ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Opportunity greeted the members of a young group of Bonnies forwards as the 2016 preseason began last week with each player having the chance to define their role this fall.
The St. Bonaventure women's soccer team graduated the prolific scoring duo of Abby Maiello and Lauren Hill, who accounted for 17 of the team's 25 goals last season, leaving the need for newcomers to fill those shoes.
The veteran of the group is sophomore Jessica Scruggs who is joined by a quartet of freshmen from head coach Steve Brdarski's talented 2016 recruiting class.
"We graduated a lot of our goals. We need to get young players opportunities and see what they can do in college games," Brdarski said.
Scruggs played in 15 matches last year with a pair of goals and six points, following that up with a strong spring.
Each one of the newcomers brings a decorated resume to Bonaventure – Cerza, a native of Clarence, owns her high school's scoring record with 110 career goals and helped her team to a pair of Far West Regional titles and was a First Team All-State pick the past two years, also earning Buffalo News Prep Talk Player of the Year honors.
McKearin was named the 2015 Gatorade Vermont Player of the Year and was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American last year after finishing her career with 168 goals and 50 assists for her high school team that notched three Vermont state championships.
Tona owns her high school scoring record as well with 112 goals for Pennsylvania's James M. Coughlin High, receiving All-State honors after helping key her team's PIAA D2 District Championship last fall. May received a spot on the All-Central New York First Team after playing her high school career at C.W. Baker High.
"It will be a fight for many of them to see how they get in there," Brdarski said. "All of them have scored lots of goals (in high school), now it is a matter of them finding ways to score goals in a college setting against bigger, stronger, faster players. That is what preseason is for, trying to get them more acclimated to that."
The Bonnies open the season under the lights at the Marra Athletic Fields Complex on Friday, Aug. 19 vs. Binghamton.
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