By Jeremy Castro
The St. Bonaventure University women’s soccer team has been on the wrong side of the win column more often than not this season.
With a record of 0-5 and battling its fair share of injuries, from the outside looking in, the season might seem lost.
However, those within the team itself paint a much different and much more positive image of what is yet to come. Brittney Tubiolo, a senior defender, sees the previous losses as a result of the team not taking their chances.
“We just haven’t capitalized on our chances during games,” Tubiolo said. “We have been working in practice to be able to actually capitalize on those opportunities. We have been learning to attack space in the attacking third [of the field] and getting forward. We are also working on the final pass, getting to goal, so we can score more goals.”
Out of their first five games, the Bonnies have only scored one goal, that being in the first game of the season against the University of Binghamton.
“We are frustrated because we haven’t been winning, but we have been playing with a lot of higher energy, especially in our last game, and I think we will keep bringing that energy, just to work hard and put in as much effort as we can,” said Tubiolo.
Coach Steve Brdarski, who is entering his fifth season at the helm of the Bonaventure women’s team, repeats many of Tubiolo’s sentiments.
“With every team, you start a new process,” Brdarski said. “You have lots of challenges. First is getting the team to grow as a team. I think the girls have done a well enough job of getting to know each other and have been great teammates.”
The tactical side of the sport is also something Brdarski and the team are doing their best to improve on.
“You’ve got to adjust to the way people play,” Brdarski said. “Part of that adjustment is finding the right players for the right spots, finding the right combinations, learning about each other on the field and I think that is difficult.”
In terms of the lack of scoring, Brdarski agrees with how important it is that the team starts scoring.
“Obviously, we need to score more goals, and that has to be a focal point for us every single day. You don’t win games if you don’t score goals,” Brdarski said.
However, he does understand there is more to it than just that.
“But I think the bigger part for us is getting everyone on the same page, playing for the same cause, moving in the same direction, and give the same effort for a full 90 minutes,” Brdarski said. “If we can do that, I think a lot of things will change for us.”
The next two games on the schedule bring University of Massachusetts Lowell to the Marra Athletics Complex on Thursday, Sept. 7 and takes the Bonnies to Canisius College on Sunday, Sept. 10.
“Two games where we could easily win the games or we could easily lose the games,” Brdarski said. “UMass Lowell has been fighting, and I think they are a gritty team. Canisius has had a really good start to things, playing their own style and getting results from it.”
Coach Brdarski went on to talk about how important these next two games are in regard to getting to team reading for conference play.
“The biggest thing about conference play is that you want to defend your home field and get points on the road. We have two games this week where those are exactly the things.”
Conference play is a major part of the Bonnies’ season. Their first conference game is Sept. 21, when they take on the Billikins of St. Louis University. Both the coaches and the players know how important this is to their season.
“The first and [the] biggest thing is putting together ninety minutes of solid soccer. I think we have had some moments where we have been up and down. You obviously want to be consistent. The second biggest thing is that we have to score goals,” Brdarski said “We have talked to the freshmen a lot about what conference games are like.”
Tubiolo is in her last season as a college athlete. Even though the beginning of the season has had its struggles, she wrapped up her interview with one poignant and positive phrase:
“Anything can happen in conference.”