It was a good weekend.
I wrote last week that while the season-opening Toledo Invitational wasn’t the biggest race on the schedule, I was eager to see one of the rare opportunities for Cross Country to go head-to-head against MAC opponents. No one from outside the conference competed.
On the Men’s side, UB finished a competitive second to perennial conference power Eastern Michigan, a statement result this early in the season powered by junior Caleb Covell’s championship run — 18:33 for six kilometers. I have not checked, but I believe it’s the first individual race winner for Men’s XC since Zach Ahart in the 2013 MAC Championships.
In addition to Covell, Thomas Flannery and Benjamin Cardamone finished 9-10.
The women finished fourth of five teams, led by freshman Riley Jones.
UB has reeled off three straight after that opening loss to St. John’s, this weekend featuring a pair of 2-0 wins over Cornell and Albany. Freshman goalie Emily Kelly has now gone three games without allowing a goal and earned MAC East Defensive Player of the Week honors for her 13-save weekend.
The good news doesn’t stop there, as senior Carissima Cutrona asserted herself as the team’s go-to offensive option, scoring three goals on the weekend and assisting on the other, a late insurance tally from Marcy Barberic against Cornell.
With the conference schedule running 11 games, there’s only a few OOC matchups left for soccer. This week the Bulls host Canisius on Thursday and St. Francis (PA) on Sunday.
Buffalo is undefeated no more after falling in five sets to Cornell to open the weekend, but handled St. John’s and Siena in five and three sets, respectively. Even with the loss to the Big Red, UB tied with St. John’s to lead the tournament, but the Red Storm won the championship on a tiebreaker.
Buffalo got more balanced production in attack than last weekend: Andrea Mitrovic, Megan Wernette, Polina Prokudina, Rachel Sanks, and Kristina Nieves all topped 20 kills, with Sanks’ 17 against St. John’s the high mark for the weekend. Prokudina had 11 digs for the double-double against the Red Storm, and Nieves and Wernette each topped 15 blocks on the tournament.
UB heads to Arkansas next weekend to face the Razorbacks, Butler, and Northwestern.
NKU Norse Men’s Soccer
I’ve never rooted for a coach that plays the “we were treateed unfairly and I’m proud of how we fought” card better than Stu Riddle, and NKU’s two-game trip to Pittsburgh had an all-timer in that category.
The Norse kept their record clean with a 2-1 overtime victory against Duquesne that featured three dismissals, NKU going down to nine men, and from what I can tell, a whole bunch of shady stuff from the Dukes. Freshman Alex Willis scored both goals, including the winner in the 96th minute, in the win.
Momentum continued with a 3-2 win over Robert Morris that saw Willis add another goal and two more assists. NKU totalled 24 shots on the weekend, and while I haven’t caught a stream yet, I have a feeling they’re an offense that’s a lot of fun to watch.