Another weekend in the books for UB's Soccer Teams, and it brings mixed results for Bulls fans. On one hand, the men start their regular season 0-2-0 with a tough weekend against quality competition, while on the other, the women maintain their shutout streak and rise to 3-0-1 on the season with two results against Pennsylvania schools. This is your Soccer Roundup.
Three of the teams' four combined games were on the road this weekend, and I was unavailable Sunday for the one home game, so we didn't have much Bull Run coverage to speak of. That will be different this coming weekend, as all three soccer matches are in WNY and I should be at at least two, hopefully all three.
Note: To help provide an idea of strength-of-schedule in lower-visibility sports, I'm going to include team's Massey Ratings in these roundups.
After a 2-0-0 start to the season, the UB Women (MR 158) headed on their first road trip of the season for a Friday evening match against Duquesne (MR 216) in Pittsburgh, before returning home to UB Stadium Sunday afternoon to take on Drexel.
In the Friday contest, UB faced its strongest opposition yet on the year, and played the Dukes to a 0-0 draw that was nearly even in all stats after two overtimes on the opposition's home turf. Freshman Julia Benati led the Bulls with four shots, while Laura Dougall continued her impressive play with five saves to keep the Dukes off the scoreboard.
On Sunday, the Bulls returned home and got back in the win column, taking on another Pennsylvania foe in Drexel (MR 190) and defeating the Dragons on the strength of a 57th-minute goal from senior forward Katie Roberts and three more saves from Dougall in net. Unlike the Duquesne match, UB was a little more up-and-down on the day, in part because of a strong wind that tilted the field. The Bulls gave up four shots in the first seven minutes, and would struggle in the first half to generate any momentum, and would only get one shot off on the Drexel defense. In the second, however, the Bulls found more luck and were able to maintain possession longer, to the tune of eight shots, including Roberts' winning strike.
Once again, the defense held strong for another shutout. Freshman Laura Dougall has now started her career with four straight shutouts and 380 goalless minutes in net, both program records for a freshman.
The Bulls have only scored four goals in their four games, and Roberts, Benati, Megan Adman, and Celina Carrero all share the team lead with one apiece. Benati and Roberts lead the team in shots taken and shots on goal.
No one has seen the net for UB except Dougall, who has stopped everything that's come her way to the tune of four shutouts.
This Week in Bull
UB plays just once this weekend, piling into the bus for a short trip up the 190 to Niagara (MR 227) Sunday evening at 7. To date the Purple Eagles have defeated St. Bonaventure 3-1 and Drexel 1-0 in double overtime. After Friday, we'll have another point of comparison, as Niagara takes on Duquesne.
It was a tougher weekend for Men's Soccer (MR 182), though to be fair, their trip to Southern California pitted them against much stronger opponents than both their three-match exhibition slate and the women's foes. Against San Diego (MR 61) and San Diego State (MR 68), UB showed at times that they could play above their head, but ultimately dropped to 0-2-0 to start the season.
In the season opener against the Toreros, UB enjoyed a strong first half that was helped by a bit of luck, as they went into the break with a 1-0 lead despite having only one shot on goal, a Brandon Culver strike that came off a miscue by the Torero goaltender. San Diego would come out of the half and score two goals before 50', one from the penalty spot, before going on to control the rest of the second half.
Two goals in the final ten minutes didn't so much stretch out a game that was in fact close, rather than accurately represent the difference between the teams: USD outshot the Bulls 24-4 and enjoyed an incredible 11-1 advantage in corner kicks. It's not often that a goalie notches eight saves and still gets blown out, but that's exactly what happened to Cameron Hogg.
UB got to spend the whole weekend in Southern California - if they did it right they ate burritos for every meal - and took on the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday afternoon. The Bulls came out hot and earned the first three shots of the game in just under ten minutes. Unfortunately, they were unable to finish any of their chances, and headed into halftime tied at 0. It certainly looked like Buffalo's fortunes were happier than the preceding game.
Just as you started to get comfortable, though,
Men's Soccer remains tied with San Diego State past the 70th minute in California.— Bull Run (@UBBullRun) August 31, 2014
That's when they get you
And just like that, Forrayah Bass has scored for SDSU against @BullsMensSoccer in the 73rd minute— Bull Run (@UBBullRun) August 31, 2014
San Diego State was able to hold on for the 1-0 win, and UB returned to WNY winless on their road trip.
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Brandon Culver's goal against the Aztecs is UB's only so far this season, and no Bull got more than one shot off in the first weekend. In net, Waleed Cassis and Cameron Hogg split the weekend. Both earned the loss, and both save two-thirds of their shots, though Cassis let in one goal on three shots on target, while Hogg's four goals against came on twelve attempts on net.
This Week in Bull
It's a nice 'Welcome Home' weekend for the Men, who will take on Bryant (MR 106) for their home opener on Friday at 7:00 PM at UB Stadium, and then host Bucknell (MR 80) on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM.
Around the MAC
On the Men's side the MAC is 4-4-2 after the opening weekend, with West Virginia pacing the way after a pair of victories over St. John's and Oakland, while neither Bowling Green nor Northern Illinois surrendered a goal on the weekend. A bevy of WVU scorers top the conference scoring tables.
In the Massey Ratings, four MAC teams slot into the top 100, and UB is seventh of seven in the conference.
For the women, Buffalo is the only team in the MAC that remains undefeated. The conference hasn't yet updated their individual stats for the most recent weekend, but I'm sure that four goals in four games doesn't have any Bulls near the top of the offensive stats. On the flip side, no goalie can put up better numbers than Laura Dougall has so far.
In the Massey Ratings, the women are also seventh, though in a twelve-team conference, and bunched tightly with Toledo and Ohio.