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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Securing a A-10 birth

The women’s soccer team and their families pose with the Hawk after their win against St. Bonaventure University (Photo courtesy of SJU Athletics).

Hawks secure home field in win over St. Bonaventure

On a brisk Sunday afternoon, the St. Joe’s women’s soccer team clinched third place in the Atlantic 10 with a 1-0 win over St. Bonaventure University. The Hawks closed out their regular season with six straight wins.

Before the game, there was a ceremony for the senior class. For them, this was a bittersweet moment in their St. Joe’s careers.

“It was really sad,” senior Defender Paige Bergman said. “We do have an extra one so I’m in denial though. It was great, the environment was great. Everyone came out so it was very nice.”

Sophomore Forward Morgan Bower said she didn’t feel any added pressure from the seniors. However, they certainly knew what was on the line if they won, home field in the opening round of the A-10 tournament.

“We had a chance to get another home game, so we had to get that game,” Bower said. “We just had to win and get it done.”

Fittingly, a senior broke the scoring early in the first half. The ball was sent on the St. Bonaventure net and bounced over the goaltender. Senior Forward Dakota Mills was waiting and deposited the ball into the empty net to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

The rest of the game was filled with missed chances. St. Joe’s controlled the ball but were unable to convert on their opportunities. Out of the 26 shot attempts, only five made it on net. The Bonnie’s defense made scoring difficult for the Hawks.

“The Bonnies always work hard and they always come to play,” Head Coach Jess Mannella said. “I think we were tired, we went into overtime and logged a lot of miles against Fordham. They got their players behind the ball and we had to pass back instead of moving forward.”

Sophomore Forward Morgan Bower controls the ball at midfield.

St. Joe’s attempted to push the pace but St. Bonaventure was able to keep the game moving at a moderate tempo.

“When a team isn’t as fast as how you normally play, you tend to play down to their pace,” Bower said. “I think that was an issue, but we did a good job keeping the ball today.”

In the end, the Hawks were able to hold on and secure the win. Senior Goalkeeper Grace Bendon picked up the shutout and her 13th win of the year, setting a new school record.

“Our attack has been on fire,” Manella said. “Having two shutouts this weekend was huge. We are scoring goals in all different ways which is exciting.”

Strategically, St. Joe’s will have an added focus on upping their pace of play prior to their quarterfinal match up against Fordham University.

“We have to keep playing quickly,” Assistant Coach Fred King said. “Forwards just need to keep putting the ball on frame as they have been doing. We just need to keep playing fast.”

For players, the coaching staff has given them a simple message.

“Do what we do great,” Bergman said. “Our coach says that all of the time. That is how we will succeed.”

St. Joe’s quarterfinal game against the sixth seeded Fordham University will take place on Oct. 28 at Sweeney Field.

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