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MSOC: Bonnies Capitalize on Miscues, Top Dayton 2-1
MSOC: Bonnies Capitalize on Miscues, Top Dayton 2-1
Christopher Rieman
Published by Chris R
Thumbs up MSOC: Bonnies Capitalize on Miscues, Top Dayton 2-1

In a critical match affecting potential A10 tournament qualifying, the Dayton Flyers surrendered a sloppy goal before halftime and another after intermission to drop a 2-1 decision to St. Bonaventure at Baujan Field. A late flurry of goal-scoring opportunities failed to send the match into extra time as Dayton falls to 5-8-3 (2-4-2), while the Bonnies leapfrog the Flyers in the A10 standings and improve to 4-9-1 (3-4-0).

UD started fast with a couple excellent scoring chances directly in front of the SBU goal box -- including an opportunity at the far post that was ultimately cleared away inside the 6yd line. Dayton continued to dictate a majority of the playmaking over the next 10 minutes, with emphasis on working possession down the touch lines. Oftentimes the Flyers pulled the ball away from the corner flag for better-angled in-swingers into the mixer, but the crosses found more Bonnie defenders than Flyer attacking players.

Kingsford Adjei created an excellent chance in the 18th minute after dribble-driving baseline and sticking a cross into the near post. SBU cleared it out of the scrum however to keep the match scoreless.

The following 10 minutes of action were staccato and somewhat sloppy. Both teams had trouble connecting passes through the midfield and were often dispossessed with tackles or had distribution picked off while attempting to push a ball to a teammate moving forward. A dangerous SBU scoring chance came in the 32nd minute on a dribble inside the box that required a Marc Kouadio punch-out in the middle of the goal mouth.

UD regained some confidence over the last 15 minutes of the half and controlled play in the SBU defensive half of the field, poking and prodding for open space and goal-scoring opportunities. Several crosses, feeds, and half-chances materialized but the Flyers lacked the final quality touch to put the ball in the back of the net.

UD's firm grip on the steering wheel quickly vanquished however. A Dayton miscue in the defensive half of the field resulted in a stolen pass by St. Bonaventure, allowing the Bonnies to challenge Kouadio without any defensive help. The Flyer goalkeeper had no choice but to charge the unmarked player, but was ultimately dealt with and SBU knocked it into the open net to take the 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute. It was a disappointing ending to a half Dayton more or less controlled.

Halftime stats were 6-4 in shots and 3-1 in corner kicks in favor of the Flyers.

The second half necessitated a turn of events to salvage realistic A10 tournament chances, but the challenge got twice as difficult in the 57th minute when the Bonnies sent a long ball to the far post on a counter-attack from the right side. The pass was collected and after shedding a Flyer defender, tucked nicely past Kouadio and into the far post to put SBU up 2-0 and put UD in a massive hole.

The Bonnies almost made it 3-0 just minutes later on a nifty through-ball as the Flyer back-line was caught flat-footed, but the jailbreak pass was called back for offside -- a questionable but fortunate call for Dayton to keep their slim chances alive.

UD almost cashed in on a corner kick in the 70th minute, but the redirect on frame was tipped away at the last second by the Bonnie goalkeeper to protect their two-goal advantage.

Adjei earned a red card in the 79th minute after pushing down a Bonnie player in frustration following a foul call in the midfield. The poor decision cost UD their best playmaker and put the home team down a man with just 11 minutes to play.

The Flyers got some help however in the 83rd minute after a Bonnie handball in the box gave the home team a PK that was finished off by Eren Elbustu to cut the deficit to 2-1. The last seven minutes produced a flurry of Dayton chances, helped in part by unnecessary Bonnie fouls that resulted in UD free kicks into the box. Numerous crosses and half-chances came and went however as Dayton was unable to knock in the equalizer. The Flyers' best opportunity came in the final 30 seconds as they were scrambling to take a corner kick. The ball was deflected off the goal line and subsequently bounced over the crossbar to snuff out the UD comeback and give the Bonnies an important conference victory on the road.

Second half stats were once again won by the Flyers, this time 8-5 in shots and 3-1 on corner kicks. The most important stat however -- goals scored -- decided the match and made ambitions of qualifying for the A10 postseason tournament almost impossible with just one game left to play. With the defeat, the Bonnies also jump over the Flyers in the A10 standings and earn the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Adjei's red card will also cost him an appearance in the A10 season finale next Saturday vs Duquesne at Baujan Field.

C. M. Rieman | Publisher | 937.361.4630 | Get the latest here:

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