Only one game this week for Women’s Soccer before beginning MAC play, and it was more of the same: Carissima Cutrona, Marcy Barberic, and a win. This time, the Bulls put together a 3-1 throttling of St. Bonaventure to close out nonconference play at 6-1-0.
Cutrona and Barberic naturally featured heavily in the win, Cutrona scoring in the 9th and 50th minute off assists from Barberic, and Barberic notching the eventual game-winner in the 21st off a feed from Cutrona. UB outshot the Bonnies 22-5, and there’s not much else that needs to be said about a happy tuneup before MAC play.
Through nonconference play, Cutrona leads the MAC in assists and points, and is third in goals, while freshman keeper Emily Kelly is tops in save percentage. As a team, UB is scoring at a higher rate than anyone else while also boasting the second-lowest GAA and total goals allowed.
The Bulls open on the road, facing Northern Illinois Friday at 7:00 PM and Western Michigan Saturday at 1:00 PM. Without looking at strength of schedule at all, Northern Illinois is pretty bad, and Western Michigan pretty good.
UB took two of three in DC this past weekend, controlling for long stretches in a sweep of American on Friday and then Saturday falling to #5 Penn State in a sweep before rebounding with a four-set win over Howard.
Paige has detailed recaps in the fanposts, but I also had the benefit of attendance for the American win, where I saw everything that Paige did, but will also note that American’s run in the second set and UB’s success in the third clearly hinged on Buffalo’s ability to receive serves cleanly. In the second, the Bulls opened an early 6-0 run and immediately gave up a long run of their own. Throughout the second, UB had trouble with their first pass, often sending it too close to the net and making difficult work for Tia Gleason. In the third, the Bulls got through American’s two ace servers early in the set, and by the tame either came up in the rotation again, UB had a double-digit lead. As I’ve said in this space before, I’ve learned to not put much stock in nonconference play one way or another, but Friday’s win was a strong argument for your support in MAC play.
AI’ve never cared much for results from the UB Stampede — it’s generally been a MAC school or two and a selection of other regional teams. The teams need to race, but there’s not a whole lot to learn here. The men finished second, led by a second straight winning run from Caleb Covell. We’re yet to see a meet with more than a dozen teams, but having your top runner comfortable at the front of the pack is maybe objective 1A to having your whole team running in a tight pack.
The women finished sixth, with the UB recap all but conceding they’re a young team this year. I’ll have more on individual standouts beyond Covell from each team as we hit more meaningful races.
NKU Norse Men’s Soccer
1-1 on the opening Horizon League weekend for the Norse: a 2-1 win over Green Bay and a 3-0 loss to Purdue-Fort Wayne. The win saved the drama for late, with NKU going down 1-0 in the 72nd, only to equal courtesy of scoring leader Alex Willis 90 seconds later, and then former Bull Rikard Lindqvist scored the winner in the game’s last 90 seconds. It was a classic Stu Riddle year-two win, if you’ll remember the 2014 Bryant game, that was bananas even before Russell Cicerone’s wondergoal (you know the one), with me.