Things are pretty good in UB Soccer land. Pret-ty darn good. The women continue to do everything but lose, and now enjoy an eight-game unbeaten streak that has only seen them surrender two goals in MAC play. The men must have flipped a switch somewhere a few weeks ago and sit in the middle of the MAC table with three matches to play themselves.
On to the Soccer Roundup:
It was once again just a single-game weekend for the men's team, who traveled to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons. After two gritty games over the previous week earned the Bulls a tie against Western Michigan and a late loss filled with strong play against Lafayette, UB continued to show their improved play in a 1-1 tie against the Falcons.
UB had to weather an early flurry in the first 15 minutes from the Falcons, and fell down by a goal in the 19th minute when a Buffalo defender headed the ball past goaltender Waleed Cassis. Thanks to Sean Young's first goal of the season, however, Buffalo evened the score just three minutes later in the 22nd.
What followed was 108 minutes of scoreless soccer that may have slightly favored the Bulls, but was generally even. UB was able to get more scoring chances and more shots on net, and limited Bowling Green to just three shots on target in the tie. A more in-depth recap of the match can be found in this piece from Saturday:
For a little bit more on this weekend's match against Bowling Green, Dave and I talked about it in Sunday's Olympic Roundup videocast:
Buffalo Bulls Olympic Round Up - Bull Run
Men's Soccer at 37:10
Last night in a final nonconference match, UB hosted Big Four rival St. Bonaventure. Coming into the match as one of just two UB teams not to beat a Big Four rival this year, the men got that monkey off their back in a big, big way with a 4-0 shellacking of the Bonnies. I'm finishing up this roundup just an hour after writing that post, which is quite long because I twice went off topic, so just go there:
UB Men's Soccer ROUTS St. Bonaventure 4-0 Tuesday - Bull Run
It was cold and drizzly, and nearly every fan in attendance was squeezed in the very back row of UB Stadium's 200 sections, where you can get the slightest bit of protection from the rain.
Sean Young's goal was swell and I am glad that it happened. It was also his first of the season, which means that UB continues to have just one multi-goal scorer on the season: Sophomore Russell Cicerone. It's not much of a stat, but I continue to find it fascinating.
Waleed Cassis made two saves on three shots in the Bowling Green victory.
This Week in Bull
UB hosts Northern Illinois
Friday at 8:00 Saturday at 9:00 PM, which will be Senior Day for three Buffalo seniors. I've got a Senior Salute post dialed up for Friday Saturday morning, so be sure to come check that out.
There aren't many superlatives left for Women's Soccer, so I'll just say some facts that are superlative in their own right, without exaggeration:
- 6-0-2 in the MAC; 8-game unbeaten streak is longest since 1999
- In those eight games, opponents have scored just two goals
- Freshman Laura Dougall has ten shutouts in net and sits tied with Ainsley Wheldon for the single season school record. The team as a whole has eleven shutouts, one off the single season school record.
- Senior Katie Roberts and sophomore Celina Carrero have combined for 13 goals on the season. Last year the team as a whole scored just 14 goals.
- The team opened the season with a program-record shutout streak, and has currently allowed just one goal in the last 520 minutes of game play
You can find the Women's Soccer portion of the Olympic Sports Roundup at 23:47 of last Sunday's video:
Buffalo Bulls Olympic Round Up - Bull Run
Women's Soccer at 23:47
I felt that Carrero and Dougall were good bets to sweep the MAC Player of the Week awards this time around, and while Carrero was named Co-Offensive Player, Dougall has to settle for a nomination as Bowling Green's goaltender gets to enjoy the benefits of making tons and tons of saves behind a terrible defense.
Carrero, of course, was named UB Female Athlete of the Week, as well.
See above for a good chunk of stats. A few more for you:
Carrero's six goals have now come in five games - all wins for the Bulls.
We know about Dougall's record and shutout numbers, but her whole season adds up to a goals-against average of 0.34 and a save percentage of .921, which is good for second in the entire NCAA. I like that.
ALSO. I did some number crunching and Dougall can let in a goal per game in UB's final three and STILL break the MAC GAA record. What even is that?
Of course, Stephanie Heber of WMU, having played five fewer games, has an even lower GAA, but I'm trying not to think about that.
This Week in Bull
Another two games for the Bulls (RPI 69, MR 73) this week, and they're biggums against the only two teams remaining that have a realistic chance of catching UB for the regular season title. Friday the Bulls will host Ball State (102, 91) at 5:00 PM; the Cardinals are 5-3 in the MAC and tied with Eastern Michigan for the West lead. On Sunday, the big one: Miami (58, 58) at Noon. The Redhawks sit just one point behind UB. I will be at both games with live coverage on Twitter.
Miami will be UB's Senior Day celebration, likely because UB's actual final game is at 3:00 PM next Thursday.
Ball State pretty much needs a victory over the Bulls to catch them, while Miami with a draw could overtake UB with results in their other two matches. Next Thursday, while UB takes on East Division bottom-dweller Akron, Ball State and Miami will face off themselves, which means we essentially have a true round-robin of the MAC's top three teams in the last week. UB, already in the pole position and enjoying all three of their remaining games at home, has to be the favorite for home-field advantage through the MAC.