By: Hunter Lobur Cummins
It was a defensive-minded battle on the pitch tonight at Demske Sports Complex as the Griffs captured a 1-0 shutout win over the Little Three rival St. Bonaventure Bonnies.
The one scoring play seen throughout the entirety of the match came in minute number six as junior midfielder Maggie Canitia netted the ball in from a left angle which put the Griffs up for good.
“Potentially, I saw it go and thought it could be a cross,” Canitia said on her goal. “But then I saw it go over the goalie as she tipped it into the upper ninety in the back post, and I was like, oh my gosh, that actually went in.”
That would be all Canisius needed as they put on a stellar defensive performance the rest of the way to preserve the shutout.
Goalkeeper Alana Rossi was on her game tonight as she made a handful of what would eventually turn out to be extremely important saves.
The Griffs defenders held true to their form as well, not allowing any easy opportunities for the Bonnies.
Freshman midfielder Julia Schurr played well on both sides of the ball, anchoring the defense while also creating looks for the forwards.
The shutout of St. Bonaventure extends the Griffin’s home shutout streak to over 350 minutes.
“I think it’s a huge push of confidence and motivation to keep us going, we have such great energy this year on and off of the bench and field,” Canitia said.
The junior midfielder also mentioned that the team is very gritty and willing to sacrifice for the benefit of the squad.
Lastly, when asked about the importance of tonight’s win seeing that it was against a rival, she answered, “I think so, the Bonnies are always a great team to play. We played them last spring and we beat them, so we knew that coming in, but we knew they had a great team coming in so it was going to be very tough for us, it was a big win for us.”
The win marks the second in a row for the Blue and Gold, after beating Valparaiso, 1-0 on Sunday, and brings their record to one game above .500 at 3-2.
“That’s probably the difference between this year and last year, we got some nice wins last year, but were not always able to follow up with another,” head coach Todd Clark said. “To start putting wins together is obviously very meaningful.”
The win is also the third game this season that the Griffs have held their opponents scoreless, with other such games coming against Valparaiso and Hampton. All three games were played at the Demske Sports Complex.
Rossi notched three saves en route to the Bonnies’ scoreless effort, notching her 20th career shutout.
“There’s rarely a time where the goalkeeper doesn’t have to pull something out of the fire, thank gosh we gave her those fancy gloves,” coach Clark said. “We feel like everybody attacks, everybody defends. I think we are better at team defense than ever before. I’m very pleased with the effort.”
Clark also wanted to add that he was very satisfied with the crowd’s turnout and energy tonight, saying they definitely played a role.
The Griffs will make the short trip to Cleveland State this Sunday to face the Vikings in a 1 pm kickoff in Cleveland, OH.