Bona men’s soccer navigates through spring season; awaits its “peak”

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — After a long delay, the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team returns to the pitch.  

Though the team’s season usually starts in the fall, COVID-19 concerns delayed its season until the spring. Nonetheless, the team welcomes the return of its sport.  

“When you’re away from the game for a while, I think it really makes you think,” goalkeeper Trevor Wilson said. “It made me realize how important it is to me.” 

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the Bonnies have a shortened schedule this season, consisting of only eight games in the regular season.  

“I think college soccer, in general, is pretty unorthodox,” Wilson said. “I wouldn’t say its concerning, you just have to adjust.” 

Though the team plans to adjust to the strange season upcoming, head coach Kwame Oduro has kept the same mentality throughout the extended offseason. He wants his club to treat this season just as any other. 

“Nothing has changed in what we are trying to accomplish,” Oduro said. “We take this season as serious as any season.” 

Luckily for Bona, they have several returning pieces with a foundation in place. The additional time before playing games granted the team the opportunity to develop their chemistry on the pitch.  

“Last year, most of the guys, including myself, were new and hadn’t played together a lot,” Wilson said. “We’ve come together in terms of knowing our system better, knowing how to play together.” 

One of the notable players early, Shea Currey, a senior, scored two goals in SBU’s first two matches. His leadership and playmaking have combined to give Bona a boost to begin the season.  

“He’s been one of our best players, not just a good leader,” Oduro said. “He’s always under control, calm on the ball, and it allows us to play through him and keep possession.” 

Along with Currey, Coach Oduro noted the development of senior Jaaziel Thompson and junior Cuneyt Vardar.  

“[They are] two guys who have stood out so far in our season,” Oduro said. 

The Bonnies won all three of their non-conference matches, doing so in dramatic fashion. All three were decided by one goal, and two matches had at least one overtime period.  

“I would rather just win, not in the dramatic fashion, I just want to win,” Oduro said. “But to do it the way we are doing it shows that we are mentally tough.” 

With much of their season still to go, the Bonnies believe they still have room to grow. Coaches and players have stressed hitting their “peak.” 

“I’m very excited to see what we’re capable of, because I think we have a lot of talent,” Wilson said. “I don’t think we have hit our peak yet.” 

Oduro also expressed excitement in his team’s search for its peak. 

“I don’t think we’ve played a complete game with everyone playing well,” Oduro said. “If that’s the case, and we’re winning, when we hit our peak, we can be better.” 

The Bonnies have amassed a 3-2-1 overall record. They lost back-to-back games to Duquesne and Saint Louis to begin Atlantic 10 play before working to a 1-1 draw at Dayton.

Bona will continue to search for its peak, but COVID-19 will continue to be the threat lurking outside the lines. Oduro has acknowledged the significance of the pandemic, but realizes his role in keeping his team focused on the season in front of them.  

“Whatever obstacle we encounter, it’s my job to find a way to get through it,” Oduro said. “We can’t use the pandemic as an excuse to be mediocre; we have to rise above it.” 

SOCCER FEATURE: Currey enters senior season leading by example

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — In the uncertain times of a global pandemic, the most important things to have on any athletic team are leadership and experience.  

As the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team prepares for an unusual season, it turns to older players such as Shea Currey to set the tone for the program going forward. 

“He has a big part to play, on the field and off the field,” said Kwame Oduro, head coach of men’s soccer at SBU. “He has been an excellent role model for our young guys and the new guys coming in.” 

Oduro spoke very highly of the senior midfielder, who has developed his own methods of leadership on the team.  

“He’s kind of a guy who does it quietly, on the sideline or in the locker room individually,” Oduro said. 

Currey was named by the team as a captain for the season, which is scheduled to start during the spring semester. This is his fourth and final season as a Bonnie. 

Currey’s journey to St. Bonaventure has not been an ordinary one. He and his family moved from Liverpool, England to Orlando, Florida, where he attended Montverde High School. 

Leaving Orlando to come to SBU presented some challenges, but he wasn’t alone.  

“From the beginning I felt like I always I had friends, family, people I could rely on,” Currey said. 

The years at Bona’s have been very special for Currey. He has been on the soccer team for the past three years, and now in his last year, he is looking to give back.  

“Now as a senior, I am just trying to give back what I’ve been taught from the seniors, and just keep traditions going, and keeping that family feel,” he said. 

COVID-19 has posed many problems for student-athletes and coaches in all sports. Despite this, Currey looked toward the positives of the current situation and was thankful to be back out on the field.  

“We’ve got to make the most out of our time on the field and try and get better for when the games do come back,” he said.  

Improvement has been something Currey has focused on, and Oduro has seen the developments in his game. 

Oduro wanted the team to stay motivated in a strange offseason. Specifically, for Currey, he wanted him to clean up his first touch on the ball. He raved about the strides Currey has made in the offseason.  

“It’s been miles apart in [his] technique and work rate, and just the cleanliness of [his] touches and [his] passes,” Oduro said. 

Currey acknowledged the improvements he has made, but continued to keep a selfless approach to the season and staying ready for when the time comes. As a captain, he believes he will be prepared and knows his job in making sure his team is ready as well.  

Currey also described his experience with fellow senior and teammate Francesco Caorsi.

Caorsi and Currey each play midfield, and compete against each other often in practice.  

“For me, I just like going up against him because he is really good,” Currey said. “He definitely helps bring out the best in me for sure.” 

Whichever way the season turns out, Currey will be ready to lead by example and take the improvements he made in the offseason and translate them to game action on the field.  

“I’m just going to keep working hard, keep doing what I’m doing, and just try to perform my best when the time comes,” he said.