Believe it or not, the MAC soccer season is nearly over. And while UB's women's team gets to close out the year with a troika of home matches, the men's team is headed on the road to try to earn a berth in the MAC tournament, so tonight's match is the final appearance, barring a run to a top-two seed, at UB Stadium for Buffalo's three seniors.
Waleed Cassis - GK - #1
Wednesday's match against St. Bonaventure was Cassis' tenth start this season. It's been a tougher season for Cassis than last, but like the rest of his team, he's finishing strong.
Cassis played for the varsity team at his high school for three years, leading them to two conference championships in that time. He was named team captain for both his junior and senior years, and team MVP senior year. Immediately after high school he started his college career at Cal State-LA. In two seasons with the Golden Eagles the keeper amassed at 23-5-10 record, was a two-time CCAA regular season champion, and was named Academic All-American his sophomore year.
Career at UB:
In his junior year Cassis made 17 starts for the Bulls and averaged over four saves a game while maintaining a goals-against-average of just 1.42. In a match against Bowling Green he made ten saves, to date still a career high.
Senior Moment: It came in a loss, but Cassis' eight-save performance against Lafayette featured some truly wonderful saves. The eight saves are his season high, and none in the game - or I think, this season - were better than his final save, a leaping effort to his left to push a hard shot over the bar and preserve the then-0-0 tie in the 84th minute.
Cassis also earned a shutout in his second-to-last game at UB Stadium: a 4-0 victory over St. Bonaventure just this past Tuesday.
Vinny DiVirgilio - D/M - #15
Senior Stats: DiVirgilio has not seen the field this year after suffering a concussion prior to the start of the year. The UB website says he played against Lafayette, but the play-by-play doesn't reflect that, and I'm nearly certain he did not.
Before UB: DiVirgilio played his high school soccer here in Western New York, and was named Second Team All-WNY after scoring six goals and five assists his senior year.
Career at UB: The bulk of DiVirgilio's game action at UB came in his freshman year, when he scored his only two goals of his career. In four years, DiVirgilio has played in 34 games, and unfortunately won't see #35 tonight, as it seems he was shut down after his latest concussion.
Senior Moment: Without any playing time to point to, it's going to have to be his recognition tonight before the game.
Kristian Lee-Him - M/F - #19
Senior Stats: Lee-Him has a goal and an assist on the season, seeing action in all but the Western Michigan game this season. His lone goal was the game winner in a come-from-behind win over Detroit on September 19th.
Before UB: This year has only been Lee-Him's second in Amherst. Prior to coming to the Bulls he played two years for Appalachian State, where he was named to the Southern Conference All-Academic team twice and in his sophomore year was the team's leading scorer.
Career at UB: In his junior year Lee-Him made 12 starts and notched a single assist.
Senior Moment: Without a doubt, the game-winner against Detroit. Other than Cicerone's double overtime goal from midfield, it is my favorite men's soccer score of the season. I would describe it, but I urge you just to take a look, starting at 1:42, and perhaps watch it a few more times:
Thank You Waleed, Vinny, and Kristian, and best of luck in the future! Go Bulls!