onto the ball too long and seemed to look for the perfect goal. That issue was non-existent on Sunday, as they were much less selective against a porous Purple Eagles defense.
Cerza dribbled through multiple defenders before firing a no-doubter into the back of the net. Pochop unleashed a powerful strike from outside the 18-yard box that a Spanish announcer might coin a “golazo.” Vis and Jarvis parlayed strong defense into an insurmountable lead.
“Anytime you’ve got your forwards defending, leading the defensive charge, you’re excited as a coach because if 11 players are defending like that, you’re gonna be hard to beat,” Brdarski said.
While many players impressed in the dominating victory, Cerza’s performance had fans talking. The former Buffalo News Prep Talk Player of the Year has made her presence felt, dribbling past defenders with relative ease.
Brdarski was thrilled with the Clarence, N.Y. native’s anticipation and nose for the goal.
“She thrashed that ball; there were no questions about that,” he said on the goal. “So I was very impressed.”