Men’s College Soccer
Rider University 1, St. Bonaventure 0
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY— On the first official day of autumn, the Bonnies fall to the Broncs. “It was a great win,” said Rider head coach Charlie Inverso.
Saint Bonaventure was regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages, writing about the relations between reason and faith.
Coach Inverso has good reason to keep the faith when it comes to his rookie goalkeeper.
“I have faith in Dave,” Inverso said of Rider freshman goalkeeper David Pastuna (Robbinsville, NJ), who made five saves for his second shutout as the Broncs defeated St. Bonaventure Sunday afternoon.
Pastuna was a close second in the choice of goalkeepers to start the season but an injury to freshman Jimmy Quilter (South Brunswick, NJ) gave the local product an opportunity he took full advantage of.
Pastuna earned All-State, First Team All-Colonial Valley Conference and Second Team All-Area honors and was the CVC Goalkeeper of the Year last year at Robbinsville. He has played the last four games for Rider, starting the last three, and has a 3-1 record with two shutouts.
“Dave absolutely works his tail off,” Inverso said, “one of the hardest working guys on the team. He’s good and he’s confident. He did a good job for us today. He was there when we needed him. More than anything our defense in front of him was outstanding. Eric Elgin, Sonimi Halliday and Warren Holmes were great.”
Pastuna collected his first shutout last week without making a save, due to the strong Bronc defense.
Rider got the only goal of the game when sophomore Justin Veltri (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest) took a pass from freshman Warren Holmes (Stoke on Trent, England) and scored his first collegiate goal in the 12th minute of play.
“Justin put into the corner nicely,” Inverso said. “He’s done a great job for us this year.”
SBU had seven corners to just one by Rider. “They are a really physical, strong team,” Inverso said of the Bonnies. “They played very hard. That’s what made this such a great win. After we make a six and a half hour bus ride, the field wasn’t in the greatest condition, and there were some fans here that felt there was some hometown officiating going on. So we had a few things going against us today and the guys came up big.”
How big? The Rider soccer team is off to its best start in 21 years. The 5-1 start this year is the best since the 1992 Northeast Conference Champion Broncs began the season 9-1-1.
St. Bonnie (5-3) out-shot Rider 17-6, including 7-2 in the second half. “We couldn’t get into the flow of play that we really wanted to, with the condition of the field,” Inverso said, “so that affected our style of play. Once we got the goal, than in the second half we managed the game. And we did a really good job at that.”
The only other time Rider and St., Bonaventure met in men’s soccer was a 2-0 Bonnie victory in 1999 at Oneonta.
The Broncs are home Wednesday afternoon, hosting NJIT.
There is good reason to have faith in the Broncs this year, after seeing St. Bonaventure fall on the first day of autumn.