UMass Picks Up Key Road Win Over St. Bonaventure, 2-1
Nov. 3, 2013
BRADFORD, Pa. - The Massachusetts men's soccer team knew playing on the road at St. Bonaventure would be tough.
The trip is more than six hours from Amherst by bus. The population in the areaisn't that large. And this time the game was being played on an artificial surface at a high school across the state line in Pennsylvania. Never mind the fact that the Bonnies have one of the top scoring offenses in the country at nearly two goals per game and the Minutemen are in the thick of the hunt for one of the eight spots in the conference tournament.
But all of that aside and UMass accomplished what it needed to with a 2-1 victory that moved the Minutemen into sixth place in the Atlantic 10 standings with two home games remaining next weekend.
The Minutemen are 4-11-1 overall and 3-3 with nine points in A-10 play. The Bonnies dropped to 8-7-2 and 2-3-1. SBU held a slim 12-10 advantage in shots and a 15-5 margin in corner kicks.
"They played their hearts out today," UMass head coach Sam Koch said. "I am very, very proud of this group for getting the win on the road, especially with all of the circumstances surrounding the trip. These are three big points.
"We missed three unbelievable chances in the game and I felt it was an even game in terms of offensive opportunities in that regard. Nick (Ruiz) came up big for us and the defenders did a heckuva job defending some loose balls in the box."
Josh Schwartz got the first goal at 18:57 when he took a pass from Peter Alvarenga and scored on the Bonnies' Jeremy Figler. The goal was the fifth of the season for junior from Annapolis, Md., matching his team-high total from last season.
Thirteen minutes later it was Mark Morris' turn to find the back of the net as he saw the ball bounce his way on a corner kick from Connor Devivo. It was the fourth of the year for Morris, a sophomore from Tucson, Ariz., and turned out to be his first career game-winner. It also marked the third score off a corner situation for the Minutemen this season.
SBU cut the UMass lead in half 3:33 before the half when Emmett O'Connor got a shot from the top of the 18 past Ruiz for his A-10 best eighth score of 2013. Four of the Bonnies' six shots on goal were by O'Connor.
But that's how things stayed for the remainder of the game as each team tallied six shots in the second period. Ruiz finished with five saves while Figler had six.
The victory was UMass' first away from Amherst this season.
UMass will return home to Rudd Field - where it has won three-consecutive - for the final regular-season weekend of the year when it plays host to Dayton (12-2-2, 2-2-2 8 pts) and Saint Louis (10-4-2, 4-0-2 14 pts). Friday's game with UD starts at 3 p.m. and Sunday's Senior Day against Saint Louis is set for a Noon kickoff. Admission is free to both contests.