Three Keys To The Game
- A penalty kick goal in the 69th minute helped the sixth-ranked Cardinals overcome a valiant effort from upset-minded St. Bonaventure
- Kosi Nwafornso gave Bona the early lead with a PK goal of his own in the 15th minute
- Luke Iacobellis turned in an outstanding effort in net, making five saves including turning away a Cardinals penalty kick chance
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The St. Bonaventure men's soccer team faced a tall task in its season-opener Friday night.
For one, there was the over 500-mile, eight-plus hour trek to the Bluegrass State.
Once there, the Bonnies were facing a Louisville squad that ranks sixth in the national Top 25 poll, reached last year's Elite Eight and received two first place votes in the ACC Atlantic Division preseason poll.
The Bonnies were undaunted, however, and maintained some of the momentum generated at the end of last season that gave the Brown and White their own memorable campaign.
In the end, though, it would be a penalty kick goal from the Cardinals in the 69th minute that sent host Louisville to a 2-1 victory.
St. Bonaventure will be remembered by Louisville as a side that battled to the wire, however.
In the 15th minute, the Bonnies were awarded a penalty kick opportunity. St. Bonaventure did not waste it as Kosi Nwafornso buried his attempt into the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage. The Bonnies were awarded the penalty kick when Louisville was whistled for a handball on a Bona crossing attempt in the box.
Louisiville evened the score, however, just under seven minutes later when Kino Ryosuke collected a cross from Tate Schmitt and finished with a shot into the upper right of the net for the tie.
The squads remained tied at 1-all until late in the second half – in large part to Luke Iacobellis. The Bona keeper came up with a huge save on a penalty kick attempt by Schmitt in the 51st minute to keep the score in a deadlock.
Another penalty kick later in the second period would be the difference, however.
The Cardinals would take the lead for good as the PK attempt off the foot of Geoffrey Dee found the net to break the tie following a Bona foul in the box.
From there, Iacobellis kept the Bonnies within striking distance with a pair of impressive saves in the waning minutes, but the Cardinals defense held on for the victory.
Nwafornso put together an impressive performance on the night, finishing with three shots including two on net.
Next up for the Bonnies is a trip home as they have their first match of the season at the Marra Athletics Complex Sunday afternoon vs. Robert Morris. That contest is slated to begin at 2 p.m.
- By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications
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