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@BonniesMSoccer, Buffalo To Battle For Big 4 Shield Saturday Night

@BonniesMSoccer, Buffalo To Battle For Big 4 Shield Saturday Night

THE DETAILS
St. Bonaventure (1-8-1) vs. Buffalo (4-4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 3 – 7 p.m.
Marra Athletic Fields Complex (St. Bonaventure, N.Y.)
Online Coverage - Live Stats

The St. Bonaventure men's soccer team will complete its non-conference schedule on Saturday night vs. rival Buffalo at the Marra Athletic Fields Complex. The Bulls won last year's meeting, but the last time the two teams met at SBU it was the Bonnies coming away with a 3-1 victory on Aug. 30, 2013.

 
BIG 4 SHIELD ON THE LINE
Saturday's match will decide the 2015 winner of the Big 4 Shield. Developed last year to ratchet up the local rivalries, the Big 4 (St. Bonaventure, Buffalo, Canisius, Niagara) play for the Big 4 Shield with the winner of each game taking its possession. With Saturday's game marking the final Big 4 contest of the year, the winner will hold it until next fall. Buffalo currently has possession of the shield after defeating Canisius, 4-2, on Sept. 1 and tying Niagara, 2-2, on Sept. 20. Canisius won the shield last year.


The Big 4 Shield is loosely-based on the Log O' Wood — The Ranfurly Shield awarded to victors in New Zealand's domestic rugby union competition.

Constructed by Dave Barbalato at Tony Martin Awards, the wooden shield is a pretty hefty one, with all four Division I team logos and the number "IV" placed atop the center. It also includes the text:

The holder of this shield has emerged victorious from an All-Western New York men's soccer match, and must defend it with the blue-collar work ethic, fair play and courage on which our region prides itself.

LAST TIME OUT
The Bonnies fought to a scoreless double overtime draw with visiting Binghamton on Wednesday night at home. Neither side truly gained control of the match throughout, though each team had opportunities to break through with both squads even at seven shots apiece during regulation. Bonnies keeper Bobby Diaz made a tremendous leaping save with just over 30 seconds remaining in the second overtime to preserve the tie.


NEXT UP – A-10 PLAY

After Saturday's game the Brown and White will open Atlantic 10 action by traveling to VCU next Wednesday. Then, the Bonnies return home for three straight A-10 contests – vs. La Salle (Oct. 10), Davidson (Oct. 14) and UMass (Oct. 17).

SCOUTING BUFFALO

  • The Bulls have been outstanding at home this year (4-1-1), but have struggled on the road: UB is seeking its first victory away from home, going 0-3-2 in five road matches.
  • UB has not been defeated in its last three matches – a 2-2 tie with Niagara on Sept. 20, a 1-1 tie at Stony Brook on Sept. 24 and a 2-0 home win over Cornell last Sunday.
  • Opponents have started slow against the Bulls – Buffalo has surrendered only three first half goals on the year.
  • Junior Russell Cicerone ranks second in the Mid-American Conference in goals with six. Sophomore Scott Doney has also found the net three times.
  • Sophomore Cameron Hogg has seen the lion's share of time in net this year, starting eight matches while recording a 1.18 goals against average with 29 saves. Sophomore Joseph Kuta has started three contests with a 0.93 GAA and seven saves.

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For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @Go_Bonnies and get men's soccer updates @BonniesMSoccer. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.