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.” 

Wilson reflects on path to Bona soccer program

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Dustyn Green

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Dreams.

Every kid has them. They will change, cause stress and lead them down a life-changing path.

In the world of sports, one of the most common dreams is to play collegiately on an NCAA Division I team. For most, this is the culmination of four years of hard work on and off your high school team.

However, that was not the case for St. Bonaventure men’s soccer goalkeeper Trevor Wilson.

“I only played one year of high school soccer,” Wilson said.

Before taking off for a development program with the Portland Timbers, which did not allow him to play high school contests, Wilson earned first-team all-league as a sophomore in high school.

His experience continued by playing on an Olympic development team, where he represented the state of Oregon.

“I played on a regional team that consisted of players from 13 states on the West Coast,” Wilson said. “The idea of it is to get to train in as professional of an environment as you can every day.”

Wilson said spots on the team are very limited, which means there are no guarantees. Players develop at a higher and faster rates due to the environment.

It goes beyond the physical training and stretches into the mental aspects of competitiveness and edge. Ultimately, these aspects are what led the senior marketing major to four years of collegiate soccer.

Wilson spent his first two campaigns at DePaul before transferring to SBU for his junior season in 2019.

Wilson wasted no time impressing the Bona faithful, or the SBU coaching staff, in his first season at SBU. He started 10 contests for the Bonnies, including a game at Dayton, in which he had a career-high of eight saves.

Wilson averaged 2.31 goals allowed a year ago, and had saved 69% of the shots that he faced.

Like most college athletes across the nation, Wilson was affected by the COVID-19 cancelation of the 2020 fall sports season, and had to grapple with the decision of how he wanted to pursue his future.

As of now, he plans to return to SBU for a fifth year.