Bonnies fall short in A-10 opener vs. VCU


By: Teddy Caputo  

The St. Bonaventure University women’s soccer team (0-6-4) lost on Thursday at the Marra Athletics Fields Complex to the VCU Rams (6-2) 3-0.

The match started with VCU aggressively attacking the net, with their first shot on goal coming in the second minute by sophomore CiCi Fox.  The Bonnies were fierce with on-ball defense from the start, with junior Micah Hoffbauer leading the way.  She made numerous plays during the game to prevent scoring opportunities for VCU.

However, the Rams were able to get the ball through some of the holes in the defense with crisp passes and accurate crosses, giving them numerous shot attempts early on.  All their shots missed, including two header attempts by sophomore midfielder Samantha Jarebek.

The game was still scoreless until the 44th minute when Jarebek fired a shot that went just to the right of Bonnies’ goalie Lauren Malcolm’s hands, and into the net.  The Rams’ next two goals came in the second half, with midfielder Alyssa Tallent scoring a goal in the 60th minute off a rebound. Jarebek scored her second goal of the game in the 79th minute when her shot deflected of the foot of  Bonnies senior Gretta Lacouture. The deflected shot bounced right and rolled past Malcolm into the net.

Although the Bonnies were behind for most of the game, they did not give up.  Both teams were physical throughout the match, slide tackling one another, colliding into each other and getting many fouls called in the process. There were six fouls called on the Bonnies and four called on the Rams.

The Bonnies had chances waved off by the referee, including the offsides call on junior forward Bella May late in the first half that wiped out the goal she had scored. May also appeared to have gotten tripped in the 66th minute but no foul was called.

Coach Abbey Pearson says the officiating was not to blame in this game. “We are able to handle the adversity and react to that.  Sometimes you get calls your way, and sometimes you don’t” said Pearson. “They (the officials) had an even called game, and the game wasn’t about them tonight, which is the way it should be.”

It also looked like there may have been a scuffle between Hoffbauer and Fox. “When she was pressed out, I don’t think she was expecting me to come up as fast I did, and our feet just got tripped up on each other,” said Hoffbauer.

When asked about improvements for next game Pearson said, “we need to work on connecting passes and playing a little quicker under pressure, which will come in practice. Putting more pressure on each other in practice will prepare us come game time.” Senior forward Mariah Marrero agreed with her coach’s statement. “We had a couple really good chances we could’ve put away,” said Marrero. “We just need to work on finishing and making that final pass to get through.  Once we get that down, more goals will start to come.”

The Bonnies have done well offensively this season, scoring five more goals this year already than their entire season total last year of seven. However, on Thursday the Rams outshot the Bonnies 11 to 7 and 8 to 2 in shots on goal.

I asked Hoffbauer what the Bonnies can do better moving forward, and she said although the team has improved tremendously since the start of the summer, they could do better listening to each other on the field.  “Listening is important for us, because we are talking a lot more than we did before,” said Hoffbauer, “Sometimes we need to stay a little more composed and just settle down.  If we do this, I think we’ll really be able to play around, switch up the field and really open things up on the attack.”

The Rams’ victory over the Bonnies makes the teams an even 2-2 in all-time meetings. The women’s soccer team looks for their first win of the season this Sunday when they face the Richmond Spiders (0-9) at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium in Richmond, Virginia.

College Sports Madness recognizes four soccer players

By Chuckie Maggio

When it comes to awards and recognition, the St. Bonaventure men’s and women’s soccer teams have been about as underrated as the scarves women’s coach Steve Brdarski wears on the sidelines.

However, the Bonnies received a well-deserved piece of the spotlight earlier this month. A male player and three female players were named to the Atlantic 10 Soccer Preseason All-Conference teams by

The sole recipient on the men’s team was senior defender Garrett Pasono, who was named to the second team. He is coming off of a fantastic 2013 season in which he started all 19 games, scored three goals and helped anchor a strong defense that allowed just 30 goals all season.

“It’s very humbling to be considered (for the award) and I’m proud to be a representative for the school and team,” Pasono said. “I’m excited for the season to start and am looking forward to seeing the new faces.”

“We have a pretty tough schedule ahead of us but the ultimate goal is to get to the postseason. Anything can happen from there,” he concluded.

On the women’s side, senior midfielder Brittany Charles was named to the first team, while senior forward Molly Curry and senior defender Alicia Elwell were named to the second.

Charles, who started all 19 games in 2013, has molded into an excellent distributor for this Bonnies squad, with 21 career assists. Her 10 assists last year were one shy of the school’s single-season record shared by alums Patty Boyle, Lisa Deil and Trish Quinn. One of every three goals the Bonnies scored last season was set up by Charles.

“(Brittany’s) ability to take players on 1 v. 1 and deliver great passes is very important to our team,” Brdarski said. “She is in the record books and we are hoping for her to continue that this upcoming season. She has the drive to really help our team attack, and we will look to use that.”

Curry also started all 19 games for the Bonnies last year and scored eight goals, good for a tie with Alyssa Lapp for the team lead as well as fifth-most in the Atlantic 10. Three of the eight were game-winning goals against Canisius, VCU and La Salle, adding to her career total of seven game-winners.

Continue reading “College Sports Madness recognizes four soccer players”

Soccer: Lauren Hill named A-10 player of the week

By Chuckie Maggio

The St. Bonaventure University women’s soccer team got some well-deserved recognition this week when sophomore forward Lauren Hill was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week.

Hill, from Webster, N.Y., scored the game-tying goal with seven minutes left against La Salle on Oct. 27, and scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime against St. Joseph’s on Oct. 29. Those goals helped propel the team’s win streak to four and clinch a spot in the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.

Hill expressed gratitude towards her teammates after receiving the award.

“It wouldn’t have happened without the help of the team, so I’m more happy with how we’ve been winning and how we’ve played the past few weeks,” Hill said. “The first goal, Alyssa (Lapp) pretty much did it all, then the second one Britt (Brittany Charles) played me a nice ball and I really just kicked it as hard as I could; I didn’t even know if it was going to go in so that was a really nice play.”

Continue reading “Soccer: Lauren Hill named A-10 player of the week”

Sports: #Bonnies beat GW for first A-10 win

By Matt Strauss 

The St. Bonaventure women’s soccer team welcomed the George Washington Colonials to McGraw-Jennings Field on Friday afternoon.  In a hard fought, defensive battle, the Bonnies came away with a 1-0 victory, their first conference win of the 2013 season.

The breakthrough came in the 27th minute as senior defender Taylor Broderick headed home Brittany Charles’ corner kick.  The corner was one of only three for the Bonnies all game, who were consistently good in the air in the middle of the field and in both boxes.

The Bonnies garnered the majority of the scoring chances in the first half, but George Washington’s lone shot on goal in the first half required a stellar stop by goalie Megan Junker.  Bonaventure tallied six shots in the first half, one a rip from defender Stephanie Jenkins from outside the box, but George Washington’s Nicole Ulrick was there for the stop.

The second half was a different story.  While the Colonials had more scoring chances, the Bonnies still dominated play and possession through the middle of the field.  Kate Elson and Lina Proska each had great strikes for George Washington early in the second half.  Elson hit the post from about 20 yards out, while Junker made another great save on Proska’s shot from the left side of the box.

In the last 15 minutes, the Bonnies increased their pressure on the ball in the middle of the field and in their attacking third, heckling the Colonial back line.  George Washington only had one serious scoring chance late in the game.  With about seven minutes to play, Kristi Abbate took the ball to the end line and then played a drawn ball dangerously across the face of goal, but no Colonial player was there to put it away and Stephanie Jenkins safely played the ball out of bounds.

The game got a bit aggressive late on, and the Bonnies proceeded to pick up three yellow cards in the last seven minutes, one coming due to a delay of game call.

The Bonnies are next in action at home on Sunday as they host Virginia Commonwealth University.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at McGraw-Jennings Field.

#Bonnies end non conference season against St. Francis

By Matthew Strauss

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies take on the St. Francis University Red Flash in Loretto, Pa this afternoon.  Kickoff is set for 2 in this matchup of Franciscan schools.  This will be the final non-conference game for each squad.

St. Francis enters today’s matchup with a stellar 7-2-1 record, which has been good enough to earn them six votes in the national poll.  The Bonnies and the Red Flash have three common opponents: Canisius, Niagara and Howard.  St. Francis is 3-0 against those three schools, while the Bonnies are a respectable 2-1.  The Bonnies fell to Canisius, whom the Red Flash beat handily 4-1 in their second game of the year.  The Red Flash are also coming off a big double overtime win against Penn State, the defending Big-10 Champions.

St. Francis will be difficult to wear down at the back.  The Red Flash are very stingy defensively, having given up only five goals in their first ten matches.  St. Francis has never given up more than one goal in a single game, and they have racked up five shutouts so far in the 2013 season.  Offensively, St. Francis works through senior midfielder Nick Kolarac.  Kolarac leads the team with 15 points, including seven goals.  Kolarac will be the main focus of the Bonnies back four, as they try to contain him and make sure his opportunities to create are limited.

St. Francis has a rather geographically diverse roster.  Only nine of the 29 players on the roster are from Pennsylvania.  They also have eight international players, hailing from seven different countries including Benin, New Zealand, Serbia, and Nicaragua.

The Bonnies will continue to look for production from their trio of seniors: Brad Vanino, Emmett O’Connor and Nick Perillo.  St. Bonaventure as a team has totaled 18 goals and 18 assists so far in the 2013 season.  Vanino, O’Connor and Perillo have combined for 10 of those goals and 13 of those assists.  O’Connor and Perillo are tied for the team lead with four goals apiece, while Vanino and O’Connor hold the team lead with five assists each.

If St. Bonaventure is to be successful this afternoon, they will need their trio of seniors to step up once again.  The Bonnies have been fantastic offensively this season, and they may be facing their greatest defensive challenge of the year so far today.  Bonaventure would love a victory over a nationally recognized team.  It would be the ideal end to their non-conference season and give them a great burst of momentum heading into the Atlantic-10 season, which kicks off next week in Philadelphia for the Bonnies, with matchups against St. Joseph’s and La Salle.

#Bonnies men’s soccer look to bounce back

By Matt Strauss

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies continue their tour of northeastern cities named Newark as they head into New Jersey for a match up against the Highlanders of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  After suffering their first loss of the season on Friday in Newark, Delaware, the Bonnies will look to right the ship quickly with a 1 p.m. Sunday kickoff in Newark, New Jersey.

The Fightin’ Blue Hens of the University of Delaware handed the Bonnies their first loss of the season on Friday evening in a 3-0 rout.  The Bonnies kept it a scoreless tie to the halftime break.  Shortly after the intermission, the breakout freshman from Spain, Guillermo Delgado, put one away to put the Blue Hens in the lead.  Delaware would add two goals in the last 15 minutes, including Delgado getting his eighth of the year in the 86th minute, to finish it off the 3-0 shutout.  The Blue Hens outshot the Bonnies 12-1 in the second half.

However, the Bonnies have a quick turnaround and must have their sights set on walking out of the weekend trip with a win.  That will be a test against a cagey NJIT team.  The Highlanders, who are at the beginning of only their seventh season at the Division I level, enter the matchup with a 1-3-1 mark overall.  Their lone win was their only home game of the early season, a 1-0 shutout victory over Atlantic 10-member George Washington.  The Highlanders have also had two very good showings against ranked opponents: St. John’s and Farleigh Dickinson.  These resulted in losses of 2-1 and 1-0, respectively.  NJIT’s other loss came at the hands of Sacred Heart in another 2-1 loss.  Along with the loss to Sacred Heart, the Highlanders other sketchy result was a 1-1 tie against the Virginia Military Institute.  VMI has lost each of its other four games.

As for the technical aspect of who the Bonnies are facing, NJIT is a defense-first, conservative group.  Whereas Bonaventure has scored 13 goals over their first five games, NJIT has tallied just four in their first five matches.  The Highlanders are coming off of a 10-9 season – their first since making the move to Division I.  However, they are relatively inexperienced this season having only four seniors on a roster of 28 players.  NJIT is a bit difficult to figure out and part of that can be attributed to the fact that first-year head coach Didier Orellana has been mixing things up trying to find out where everyone works the best.  17 different players have made starts in the first five games.  Bonaventure has used the same lineup for every game except for one change in the Incarnate Word win.

Even after their shutout loss on Friday, the Bonnies still boast one of the most explosive offenses in the nation.  Heading into the weekend, St. Bonaventure and Delaware held the nation’s best mark of 13 goals each in their first four games.  Along with that stat, as of Friday, Bonaventure’s Brad Vanino was tied for the nationally lead for total assists as well.  The Bonnies hope that these weapons can help them open up a Highlander defense that has only allowed six goals so far this year.  With the attack of Vanino through the midfield and fellow senior Nicholas Perillo up top (who was tied for third nationally for total points as of Friday), the Bonnies have a serious offensive threat, which will force NJIT to adjust.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at NJIT’s Lubetkin Field at J. Malcolm Simon Stadium. is predicting a lovely 71 degrees and sunny skies for kickoff, with no chance of rain throughout the afternoon.

New Jersey Institute of Technology Quick Facts – School & Team

  • Public university founded in 1881
  • Just over 7,000 undergraduates
  • An endowment of $77.6 million
  • Members of the recently formed Great West Conference (yes, New Jersey and “West” together)
  • Nicknamed the Highlanders because campus is located in area of Newark called University Heights, or the Newark Highlands

#Bonnies men’s soccer team opens season with win

By Matthew Strauss

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies Men’s Soccer team opened up the 2013 campaign with a 3-1 victory over in-state rival University of Buffalo.  The Bonnies and the Bulls faced off in front of a good crowd in the Bonnies’ home opener at McGraw-Jennings Field.

Buffalo had a couple of good chances in the first 20 minutes.  Bonaventure goalkeeper Jeremy Figler came up big on both occasions.  The first was a one-on-one opportunity for UB’s Kristian Lee-Him from the right side of the box, which Figler attacked and stopped.  The second was a shot from about 14 yards out from UB’s Braden Culver, which Figler dove to put out of play for a corner.

The Bonnies then took control, and put their first goal away at the 27 minute mark.  All-Atlantic 10 preseason choice Emmett O’Connor took the ball all the way to the end line and slotted it back for Nicholas Perrillo to slam into the back of the net.  The second Bonaventure goal came three minutes later, when Brad Beaumont put the ball away on his first touch of the game.  O’Connor got the ball into the box and tapped it past UB’s keeper, and the substitute Beaumont finished it off.

Figler made another big save in the 36th minute on UB’s Russell Cicerone.  Bonaventure also had another opportunity in the 43rd minute off of a cross from Garrett Pasono, but Beaumont’s header went just wide.  The Bonnies went into the half with a 2-0 lead.

Other than a pair of goals, the second half was much less eventful.  In the 56th minute, Emmett O’Connor added a goal to his pair of assists, by finishing a bouncing ball off of Brad Vanino’s corner kick.  UB got one back five minutes later, when Russell Cicerone used the help of a deflection to bury a shot from the left side of the box.

After the UB goal, the Bonnies took a forward off the field and settled into a 5-4-1 formation.  Coach Mel Mahler used three different lone strikers in the last half hour to heckle the UB defense.  The Bonnies sat back with ten men behind the ball for the rest of the game.  Even in a defensive formation, Bonaventure had more opportunities late.  In the 88th minute, Vanino’s breakaway attempt on the right side was stopped by the UB keeper, and Figler came up big on the other end as UB countered off of Vanino’s miss.

St. Bonaventure closed out a solid opening win after that.  The Bonnies are next in action on Sunday when they face Little 3 rival Niagara in Lewiston, N.Y.