Second half push leads Bulls to first victory
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Three meetings, three straight wins over the Bonnies.
The men’s soccer team took the field for the second time this season in search of its first win on Tuesday night and came out with a 2-1 victory after a sluggish start.
The Bulls (1-0-1) welcomed St. Bonaventure (0-2) in their first home game on Wednesday evening.
Junior midfielder and captain Richard Craven said the game was a bit slow in the first half and Buffalo was sluggish at the start.
Immediately following half time, the Bulls came out stronger with a more aggressive attitude. They were a different team when they came back on the field. Head coach David Hesch gave an inspiring half time speech to his team.
“We just came out of preseason,” Hesch said. “We played a game Friday; we got a game today, a couple days later. We’re still working on expired legs. I really toughened them up at half time. I said: ‘have some confidence or get the ball under control, don’t panic.’ And the guys really responded to that.”
In the 56th minute, senior forward Pat Ryan found Craven, who scored the first goal. Ryan made a swift pass to Craven who struck the ball through the hands of Bonnies keeper Bobby Diaz, hitting the cross bar and finding the back of the net.
“Coming out of the second half, I knew it was flying,” Craven said. “I knew we needed a goal to put the game away. So it was a great ball by Patrick Ryan and I just put it away.”
Seven minutes later, Buffalo struck again.
Senior forward Maksym Kowal took a pass from senior forward Joey Merlo to net the second goal. That goal put the Bulls up, 2-0, a deficit that was too much for St. Bonaventure to overcome.
“I just needed the goal to come,” Kowal said. “I had a couple of chances earlier in the game and I just kept working, and Joey Merlo slipped me through a great ball.”
Late in the second half, senior goalkeeper Jonathon Viscosi came out of the net to field the ball, leaving the net wide open for St. Bonaventure forward Brad Beumont to pull the road team within a goal. However, the Bulls came out even stronger and were able to execute great defense, which led to their first victory of the season.
Hesch said his team needed to improve its defense after its first game, and the Bulls did just that.
Their first game ended with a 1-1 tie against the Canisius Golden Griffins (0-0-2) last Friday.
“We had our chances against Canisius and for the last couple days that has been our main focus,” Hesch said. “Every minute of practice has been getting shots on goal and having confidence. Getting that one goal was a huge weight off our shoulders. We’re going to goal and we’re going to score a lot of goals this season.”
The victory opened up a four-game home stand for the Bulls, who host Binghamton (0-2) at UB Stadium on Friday. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.