Now 1-1 on the early season, UB Women's Soccer returns to Western New York, but not UB Stadium, for a pair of games against local competition. In 2014 the Bulls shut out both St. Bonaventure and Canisius to open their season. In 2015 they'll look to build on momentum from last Sunday's win against Drexel before the home opener next weekend against Syracuse.
Canisius (1-1-1, 0-0 MAAC)
Sunday, 30 August; 12:00 PM
Demske Sports Complex
All-time series: Buffalo leads, 21-10-3
Last Meeting: UB, 2-0; 24 Aug 2014
2015 Common Opponents: St. Bonaventure, Binghamton, Niagara
Streams: Video through Canisius ($). I don't believe there's any audio only.
Live Stats: Will be available through Canisius, but a link is not available yet.
Golden Griffins Player to Watch: Senior F Brittany Krause
Whether or not you include Canisius' 16-1 victory over Hampton - and I don't think you should take it for much - Krause is the Golden Griffins' leading scorer on the season, with either four or one. Krause has flashed offensive production in the past, but is now a senior for Canisius and getting plenty of minutes, playing 55 in Canisius' 3-0 loss to Old Dominion, and 85 in a 1-1 tie against St. Bonaventure.
Let's talk about 16-1 over Hampton first. Hampton is in its first season as a D-1 program, and for as exciting as 16-1 may be for Canisius, it's actually Hampton's best game of the season, as the Pirates have been outscored 49-1 and outshot 170-2 in their first three games. Consider it an outlier.
When it comes to UB-Canisius tomorrow, the Golden Griffins' tie against the Bonnies is more telling, though. Canisius lost a goalie or two late in the summer, and has only one true goalie on the roster with six games of experience prior to this season. The Golden Griffins are also working with a new coach and a relatively large freshman class after graduating six seniors from 2014. So it's unclear quite what to expect tomorrow.
St. Bonaventure (0-1-1, 0-0-0 A-10)
Tuesday, 1 September; 7:00 PM
All-time series: Buffalo leads, 13-12-2
Last Meeting: Buffalo, 1-0; 22 Aug 2014
2015 Common Opponents: Binghamton, Canisius, Akron, Niagara, St. Joseph's
Streams: Doubtful. It seems neither of the Bonnies' soccer teams get video at home matches.
Live Stats: It's unclear if Bonaventure even has these for Tuesday.
Bonnies Player to Watch: Senior F Abby Maiello
Maiello in the season's early going seems Bonaventure's most consistent offensive threat, getting off six shots in two games. The experienced senior has been a regular starter since her freshman campaign and played all 210 minutes in St. Bonaventure's first two games.
St. Bonaventure's first two games will provide a barometer for UB. After tomorrow's Canisius game, we'll know how Buffalo fared in comparison with the Bonnies' 1-1 tie, while UB plays Binghamton later in the season.
In the early going, Bonaventure looks to be a more active offensive team than last year, and features a roster that should be improved over last season, with six seniors and large group of sophomores. But UB returns seven starters and got marginally better results against marginally better competition in the season's first weekend. Like Canisius tomorrow, this is a game that UB should win to maintain their newfound status after 2014.