Bona men break dry spell against Canisius

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Akim Hudson

Coming into Tuesday night’s matchup, the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team carried a nineyear losing streak against the Canisius Golden Griffins. 

The Bonnies overcame that, however, as they defeated Canisius 3-0 at the Marra Athletics Complex. 

Missed opportunities and great defense were the motifs of the game early in the match.  

Both teams were fortunate enough to be presented scoring chances on numerous occasions, but both were plagued by overshooting and miscommunication. 

But a shift in momentum emerged as a red card was drawn on St. Bonaventure. 

Bonnies defender Jon Michael-Perkins was ejected from the match, and much of the crowd was appalled by the decision the official.  

Shortly after, St. Bonaventure’s Isaac Bomah broke the ice and scored the first goal of the match off of an assist from Jacob Dyck, at approximately the 1:02 mark.  

Being a man short, the Bonnies entered the second half of the match facing adversity, yet motivated. 

After a chippy start to the second half, a slight altercation on a corner kick resulted in Canisius’ Manuele Cavazzoli being handed a red card, and being ejected with approximately 26:47 left in the match. 

Then, with about 10:39 left in the match, Jacob Dyck found the back of the net off of an assist from Luca Nicastro to advance the Bonnies’ score to 2-0.  

Over the last 10:00, it seemed apparent that St. Bonaventure was on its way to finally breaking its losing streak against Canisius. 

If the second goal wasn’t enough assurance, within the last 3:00 of the match, Fredrik Hansen of St. Bonaventure put the nail in the coffin with a third, off an assist by Callum Beattie. 

The Bonnies had beat their rival for the first time in eight matches.     

Bona coach Kwame Oduro said it felt great to “finally beat” his former mentor, coach Dermot McGrane of Canisius.  

A somewhat unintentional birthday gift for Oduro added a subtle sweetness to this great victory.  

When asked what about the team’s expectations for this season, Oduro said that “every year we try to get into the playoffs.” 

The next Bona home game will be this Saturday versus VCU at the Marra Athletics Complex.  

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Bona men fall short to Hartford

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Hayden Robinson

The St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team fell short in a 1-0 loss to the Hartford Hawks on Sunday. his loss brings the Bonnies season record to 1-3. 

Hartford was the first to tally one on the scoreboard, as it scored its first goal in the 11th minute of the first half.  

The Bonnies had many opportunities to score throughout the first half, but none resulted in a goal.  

Junior midfielder Fredrik Hansen had a very good look in the 36thminute, but it was blocked on its way to the net.  

Hansen led the team with two shots in the game. Despite their lack of scoring, the Bonnies outshot the Hawks 7-3 in the first half.  

The second half would result in more of the same for the Bonnies. 

The Hawks would not let the Bonnies score, however, allowing just two shots throughout the second half. There were also some opportunities for Hartford to score, but the Bonnies defense made sure none of them would make it past the goalkeeper.  

The Bonnies accumulated nine shots on the day, outshooting the Hawks, who had six shots. 

The Bonnies have scored just two goals in their first four games of the season. Head coach Kwame Oduro talked about their inefficiency scoring after the game.  

“We have to just be a little more composed in front of goal,” he said. “We’ve got to keep being positive and hopefully the ball will start going into the net for us.” 

The Bonnies will be hosting Little Three rival Canisius on Sept. 17.  

In their preparation for their Tuesday game, coach Oduro said, “What we can do on Monday is just make sure we get the lactic acid out from our boys and then kind of walk through and get ready for Canisius which is another tough game.” 

The Bonnies will look to add a win to their record under the lights, as the game’s start time is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

Men’s soccer: Bonnies battle to scoreless draw with Binghamton

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

On an unusually cold September night, the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team fought to a scoreless draw with visiting Binghamton Wednesday night.

Each team would have its chances early on, but the Bonnies (1-8-1) threatened first when Jimmy Barrios took a shot just inside the 18 off a Kieran Toland pass. The Bearcats (5-4-1) would respond in the 13th minute of action when Zach Galluzzo fired a shot inside the box, but Bonnies goalkeeper Bobby Diaz was there to make the save.

While maintaining possession continued to be an issue for the Bonnies’ offense, their defense held its shape and cleared the ball with a purpose.

“Defensively this game was a lot better,” said sophomore Kieran Toland. “We kept our shape well and moved the ball around better.”

Improving the defense has been coach Kwame Oduro’s main focus this season, but the Bonnies look uneasy on the offensive side of the ball.

“(Offensive possession) is getting better with every game,” said Toland. “We just need to get a finishing touch. We work the ball up and get crosses, but nothing is ever there.”

In the second half, St. Bonaventure’s best opportunity came from Barrios and Kosi Nwafornso. The freshman sailed a header 10 yards wide of the net off the senior midfielders cross.

Binghamton nearly scored with 40 seconds left in the second overtime period when Alex Varkatzas put a shot on net, but Diaz was able to punch the ball up and over the crossbar. The redshirt senior finished with four stops on the night and is currently leading the Atlantic 10 in saves.

The Bonnies will be back in action on Saturday night at home as they take on rival Buffalo in their last non-conference match up of the season.

Men’s soccer: New journey begins for Oduro, Bonnies

By Katie Faulkner

With the official start of the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer season looming, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the ability and mental toughness of this team.

With a 1-15 record last year, the Bonnies needed to make changes throughout the entire program. Although they did not win a conference match last season, the addition of eight freshmen and five transfers has the community feeling hopeful.  However, the athletes aren’t the only fresh faces.

After 10 years and a steady streak of disappointing seasons with the Bonnies, Mel Maher resigned from his head coaching position. The St. Bonaventure staff knew it would take a unique individual to step in and create an immediate impact.

From West Africa to Western New York, the Bonnies found their coach in Kwame Oduro. Appointed as only the seventh coach in program history, Oduro seized this opportunity for the chance to follow his dreams and better his young family.

Over the past four years, the Ghana native served as the assistant coach at Canisius College. During his time under head coach Dermot McGrane, Oduro helped the Golden Griffins set a school record for wins in a season. In addition to his obligations at Canisius, Oduro is also the coach for the New England Revolution Empire Youth Club team.  During his time there, he has led them to two state cup championships.

Oduro is stepping into similar circumstances at Bonaventure as he was when he entered Canisius and its struggling program. However, he has not let he difficult task at hand deter him from his main objective- to win more games.

Humble, quiet and pragmatic, Oduro placed his primary point of importance on the simple notion of hard work.

“It’s going to take a lot of guts, a lot of hard work and perseverance,” said Oduro on what it will take to be competitive in the A-10 this season. “We need to dig deep and fight through adversity.”

As of right now, the Bonnies’ leading weakness is the failure to block out errors and remain mentally resilient throughout the duration of the game.

How does Oduro plan to combat that?  His leaders must step up.

After a long pause and a heavy sigh, Oduro stressed the importance of leaving the past in the rearview mirror.  “I need my leaders to stay positive. Over the years there has been a lot of negativity on this team and I need them to step up and be positive now.”

Of the Bonnies’ 15 losses last season, 12 of them were shutouts. Overall, they took 146 shots and only six of those were goals. They averaged 9.1 shots per game and only recorded a total of four assists on the year.

“I’m not worried about the shots on goal,” said Oduro.  “I’m worried about the goals we score.

Optimism is one thing, but what will it take for the Bonnies to execute this season?

“The main focus this preseason has been defending,” said the former Niagara University MVP.  “We’re trying to cut down on goals allowed in order to get more opportunity on the offensive end.”

Not only must the players rise above adversity on the field, they are also expected to succeed in the classroom.  With an impressive resume himself, coach Oduro does not take school lightly. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Niagara in 2007.  He received MAAC All-Academic Team honors, while also earning a place on the 2005 ESPN The Magazine All-District Second Team. Oduro also obtained a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Nyack College and sports administration from Canisius.

“I don’t mess around with school,” said Oduro.  “If you don’t do well in the classroom, then I don’t trust you can do well on the field.”

Things are already looking up for the Bonnies, as they beat NJIT last night in a stunning 2-1 victory.  Kieran Toland netted both goals, the second coming with just seconds left in the first overtime period.  He also controlled the midfield, something they lacked last season.  Bobby Diaz recorded eight saves in the net, but what really stood out was the redshirt senior’s vocal leadership and constant encouragement.

“We still got a long way to go, but they are putting the effort in,” said the first-year head coach.

The Bonnies take on Hartwick on Monday with a chance to improve their record to 2-0, which would already be an improvement from last season.

New season.  New coach.  New expectations.