I decided not to do a goal-by-goal for Sunday’s win against Canisius, because the only goal was kind of a mess, as was much of the game. Terrible video quality from Binghamton kept me from a Women’s Soccer post, as well. So it’s been a bit on one of my favorite posts I do here.
Happily, Friday’s morning’s men’s match against Stony Brook was a much more exciting game, with up and down action, and a trio of UB goals. At least at the time — I haven’t followed soccer games this weekend, Russell Cicerone and Rikard Lindqvist moved into and held the national lead in goals (Cicerone) and assists (both).
Let’s take a closer look.
Buffalo 1-0 (Lindqvist from Cicerone and Ryan Pereira)
I wanted to start this gif before Pereira’s pass, but truthfully there’s not much to it but three excellent touches. It’s a shame we don’t have a slightly wider view to see more of Lindqvist, but Pereira, in his return from injury, makes the no-brainer pass to his playmaker Cicerone, who was following Lindqvist the whole way.
These posts aren’t good for technical details, but it’s worth watching a few times for Rikards footwork, first to corral the ball, then to shake the defender, then to deliver the ball where the goalie wasn’t.
Take a moment, too, to watch Steven Stryker on this one. As soon as Lindqvist controls the ball, Stryker moves to a more central run, and drops behind the defenders into space when they catch up, just in case Rikard ends up deciding to drop it off.
Buffalo 2-0 (Cicerone earns Penalty)
I don’t think highly of Stony Brook, and I’m still flabbergasted at how poor a decision this was from Serge Gamwanya.
UB does well here to overload a small area while a 50-50 ball is up for grabs, and Cicerone creates a double team only to scoop up the loose ball, use a nice bit of fancy footwork, and draw a clear foul.
The thing is, if there’s no foul I’m not sure UB’s in great position. Russ could try to drop it off to Lindqvist in the middle, but the windows aren’t large there, and it’s also possible he might dribble toward the end line trying to find space. Corner kicks are dangerous moments, but they’re not as dangerous as penalties, and Stony Brook gave the Bulls a gift here.
Buffalo 3-0 (Scales from Cicerone and Stryker)
This is my favorite goal of the season so far. Start with the initial touch from Stryker to control that pass in a tight window. That simply wasn’t happening on Wednesday.
Then, the way that Cicerone moves, always keeping an angle open tothe ball even though Stryker is doubled. UB here is outnumbered, but Cicerone uses the space so well that it’s hard for them to recover once Lindqvist draws his defender to the center.
In the next phase of the play, Lindqvist again creates space for a teammate by moving toward the near post and drawing two defenders on top of the two who catch up to Cicerone.
Scales, who doesn’t even start moving from the (football) sideline until Cicerone gets the ball doesn’t have to fight through any defender, presents a huge target for Russ’ pass, and has room and time to pick his spot.
All told, it’s those four — Stryker, Cicerone, Lindqvist, and Scales - on seven Stony Brook defenders and UB is able to operate with space and time for much of the play. That’s something the Bulls have succeeded at in each of their three games so far, and we’ll look for more of it against Incarnate Word tomorrow morning.