A year ago today, Shannon Van Riper's freshman season at St. Bonaventure ended after just six games because of a knee injury suffered in a win at Cornell. On Friday, in her sixth game of the season, she rediscovered her scoring touch, tallying 16:23 into the first half to lift the Bonnies to a 1-0 nonconference win at Bowling Green. It's the second game-winning goal of her career.
Van Riper scored three goals and had an assist before the injury forced her to medical redshirt the rest of the 2008 campaign. Van Riper didn't have a shot on goal this season until being inserted into the starting lineup during Bona's 3-1 win over the University at Buffalo last Sunday afternoon.
Starpoint graduate Nicole Borner played close to 24 minutes in her first collegiate game in Western New York on Friday night in helping the Binghamton Bearcats (1-3-1) beat host Niagara (2-3), 2-0. Borner, the first Spartans girls soccer player to earn a Division I scholarship, will play again in the area Sunday at UB.
Niagara's first-year program plays its first match today when it faces Siena and LeMoyne at Lafayette Hills GC in the Syracuse suburb of Jamesville. Former Section VI champion Ona Peck (Jamestown) is one of three Western New Yorkers on the seven-woman team.
The University at Buffalo improved to 2-1 on the season -- all games against Big East Conference members -- by blanking Marquette, 4-0, to reach the final of the Marquette Invitational. Mike Unwin scored twice for the Bulls, who will play DePaul on Sunday for the title.
Siblea McFarland (Salamanca) became D'Youville's all-time leader in assists during the Spartans' three-game loss to Roberts Wesleyan at the Penn State-Behrend Invitational. The senior finished with 22 assists, her first one of the match setting the record. She now has 2,744 assists, topping the old mark held by Jayne Root (1998-2001).
Canisius sophomore Brendan O'Hagan and his twin brother Ryan will try out for the Irish National Team Sunday in Kings Point in an attempt to play in the 2010 World Championships. Brendan, a midfielder, had two goals last year, while Ryan is a defender.