The St. Bonaventure University men’s soccer team got back to their winning ways this afternoon, defeating the University of Albany 1-0 in front of a home crowd at the Marra Athletics Field Complex.
A rainy past few days finally cleared up, and the weather was perfect for soccer. The Bonnies came into the game riding a two-game losing streak, while the Great Danes of Albany were undefeated in their last three, scoring a combined 10 goals.
Albany started the game aggressively, pushing right out of the gate. The Bonnies had the first chance on goal, though, when senior midfielder Kieran Toland got on the end of a free kick at the back post in the 2nd minute, heading the ball over the top of the goal.
The majority of the first half was controlled by Albany, who hit the post off a shot from senior forward Afonso Pinheiro in the 15th minute. The Brown and White followed with a counter attack and a shot 13 seconds later from junior forward Kosi Nwafornso that was saved.
Junior midfielder Paul Nana Afful continued his impressive play, producing dangerous chances on offense and working hard on defense, including several tackles and blocked shots.
At halftime, the Great Danes led in shots but had only one shot on target to the Bonnies’ four.
At the start of the second half, both teams traded possession for the first 10 minutes. Then in the 56th minute, sophomore defender Jon-Michael Perkins ran onto a lofted ball down the right sideline, beat his defender and sent a low cross into the box. The ball missed Nwafornso’s outstretched foot but fell right to junior forward Isaiah Wilson, who collected himself and shot past the goalkeeper to give the Bonnies the lead.
Albany continued pushing forward to attempt to tie the game, leading to a few chances for the Bonnies. The best chance fell to junior midfielder Kwame Opoku in the 80th minute, after he and junior midfielder Isaiah Barrett had some good buildup play, but the shot was saved over the top of the bar.
Tensions began to flair as Bonaventure began to run the clock, resulting in some rough play, including yellow card offenses for Wilson, as well as Pinheiro and junior midfielder Carlos Clark for Albany.
The shots started coming in faster towards the end of the game, including two in the final two minutes from Pinheiro and sophomore midfielder Byrnjar Steinþórsson, but junior goalkeeper Luke Iacobellis continued to be a wall in goal.
Iacobellis recorded six saves throughout the game, five of which were in the second half. This is his second shutout of the season, putting the Bonnies at 3-2-1 for the season.
The Brown and White are in action again at home on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. when they take on Hartwick College.