Today's 3-1 win over Toledo from Women's Soccer was not entirely unexpected even if the Rockets were coming in on a two-game winning streak, but from early Celina Carrero goal to UB's beginning-to-end control of the midfield, it was an encouraging callback to the successes of 2014.
Buffalo used a dominant, ball-controlling first half to establish the tone, rarely allowing Toledo any dangerous chances and frequently moving the ball with ease through the midfield. Carrero's goal, headed in off a Julia Benati cross after a corner kick, came in the tenth minute after a stretch of dangerous play from the junior and redshirt freshman Carissima Cutrona. UB didn't score again before the break, but was dangerous throughout.
Julia Benati once again controlled play early in the second half as the Bulls looked dangerous every time they touched the ball, and Kassidy Kidd's fourth goal in three games came off a Cutrona-earned free kick shortly after the midfielder nearly scored despite being fouled. A quick Toledo penalty pulled the Rockets back to 2-1 and untilted the field, but the Rockets were unable to do much the rest of the way, anyway, and Kidd's second goal of the night felt more like icing on the cake than insurance.
Last season, a road weekend against Central Michigan and Toledo saw Celina Carrero score three goals and spurred the sophomore on to a season-ending run that saw her score or assist on more than half of UB's goals over a three-week stretch. She's now scored in two straight to go with assists in four straight and is looking as dangerous as she has all season.
Other standouts for the Bulls didn't make their way onto the scoresheet. Andrea Niper's return to the midfield has been a revelation, as she takes a much wider range and in the first half even took three or four dangerous shots from straight on. Cutrona was credited with no assists, but earned both of the set plays that turned into UB's first two goals. I didn't catch who committed the foul that led to Toledo's goal, but as long as it wasn't Angel Hart, mark Hart down for an excellent game as well.
Buffalo remains at home Sunday for Central Michigan and their final regular season match at UB Stadium this year. Now 4-2-1 in the MAC, UB looks in better and better shape, but could really use another win in their final home opportunity before a pair of road games against frontrunners Miami and Ball State.