By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
As September readies to give way to October, non-conference soccer action is about to give way to conference play.
The St. Bonaventure men’s and women’s soccer teams were both handed the lowest of expectations by league coaches in the preseason, as both were picked to finish last in the Atlantic 10.
The Bona men did not dispel the coaches’ lack of confidence in the first month, going 1-7-1 and scoring just five goals. Davidson and Saint Louis are the only other A-10 teams to have only one victory, but those teams played multiple power conference opponents. SBU’s 1-0 win over Niagara showed the team has potential to win close games.
The women aren’t title contenders, but they did score 10 goals in a two-game stretch as part of a 15-goal, three-win non-conference slate. They were shut out in three consecutive games after that scoring barrage, but a 2-1 win in their last contest against Bryant got them back on track for the time being.
Here are some notable stats and facts as the Bonaventure teams enter the A-10 schedule:
Leading scorers: Junior Danielle Vis leads the women in goals with four, while freshman Jacob Dyck and junior Kieran Toland lead the men with two each.
Keepers: A Bona goalie tops each A-10 saves per game leaderboard. Sophomore Luke Iacobellis has averaged 5.83 saves per match, while freshman Lauren Malcolm is averaging 5.44 stops per contest. Malcolm also leads in overall saves with 49.
Improvements: Two returning women’s players have already scored more than last year. Sophomore Marley Jarvis did not score in her freshman season but has three goals in the 2016 campaign, second on the team. Junior Alex Pochop registered the first goal of her career in the win over Niagara on Sept. 4.
Road woes: The teams are a combined 0-9 away from the Marra Athletic Complex this season.
First goal importance: The men have allowed the first goal in six of their seven losses. The women have scored first in all three of their wins.
Coming attractions: The first four teams the men face (St. Joe’s, Duquesne, Davidson and UMass) have a combined record of 11-22-3. The first four teams the women face (George Mason, George Washington, Duquesne and Fordham) have combined to go 21-12-3.