By Teddy Caputo @teddy_capoots
After dropping their last two contests the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team came back in a big way this past Sunday at the Marra Athletics Complex, coming out with a 1-0 victory over the Albany Great Danes.
On a beautiful and sunny day the home crowd was filled with energy and excitement.
The Great Danes put pressure on the Bonnies early with two shots that could have changed the dynamic of the game. Senior forward Afonso Pinheiro’s shot bounced off the left post and went out of bounds. The other close call came when Bonnies goalie Luke Iacobellis deflected Great Danes’ forward Nico Solabarrieta’s shot to keep the game scoreless.
Hustle and physicality dominated the match with several fouls on both teams.
In the 47th minute a collision between Bonnies’ Kieran Toland, Kosi Nwarfornso and Great Danes’ goalie Danny Vitiello had Toland slow to get up at first, but he shook it off on the sideline and returned later.
Before the game, Toland said his team knew they needed to outwork the Great Danes if they wanted to get a victory.
“Our work rate was absolutely incredible,” Toland said. “We could have been a little bit more composed with the ball and kept the ball a little more; but we said that if we work harder than they do, then we will win the game.”
That hard work paid off in the 55th minute of the game when junior midfielder Isaiah Wilson scored after Nwafornso’s shot deflected off Vitiello and back to Wilson who chipped the ball into the goal giving the Bonnies a 1-0 lead.
Wilson said it felt good to get his third game-winner of his collegate career.
“I was a little nervous,” Wilson said. “But I remember my coach telling me to stay calm when I get around the net, and that’s what I did.”
As the game wrapped up an altercation broke out between Pinheiro and the Bonnies’ Nicola Bonso after both players made valiant efforts going for the ball and slid into each other. The scuffle was broken up immediately and play resumed.
The Bonnies held off the Great Danes’ for the rest of the game, winning 1-0.
The win marks their third of the season, giving them a 3-2-1 record on the season so far.
This was their first win after losing their previous two games against Canisius and Houston Baptist.
The Bonnies will look to carry the momentum from this home victory into their next match against Hartwick, who comes to the Marra Athletics Complex on Saturday, September 16th at 7:00 pm.