BUFFALO, NY - When St. Bonaventure and Buffalo met last season, the Bulls managed a late goal to steal a 3-2 victory. Saturday evening, the Bonnies sought out some revenge and got it with a goal early in the second half to down Buffalo 3-2 at UB Stadium.
"The little things that go into either winning or losing that we did for the first three games, for whatever reason didn't happen tonight," head coach Michael Thomas said. "We had some great moments and we had some great chances, but the result easily could have gone either way. Today we didn't take care of the details and that led to the loss."
The confident Bulls came out with a purpose and converted on a goal just over six minutes into the game. Freshman Sophie Therien gathered up a ball along the left side and laid off a pass for Taylor Thompson, who juked out a charging goalie and her shot eluded multiple diving defenders to open the game's scoring. The Bulls had multiple other chances, including a shot that scooted inches shy of a wide open goal, but that would be it for the early portion.
St. Bonaventure managed to regroup and bundled two goals within four minutes to not only snap Buffalo's scoreless streak, but also put UB down for the first time all season. Goals in the 27th and 29th minutes put Bonaventure up 2-1, but the Bulls continued to assault the opposing defense and soon scraped together an equalizer. Megan Abman possessed the ball in space and was charging to the net when she was fouled. On the ensuing free kick, defender Shannon Algoe bent the ball around the left side of the Bona wall to score from 25 yards out and knot it up at 2-2 going into the half.
Right away in the second period, the Bonnies caught the Buffalo defense off guard, as a cross came into the middle of the box, and after a brief scrum the Bona attacker managed to gather the ball and pop it over goalie Ainsley Wheldon's head for what would hold up as the game-winning goal.
With the Bonnies shoring up the back line of the defense, Buffalo was limited in its attack but still took a number of quality shots that came ever so close to forcing another tie. Freshman Megan Giesen had two shots in particular that were promising, but outstanding effort from the Bona's goalie snuffed them out. In the 88th minute, Giesen found space at the top of the box and sent a searching left-footed shot that required a fully extended dive from the goalie to deny the chance.
"I actually thought we came out pretty well at the beginning of the second half, and we created a couple of really good chances right away," said Thomas. "And then they got one it. I thought the team didn't have it today but we kept working and pushing. We'll find out a lot from our team in the next week to see how they react to some adversity."
The Bulls (3-1) will look to rebound next Friday with the second of three straight home games. Another Atlantic 10 member will come to town - this time it's the Temple Owls. Kickoff is set for 7 pm. Then on Sunday Sept. 11, the team will honor its four seniors before the game against IPFW. That game will start at noon.