Box Score (PDF)
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Less than 48 hours prior to their match Sunday at Robert Morris, the St. Bonaventure University men's soccer team opened the 2017 season in thrilling fashion with a 1-0 overtime victory at Bucknell.
While the season started on a high note, it didn't take the Bonnies long to one-up themselves.
Sunday afternoon at Robert Morris, the Bonnies erased a two-score deficit with less than 15 minutes to play, then capped the rally with another winner in extra time to get past the Colonials, 3-2 in double overtime.
Remi Dujardin was credited with the game-winner on a crazy play to end the game. With the game just past the 101-minute mark, the Bonnies were awarded a corner kick. Dujardin handled the corner duties for the Bonnies, directing his effort right in front where it deflected off a Robert Morris defender and caromed past the keeper for the deciding tally to send the Bonnies (2-0) into celebration.
Dujardin's corner that turned into game-winner marked the culmination of a furious comeback for the Bonnies as St. Bonaventure trailed 2-0 in the 76th minute before rallying.
After multiple chances throughout the contest, St. Bonaventure finally broke through thanks to Paul Afful, the hero of Friday night's overtime victory at Bucknell.
Afful scored his second goal of the weekend to start the Bonnies rally. He received a centering pass from teammate Kosi Nwafornso, then buried a shot into the back of the net from 20 yards out to get the Brown and White on the board.
St. Bonaventure soon found its equalizer with Afful and Nwafornso again working together on the attack.
The scoring play started with a corner kick by Afful in the 82nd minute. This time it would be Nwafornso who beat the RMU keeper, going to the far corner of the net from the center of the box on a one-touch finish.
Neither side could mount much of an attack during the first overtime period. The lone shot of the initial overtime came off the foot of Nikko Richards who forced Colonials keeper Winter Fondi to make a save.
In the second overtime period, Nwafornso created a chance just over 30 seconds in, working into the box where his shot attempt was blocked by a Colonials defender. Bona remained on the attack until the winning tally.
Robert Morris (0-2) led nearly from the outset, scoring the game's first goal in the seventh minute on a diagonal through ball from midfield off the foot of Jake Cooper. Bayley Winkel finished with a rocket to the lower left of the net for the 1-0 score.
It looked as though the Bonnies would tie things quickly, but Fondi came through in highlight reel fashion to keep the visitors off the board. The Colonials keeper denied both Nwafornso and Nicola Bonso on back-to-back shots on net in the 21st minute, with Bonso's attempt coming at point-blank range. Fondi held strong in the net, however, to maintain the Colonials lead.
That tally remained until the 63rd minute when RMU appeared to take complete control with the second goal of the day from Winkel, setting the stage for Bona's late response.
For St. Bonaventure, the outstanding opening weekend gives the Bonnies their first 2-0 start to a season since 2013. The Bonnies also improved to 3-0-2 in overtime contests the past two seasons.
Bona held a 15-10 edge in shots for the day including 3-0 during the two overtimes. Nwafornso and Afful combined for seven of those shots while Isaiah Wilson totaled three and five other Bonnies had one each.
Luke Iacobellis earned the win in the net for St. Bonaventure, his fifth career victory.
Next up for the Bonnies is a trip to the Rio Grande Valley Invitational in Edinburg, Texas next weekend for games against Texas Rio Grande Valley (Sept. 1) and Houston Baptist (Sept. 3).
Photo credit: Justin Berl
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