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UB Soccer plays big role in FC Buffalo win over Erie

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It's going to be a fun summer for soccer fans in Buffalo. Starting three members of the UB Men's Soccer team, FC Buffalo took down rival Erie 4-2 in their season opener Friday night.

UB Athletics

I wasn't kidding when I said you needed to learn the name Russell Cicerone. If things keep going like they did tonight, his All-MAC, Freshman of the Year season is going to look like child's play.

And while you're at it, take note of Marcus Hanson, as well.

Cicerone potted two goals in the blink of the eye and also earned the free kick that lead to the opener - scored by UB teammate Hanson - on his way to influencing the entire game. Multiple times he was taken down in the final third, and though the game has just ended as I write this, there's no doubt in my mind that the sophomore-to-be is the Man of the Match for the Wolves*.

Coach Riddle will be especially pleased with the result, as UB factored into all four goals. After Marcus Hanson punched in a bobbled free kick in the 34th minute, Cicerone scored twice in two minutes after threatening throughout the first half. Erie did score, but FCB went into the half with a 3-1 lead.

The Wolves had only beaten Erie once in their first four seasons, and never on the road, but stayed in control throughout after earning the two-goal lead. In the second half, FCB struck again in the 78th minute, as Daniel Hunt corralled a cross from - guess who - Marcus Hanson and potted Buffalo's 4th goal on the night. Erie would get one back but UB's third starter - Waleed Cassis - held firm in net through two minutes of stoppage time and FCB is now headed home to New York with a season-opening 4-2 win.

Other folks have been covering FC Buffalo for longer than I have - their website is a good source of information and Ben Tsujimoto at Buffalo.com can provide more on the non-UB parts of the game, if you like.

FCB next plays Sunday afternoon in their home opener at 2:00 PM against AFC Cleveland. All home games are at the Demske Sports Complex at Canisius College.

*They used to be the Blitzers, in honor of everyone's favorite Kenmore West alumnus, but 'Wolves' is now the official nickname. The fan section is "The Situation Room," and it is awesome.