ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – On a cold, rainy night Nicola Bonso's goal in the 59th minute propelled St. Bonaventure men's soccer to a 2-1 upset over No. 22 VCU on Wednesday to clinch a berth to the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
With the win St. Bona not only clinches a spot in the A-10 Tournament, the Bonnies also finish with a record of 8-8-2, along with a 4-4 record in the Atlantic 10 following their fourth straight win. The last time the Bonnies had a record of .500 or better was in 2010, which was also the last time Bona made the A-10 Tournament. St. Bonaventure also has a four-game winning streak in Atlantic 10 play for the first time since 1999.
Bonso buried a shot after receiving a pass off a corner from Kieran Toland to give the Bonnies the lead 15 minutes into the second half. It was the third goal for Bonso and Toland's team-high sixth assist of the season. It was a lead St. Bonaventure would not relinquish.
VCU took the momentum right away. The Rams got on the board first in the fourth minute when the Bonnies turned the ball over in their own half and Rafael Santos capitalized to find the back of the net.
The Rams' lead would not last long.
Toland found enough space on the left corner of the box on a pass from Kwame Opoku. Toland then fired a finesse shot that found the upper-90 of the net, giving VCU goalkeeper Mario Sequeira no chance to save it. It was a beautiful, high-arching strike that bent around the post and past the VCU keeper. For Toland it marked his fourth goal of the season while Opoku registered his second assist on the year.
Goalkeeper Luke Iacobellis made a diving save coming off a chip shot from the Rams in the 22nd minute to keep the game level at 1-1. With the clock ticking under a minute, he sealed the win by punching away a corner kick.
The Brown and White were efficient with their shot selection on Wednesday only having five total shots, four of those shots being on net. Toland led the Bonnies with two shots. The Bonnies celebrated with what was a sizable crowd considering the conditions as the final seconds ticked away.
"That was a good win against a very good team," said head coach Kwame Oduro. "That just goes to show that in the A-10 anybody can beat anybody. It was a heck of a performance from goalkeeper to the forwards. I very proud of our team and what we were able to accomplish here tonight."
The Bonnies will play at a site and time to be determined with the release of the Atlantic 10 bracket coming late Wednesday night.
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