Julia Benati's team-leading fourth goal put UB up in the second half this afternoon and the defense stiffened after a shaky first period to give the Bulls a 1-0 win over Eastern Michigan.
They move to 2-1 in the MAC, and we're starting to see more and more signs of a team that brings a consistent effort and gets consistent results. I was unable to do more than follow EMU's Twitter and live stats, but Buffalo hunkered down after surrendering six corner kicks in the first half and generally had the better of the second.
Eastern Michigan has three shots on goal to go with their corners in the first, and seem to have generally had more of the ball, as UB was whistled for more fouls. Laura Dougall was only forced to make three saves, though, and UB likely had the best chance of the half when Benati was able to get a shot in close.
As they did so often last year, UB took over in the second, finding a number of chances in the first five minutes and scoring in the 66th when Carissima Cutrona crossed a ball across the box to Benati. It'd be nice too get video, but I'm not holding out too much hope.
What was most pleasing about the second half was that EMU only mustered one further shot on goal while UB continued to press the issue. Rebecca Bramble and Kassidy Kidd both forced saves in the final 15 minutes as Buffalo threatened to find an insurance goal.
Last year Buffalo kickstarted their season when Katie Roberts went on her goal streak and maintained success by continually limiting opponents to five shots on goal or less. Benati is now the first to score in consecutive games this season, and Dougall has only needed to make five or fewer saves in four of the last five matches.
Dougall's fifth shutout of the season moves her closer to the UB record: Jaime Adams (21) and Ainsley Wheldon (20) sit 1-2, while Dougall is alone in third with 18. In wins, the sophomore has caught her predecessor Wheldon at third all-time with 22 and is five from second, 12 from first.
UB stays on the road this weekend for a 1:00 match Sunday against Bowling Green.