Men’s soccer: Bonnies fall in overtime, goalkeeper Diaz leaves with injury

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

A second half goal from Jimmy Barrios wasn’t enough to lift St. Bonaventure (1-12-1, 0-3-0 A-10) over visiting Davidson (4-6-3, 1-3-0 A-10) on Wednesday at the Marra Athletics Fields Complex.

After 106 minutes of play, Davidson broke a 1-1 deadlock when a Bonnies foul set up a free kick for the Wildcats. Nathan Marder tapped the ball to Cort Coxhead, who blasted a shot to the lower right side of the net to seal the victory in double overtime.

Continue reading “Men’s soccer: Bonnies fall in overtime, goalkeeper Diaz leaves with injury”

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Men’s soccer: Bonnies fall to Buffalo

By Mikael DeSanto

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies were shut out 6-0 by the Buffalo Bulls Saturday night in a game that decided this year’s Big 4 Shield winner.

The two teams had many opportunities in the first half, though they remained scoreless going into halftime. Defense was at the forefront of play, as the teams registered a combined seven shots in the first half. The Bonnies’ two first half shots would be their only of the game. Senior Jimmy Barrios had his shot stopped by Buffalo sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Kuta, while freshman Kosi Nwafornso’s shot was blocked. Bona’s redshirt senior goalkeeper Bobby Diaz helped to keep his team in the game by stopping all three shots the Bulls put on net.

Unfortunately for the Bonnies, sophomore Kieran Toland was injured in the 31st minute. Toland was later seen on the sidelines favoring his left ankle.

The Bulls opened the second half with a quick goal by junior Steven Stryker in the 46th minute. This was quickly followed with goals by juniors Braden Scales and Russell Cicerone, in the 50th and 55th minutes, respectively. Cicerone added his second of the game on a penalty shot in the 64th minute, while junior Daniel Cramarossa and sophomore Scott Doney scored the final two goals in the 77th and 85th minutes, respectively.

The game was a very physical one, with the teams combining for 14 fouls. Toland and fellow Bonnies player freshman Remi Dujardin received the only yellow cards.

The Bonnies will look to move on from the loss and look towards their next opponents, the VCU Rams.

The Bonnies’ next home game will be against the La Salle Explorers on October 10th, where they will look to improve on their 1-9-1 record.

Men’s soccer: Unselfish Nwafornso having stellar freshman season

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

As St. Bonaventure freshman forward Kosi Nwafornso and I prepared to sit down, coach Kwame Oduro greeted us both, looked at his player and said, “remember, this isn’t about you, it’s about the team.” After speaking to Oduro a few weeks ago, this selfless, team-first mentality was expected.

Nwafornso causes trouble for defenses due to his combination of speed and ball control. While the 170-pound forward is accustomed to success on the field, joining Coach Oduro and the struggling program has forced him to step up early.

The thought of joining a former 1-15 team would surely worry any athlete. However, Nwafornso saw the opportunity a bit differently.

“Every team has a period when things go wrong,” said the Nigerian native. “Coach recruited new players and I believed we could do better.”

Nwafornso’s approach may seem relaxed, but he will be the first one to tell you what he and the team must work on.

“I think one of our main weaknesses as a team is chemistry,” said Nwafornso. “It takes teams with good chemistry (over) a long (period of) time to get there and we haven’t been playing together for that long.”

Despite this, Nwafornso credits his leaders and their efforts to unite and encourage the team on a daily basis.

“We have great team leaders,” Nwafornso said. “Kieran (Toland) is our motivator, Bon (Bonaventure Akinlosotu) is a good leader and Eddie (Keen) just knows the game so well.”

Although he redirected most questions away from himself to discuss the team, Nwafornso was forced to recognize his own strengths.

“I think (my strengths) are speed and the ability to take on players, so I’ve been working on finishing,” said Nwafornso. “I’m a striker. The team needs me to score goals.”

The transition from high school to college sports is anything but smooth.

“Adjusting to the speed of the game has been hard,” said the former Divine Mercy Secondary School MVP. “It’s so fast and not what I’m used to.”

While the adjustment has been difficult, Nwafornso may be starting to find his niche on the field. Tallying the third goal of the season for the Bonnies and his first career goal, the freshman was named to the Radisson Invitational All-Tournament Team last weekend.

When asked how it felt to be awarded this honor as a first-year player, Nwafornso flashed a grin and looked down at his shoes, wearing his humility on his sleeve.

“It felt good, but I didn’t do it alone,” he finally said. “I was happy I made it, but I give the credit to my team.”

The Bonnies may stand at just 1-5, but their spirits remain high as they take on rival Niagara on Friday.

Men’s soccer: Bonnies drop 1-0 contest to Hartwick

By Katie Faulkner

Hartwick only needed one goal to seal the 1-0 victory over St. Bonaventure on Monday night. The Hawks would score during the 54th minute of action on a redirected shot inside the box. Wyatt Scott was given the goal and Jack Miller recorded the assist.

The Bonnies had their chances throughout the game, but could not capitalize on any of the 10 total shots. Only two of these shots were on goal, both coming in the first half. Hartwick does not have a problem moving the ball around their defense, causing the Bonnies’ offense to chase. The Hawks’ possession game also gave the Bonnies a tough time and exposed their struggling containment defense.

However, the Bonnies maintained a positive attitude throughout the duration of the game. This is something Coach Oduro has deemed crucial to the team and its possible success.  Mitch Skrabacz was a workhorse on defense playing all 90 minutes as a redshirt senior.

“Our team has a never-give-up attitude which is great,” Oduro told GoBonnies.com. “I think the last 20 minutes there showed that.”

Bobby Diaz kept Bonaventure in the game with seven saves.

The Bonnies will head to Brooklyn this week for the Brooklyn Bridge Cup. They will play Friday at 6 p.m. and again on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Bonnies soccer preview 9/13

By Matt Strauss

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s soccer team heads to Newark, Delaware to take on the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens on Friday evening.  The Bonnies have charged off to a great start this season and will carry their undefeated mark of 4-0 into the weekend, which also includes a match against NJIT on Sunday.

The Bonnies have to be thrilled with their offensive output in their first four games.  They have tallied 13 goals in their four wins, which is more than half of last season’s total of 22 goals, which took them 19 games to reach.  After this weekend, it is probably fair to say that they will have surpassed their 2011 total of 15 goals.

However, Bonaventure’s opponent tomorrow evening will be of equal offensive prowess.  The Blue Hens hold a 3-1 mark early in the season, with their only loss coming in a double-overtime thriller.  Delaware, like the Bonnies, has 13 goals over their first four games, translating to a 3.25 goals per game average, which is an enormous number for the sport.  Delaware’s three wins were each three-goal efforts against UNLV, Manhattan, and Seattle in overtime.  All three were home games for the Blue Hens.  Their lone loss came against Big East-member Seton Hall in double overtime.

Delaware’s major threat is Guillermo Delgado, a 5-8 freshman from Spain.  He has six of Delaware’s first 13 goals on the year.  He has generally been fed by fellow Spaniard, senior forward Roberto Gimenez, who leads the team in assists early on in the campaign.

The speedy and dangerous striking attack of Delaware will be a lot to handle for the Bonnies back line and keeper Jeremy Figler, who has been brilliant so far this season.  The University of Buffalo transfer has recorded 20 saves, while giving up only one goal in each of the Bonnies’ wins.

In great form offensively for the Bonnies is a trio of seniors: Nicholas Perillo, Emmett O’Connor and Brad Vanino.  Perillo leads the team with four goals, while Vanino has netted two goals to go with his eam-high four assists.  As for Emmett, his stellar start saw him break the school record for career assists, with his 23rd overall and third of the year in a five goal rout of Howard last Sunday.  These three Bonnies totaled five goals and three assists amongst themselves in the two games at Duquesne University this past weekend.

Bonaventure will have a big test this evening, but the team feels they have prepared well for it and are looking forward to getting back to it after four days of training and film.  Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. in Delaware, and weather.com predicts a nice 70 degrees and partly cloudy evening for the match.

University of Delaware Quick Facts – University & Team

  • A public and private university founded in 1743
  • Just under 16,000 undergraduates
  • An endowment of $1.09 billion
  • They are conference members of the Colonial Athletic Association, the same conference that gave us Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason
  • The Fightin’ Blue Hens best season was in 1968, which included a Round of 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament
  • They have three NCAA tournament appearances, the most recent of which came in 2011

strausmj11@bonaventure.edu