It's getting closer to gut-check time for Women's Soccer, who have all the pieces to the puzzle, but short of a strong game against Canisius, haven't put them together for a complete game yet. Tonight's matchup against Binghamton presents an additional difficulty not only as UB's third game in six days, but UB's third game after a pair of double-overtime matches. Read on for the full preview:
Binghamton (1-3-1, 0-0 America East)
Friday, 11 September; 7:00 PM
All-time series: Buffalo leads, 4-1-0
Last Meeting: Buffalo, 1-0 (2OT) ; 19 August 2011
2015 Common Opponents: St. Bonaventure (2-1), Canisius (1-1), Niagara (1-2)
Streams: The usual UB Ustream option. A video will also be embedded on ubbulls.com
Live Stats: Also available through UB
Rebels Player to Watch: Senior M Katherine Corcoran, Senior F Stephani Church
I'd love to pick someone on the defensive side who will threaten Buffalo's offense, but it's pretty clear that UB's biggest enemy at that end is themselves. Binghamton has only scored three goals on 46 shots over five games, which is pretty bad, but the way UB is playing, whoever converts first is in good shape for a result. Corcoran leads the Bearcats with 10 shots, while Church has two of Binghamton's two goals. The pair combined for five goals in 2014.
UB should have advantages at every position and win this game. But, theory aside, they had the bulk of offensive chances against St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, and Niagara, and only came out with two goals over 310 minutes. As I wrote in the Niagara recap Tuesday night, the offense isn't UB's problem. They're going to have the ball in the final third. It's getting from there to the ball in the net that's missing.
Some players seem snakebit despite taking plenty of shots, some players seem unwilling to take shots when they're available, and on the whole UB is just a touch off. It's all there, and sometimes it feels like once the Bulls break through, they'll score five or six.
Right now, though, when you watch you see the chances unfold, and the final shot or pass just isn't happening. It's an easier obstacle to stomach with Buffalo's strong defense, but over the last two weeks we've seen more and more pressure on the backline to be completely perfect. Binghamton can barely score, but right now, if they pop one through, it could be enough.