BUFFALO, NY - Freshman forward Megan Abman scored her first career goal in heroic fashion as her goal led the Bulls to its first win of the season, a 3-2 triumph over St. Bonaventure at UB Stadium. Lindsey Bailey and Natasha Arana also scored as the team snapped out of its scoring slump in a big way.
The resourceful Bulls scored all three goals off of St. Bonaventure defensive miscues.
After a quick goal from the Bonnies in the 5th minute of play from Anna Cunningham, Bailey earned a free kick after a St. Bonaventure foul at the top of the goalie box in the 27th minute. The Burlington, Ontario native curled the kick around a wall of five Bonnies defenders and buried it into the bottom right corner of the net to break the team's scoring drought of nearly two and a half games.
Cunningham broke the 1-1 tie in the 43rd minute, beating freshman goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon with a shot to the top right corner to put Bonaventure back up, 2-1. That would be all for the visitors, though, as the Bulls went on the offensive, the defense clamped down on Cunningham and Wheldon rallied to make numerous clutch saves.
"I think we did a lot better job defensively in the midfield," head coach Michael Thomas said, "which didn't allow her (Cunningham) to get the service through."
The Bulls evened the match at two with another free kick strike, this time from sophomore Natasha Arana with just over 16 minutes left in the second half. It was her second goal of the season, moving her back into the team lead. The Bulls defense kept the game tied through the second half, especially Wheldon, who made six saves in the second half alone, including a snag on a point-blank strike.
"I think it was just a little bit more focus that the kids came out with," Thomas said about the team's second half performance. "Every little thing was a little bit better; the passes were a little crisper and they were moving a little bit more. Everybody just took a deep breath and did every little thing better and that made the difference."
With the game seemingly heading to overtime, Abman stole the ball from a Bonaventure defender trying to clear it away, then juking out the goalie and sliding a clear shot into the back of the net to give Buffalo its first lead of the season with a little over two minutes remaining.
"We started a really young team today. Eight of our eleven starters were either freshmen or sophomores, said Thomas. "Megan (Abman) is just a tireless worker and Karen (McMahon) worked hard to draw the foul that led to our second goal. I think it's hard to watch this game and not be excited for the future of this program."