Bonnies Fall In Season Opener To Buffalo
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The men's soccer team (0-1) opened its 2011 campaign on Friday afternoon with a 3-0 setback to Big 4 rival University at Buffalo, 3-0.
The Bonnies controlled much of the play in opening minutes. However, the Bulls (1-0) ended that momentum with a tally in 19th minute off the head of Nate Woods. Woods was the recipient of a great long throw from the left sideline by Anthony Johnson, and he found the back of an empty net.
The Bulls added to their cushion in the 37th minute, this time on an unassisted finish from Richard Craven. After Bona keeper Mitchell Mack was unable to corral a long ball into the box, Craven fired a bullet into the waning net from the top of the 18.
UB netted its third and final goal of the day in the 77th minute off the foot of Andy Tiedt. Tiedt, Buffalo's leading returning scorer, crossed the ball from his left foot to his right at the top of the box, and fired low to Mack's left side to beat the sophomore just inside the left post.
"It was a disappointing loss," head coach Mel Mahler said. "It's a tough way to start the year, but we learned a lot about ourselves and if we're to be successful in our next match and throughout the year we have to embrace tough losses like this one as a learning opportunity. We did some things well, created some good scoring especially within the first 10 minutes, two great opportunities, but didn't finish.
"We allowed Buffalo to score what I considered a soft goal on a long throw – a poor defensive effort by the entire team. Unfortunately the second goal was another breakdown in communication and execution. Down 2-0 at the half, we needed to chase the game in the second half to find a way to get back in the game. Subsequently, it caused us to be even in the back and they scored a counter-attacking goal to make it 3-0. Prior to that we had a few quality chances to even the score, but credit goes to Buffalo for tightening its defense and making some excellent defensive stops. Their fighting spirit for the 90 minutes is to be admired."
St. Bonaventure held a 10-3 shot advantage at the half, and also outshot the Bulls in the second, 6-4, but were unable to beat UB keeper Jonathan Viscosi who made eight saves on the afternoon.
Despite the loss, Mahler remains optimistic about the future as he started seven sophomore and four freshmen against UB.
"Although we are young, starting seven sophomores and four freshmen, we need to understand the pace of the game and the importance of composure while under pressure," Mahler said. "Experience will be our best teacher. We look forward to turning around and going on the road to Niagara this Sunday with the goal to perform at a more consistent level."
The Brown and White returns to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. against their Little Three rivals in Lewiston, N.Y.
Game Notes: Each team was issued a yellow card (SBU: Brad Beaumont; UB: Anthony Johnson) … 25 total fouls were committed, 16 by the Bulls and nine by the Bonnies … Mack did not record a save … the Bonnies had six corners compared to UB's three … the game was the first of an SBU doubleheader as the women's team faced off against 2010 NCAA participant Siena in the second game
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