Last week in this post I lamented UB's MAC schedule and the challenges it presented, especially if the Bulls didn't get a pair of wins from their home weekend. Buffalo hits the road this weekend to face two of the MAC's three winless teams after the first conference weekend.
Eastern Michigan (3-6-1, 0-2-0 MAC)
Friday, 2 October; 4:00 PM
All-time series: Eastern Michigan, 10-5-6
Last Meeting: Buffalo, 2-0; 5 October 2014
2015 Common Opponents: The MAC (Ball State 1-2, Miami 0-1)
Streams: I don't think so.
Live Stats: We will have these, from EMU. SidearmStats stink for soccer, but oh well.
Eagles Player to Watch: Redshirt Freshman M/F Kristin Nason
Nason has five of EMU's ten goals. That's kind of frightening, but she's also only scored in three separate games, against two of EMU's weakest opponents and Illinois State. So far, the key to beating EMU - which seems not a high hurdle - is to keep Nason off the scoresheet, and more teams have managed that than not.
EMU for the most part only gets results when Nason scores: wins over bad Green Bay and Illinois-Chicago teams and an average Loyola-Chicago and a draw against an an average Illinois State group. Otherwise, the Eagles look like a team that lost three All-MAC First Teamerss and an All-MAC Second Teamer from their 2014 team. They've managed only 101 shots in 10 games, and 29 of them came against Green Bay who - sorry, Coach Brandao - is awful right now.
Last year, it was the win over Eastern Michigan, who I at the time believed to be near the top of the MAC, that clued us in to how good Buffalo was. This year the Eagles present much less of a threat, and even a still-finding-their-groove UB team should be able to find success.
Bowling Green (4-5-1, 0-2-0 MAC)
Sunday, 4 October; 1:00 PM
Bowling Green, OH
All-time series: Bowling Green leads 11-7-1
Last Meeting: Buffalo, 3-1; 3 October 2014
2015 Common Opponents: The MAC (Miami 1-2, Ball State 0-1)
Streams: Audio? Looks like maybe Audio.
Live Stats: Also SidearmStats
Golden Flashes Player to Watch: Junior G Lauren Cadel
Cadel was Second Team All-MAC last year, behind Laura Dougall at goalie. Was she the second-best goalie in the MAC? Maybe, but she got Second Team because she faced too many shots. This year she's still facing plenty of shots: 7.4 a game; and she's letting in 1.4 goals a match.
Bowling Green's resume looks a lot like Eastern Michigan's. They've got a slightly better record against a slightly easier schedule, and lost by a worse margin against their one OOC common opponent (Detroit). In MAC play so far they've got a pair of one-goal losses to Miami and Ball State. No shame in that, really, but losses are losses.
Unlike EMU, Bowling Green was a bad team last year that doesn't look to have gotten much better. Cadel stops plenty of shots, but she sees more. The Falcons' top two scorers are underclassmen who have scored eight of their ten combined goals in four games against overmatched nonconference opponents. Against Miami and Ball State last weekend, BG only found five shots on goal total. Have a day, Jackie Hall
Around the MAC
Around the MAC might be its own post, it might not. I might put it in with Film Study posts if I keep doing that, I might not. For now, it's here.
There are only three undefeated teams - statistically what you'd expect - and they're who you'd expect, too, in Miami, Western Michigan, and Ball State. There are only three 0-2 teams, and UB plays two of them this weekend, as both BG and EMU lost to Miami and Ball State.
Nobody in the MAC has looked super impressive as a team; I think the four best results of OOC play are a pair of ties from Ball State against Indiana and LSU and UB's win and loss against Syracuse and West Virginia.