Prior to the storybook 2014 season, UB Women's Soccer had only advanced to the MAC Semifinals twice in sixteen years in the conference. Today, with a 3-2 win only earned in a penalty shootout over Central Michigan at UB Stadium, they moved to the Conference's final weekend for the second straight season.
Full disclosure: I haven't yet seen the game after spending my day watching Wrestling at Maryland, so I'm working off the box score and will have more to say tomorrow or Tuesday.
The Bulls coming into today won five of six to close the regular season and only trailed for 31 minutes over the month of October. They never trailed in this one, but made it about as dicey as possible in a strong wind and against an opponent they had shut out earlier in the season.
Carissima Cutrona scored in the second minute for the Bulls, who dominated the first portion of the game and appeared in total control. But working into the wind, UB fell victim to a long Central Michigan shot that evened the game with over an hour to play, and they lost the momentum. Brianna Shingary scored early in the second half, but for the second time this season the Bulls amazingly surrendered a goal in the final minute, allowing the equalizer in literally the last second of regulation.
Despite outshooting the Chippewas 19-12 on the game and outcornering them 9-0, UB could only push across two goals and managed no shots on target in either overtime. I do not at this moment know how the penalty kicks went other than that UB won 3-1 and people are congratulating Laura Dougall on Twitter. Officially today goes down as a tie, so Dougall has not yet moved into sole possession of second in the all-time UB wins lists.
Around the MAC the results were just as stunning as three of four games went to penalty kicks, including, incredibly, Akron in a road defeat of Ball State. Miami also managed a road upset of Kent State in penalty kicks, while Western Michigan was the only home team to take care of business comfortably, topping Toledo 3-0. As the highest remaining seed, the Broncos will host the semifinals and final this coming weekend.
UB will now travel to Kalamazoo for those Broncos, who drew the Bulls in Michigan during the regular season. Clearly today showed that anything can happen, but you've got to think that WMU is the toughest test of the remaining three teams for Buffalo's attempt at a repeat.
I will have more on this game tomorrow and Tuesday once I actually watch it.