RICHMOND, Va. – St. Bonaventure put a scare into Dayton but ultimately fell, 4-1, on Friday night in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Soccer Championship at Sports Backers Stadium.
The fourth-seeded Bonnies held a 1-0 lead for over 72 minutes of the contest against the top-seeded and heavily favored Flyers, who are one of the top scoring teams in the nation. Sophomore striker Lauren Hill (above) gave St. Bonaventure the lead in the 14th minute when she took a feed from classmate Abby Maiello and blasted it by Dayton keeper Elizabeth James. It was Hill's fifth goal of the season.
That the score remained 1-0 for as long as it did was due to the brilliant play of Bonnies' senior keeper Megan Junker and her defensive teammates, who held off shot after shot by Dayton. The Flyers out-shot the Bonnies 22-3 in the first half and 35-5 for the game.
Dayton finally put a shot home in the 72nd minute when Nicole Waters took a corner kick and Megan Herr headed it by Junker. The game-winning goal came just two minutes later when Kelsey Smigel crashed into Junker, who had come out of her net toward a loose ball. The ball popped off Junker, then Smigel and into the net as Junker was shaken up on the play.
Dayton added two late goals as the Bonnies pushed forward in an attempt to tie the game, but the final score was in no way indicative of how close the match was. Junker finished with 13 saves.
St. Bonaventure ends its season with a record of 8-10-1. Dayton improved to 14-5-1 and will face LaSalle in the A-10 championship game on Sunday afternoon.