Purple Eagles rewarded for hard work

[NIAGARA] One of the hottest teams in the country is Niagara. Strong play late in games has been key for the Purple Eagles, who are 6-0-3 entering MAAC play next week.

Canadian Bryan Da Cruz scored his third goal of the season in the 83rd minute Sunday to give Niagara a 3-2 comeback win over St. Bonaventure two days after a header from sophomore defender Michael Hanton lifted Niagara to a 2-1 overtime victory over Saint Francis (Pa.).

“It was another game where were on our heels, but the guys worked tremendously hard from start to finish to get the result,” Purple Eagle coach Chase Brooks said. “St. Bonaventure is a good team despite their record and they’re definitely better than that.  They worked hard and wanted to get the result on their home field, but we were very fortunate that our team kept the faith and didn’t give up.”  

Da Cruz is second behind Englishman Callum Willmott in scoring. The sophomore had his fifth goal in the win over St. Bonaventure.

De Cruz is one of four seniors who are starting for Niagara along with fellow Canadian Rene De Zorzi, defender Ben Thorne and Brett Petricek in goal.

The Purple Eagles have been boosted by the play of two freshmen in midfield: Julian Ekeze and German Daniel Ulicny.

“We believe we are one of the hardest working teams in the country and because of it we were rewarded late in the game," Brooks added.  "Now we are looking forward to start conference play.”  
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