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Bonnies Welcome in VCU Thursday for Start of A-10 Play

Bonnies Welcome in VCU Thursday for Start of A-10 Play

ST. BONAVENTURE (0-5-4) vs. VCU (5-2)
Thursday, Sept. 20 – 7:00 p.m.
Marra Athletics Complex
Online Coverage – Live Stats
TV - ESPN+ 

With their non-conference schedule behind them, the Bonnies begin Atlantic 10 play by welcoming the VCU Rams. St. Bonaventure looks to topple the Rams for the third time in their four-game series history and bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Buffalo on Friday.

LAST TIME OUT
Buffalo got off to an early lead thanks to two goals in the first 20 minutes, but the Bonnies were able to crack the scoreboard before halftime when Mariah Marrero drew a foul in the 30th minute that led to a Maddie Mason free kick just outside the goalie box. Mason fired off a perfect ball that bounced around in front of the net and eventually found the foot of Marrero who notched her second goal of the season. In the second half, the Bison regained control with a goal in the 49th minute to wrap the game up, 3-1.

ABOUT VCU
The Rams come to St. Bonaventure 5-2 overall and winners of two straight. The two teams have rarely faced off since VCU joined the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2012. The Rams won the most recent contest, 4-1, in 2017, but the Bonnies won the last matchup at St. Bonaventure 2-0 back in 2013. The only other time the two teams met was in 1996, prior to VCU joining the A-10, it was a 4-2 Bonnies win at home. This season, the Rams have been led by goalkeeper Au Sanderson. Her 0.98 goals against average is third in the A-10 among players that have started at least seven games. The Rams were picked fifth in the A-10 preseason poll.

THAT'S A LOT OF MINUTES
Seven of the Bonnies' nine matches have gone into overtime. That's already more than their previous single-season record of five, which occurred both in 1998 and 1999. As a result, the Bonnies minutes-per-game average is eye-popping. They've played 919:06 minutes, an average of nearly 102 minutes per match, most in the country.

SENIOR SCORERS
The Bonnies have already netted 12 goals this year, five more than last year's total and just eight short of their 2016 total--and a lot of that scoring is thanks to their senior class. Mariah Marrero, Gretta LaCouture and Jessica Scruggs have combined for five of the team's 12. The good news for the Bonnies 2019 prospects, six goals have come from juniors Sabrina Sousa-Sampson, Sydney Cerza and Bella Marra.

FRESHMEN TAKING SHAPE
On a roster where 13 of the 28 players are upperclassmen, it can be hard for the freshmen to stand out, but Carolyn Brussel, Emily Foltz, Mia Thatcher and Ryan Kunkle are making waves. Brussel is seventh on the team with 563 minutes and has helped hold up the back line defense, Foltz netted the only underclassman goal, and Thatcher and Kunkle have each provided assists in crucial minutes off the bench.

HOME COOKING
After spending two of their first four games on the road, the Bonnies haven't been farther than 90 minutes away from campus since Aug. 26. Overall, six of their nine matches have been in St. Bonaventure. With Thursday's seventh home match of the season, Sept. 20 is the fastest the Bonnies have reached seven home matches. The previous record was Oct. 10 set back in 2008.

BONNIES JOIN ESPN+
More than the start of conference play, Thursday signifies a new era for St. Bonaventure and the Atlantic 10. This summer, ESPN and the A-10 reached a multi-year agreement to broadcast all home Olympic sports on ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+. ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and International division in partnership with ESPN. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year). The remainder of the Bonnies' Atlantic 10 home schedule will all air live on ESPN+. Check listings from host schools for broadcast information when the Bonnies are on the road.

For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get women's soccer updates @BonniesWSoccer. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook at /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.