RICHMOND, Va. – The St. Bonaventure University men's soccer team saw its Cinderella season come to an end on Sunday night with a 4-1 loss at No. 22 VCU in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals. Sophomore Jacob Dyck scored the lone goal for the Bonnies.
The Bonnies, seeded seventh in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, end their season at 8-9-2 overall while second-seeded and nationally ranked VCU improves to 11-5, advancing to play in the conference semifinals this week in Dayton.
It was a contest that was played much closer than the final score as the match was tied through 65 minutes and played at a one-goal spread through the 71st minute.
The Rams controlled the pace of play in the early going and broke through midway through the first half for the game's first goal. Siad Haji struck for a goal in the 27th minute, handing the Rams a 1-0 lead. Haji dribbled through multiple defenders, finishing at near post for the VCU advantage.
The 1-0 score would remain through intermission, but after halftime the Bonnies would gain some momentum.
With the Bonnies mounting an attack, the visitors were awarded a penalty kick opportunity following a Rams foul in the box during the 58th minute. The PK sailed wide, though, leaving the Bonnies down a goal.
St. Bonaventure would soon get on the board, however.
Dyck would score the equalizer in the 61st minute after the Rams' goalie mishandled a cross, tallying his second goal of the season. Freshman Nicola Bonso fought with a Rams defender to the right of the net, with the loose ball dribbling out to Dyck. The sophomore was able to chip in his effort from 10 yards out for the 1-1 tie.
Unfortunately for the Bonnies, that tie would be short-lived.
Rafael Santos' free kick in the 66th minute found the back of the net for VCU to retake the lead, 2-1.
VCU would tally a third goal in the 72nd minute by Luc Fatton. The Rams would add another goal in the 82nd minute with Santos' second score of the night.
The Bonnies had eight shots on the night, three of which came on goal. Dyck, Kieran Toland and Nwafornso led the way with two shots apiece. Goalkeeper Luke Iacobellis made seven saves in net for the Brown and White.
The 2017 season campaign will be remembered as a turning point for the growing Bonnies program. Head coach Kwame Oduro's group increased their win total for the third straight year, reaching the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time since 2010. The Bonnies' eight wins were also their most since the 2013 campaign.
Bona has much to look forward to as well as the core of this year's team will largely remain intact. Seniors Kyle Kleckner, Paul Afful, Kieran Toland and Peter Routsis all played in their final games Sunday night and helped set the foundation for the Bonnies. During their careers, the Brown and White improved from a one-win campaign three years ago to an A-10 Tournament berth this fall. Toland, meanwhile, finishes his Bonnies career having started 63 of 66 games played with 11 goals and eight assists for 30 career points.
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