The last two weekends on the road have certainly been a reality check for Men's Soccer fans after UB started the season 3-0-0. Last weekend the Bulls fought through the Texas heat for a tie and a loss in a pair of close games, but this afternoon fell 1-0 to Bryant and are now 3-3-1 on the season.
Worse yet, UB's now gone three full games, including a short overtime stretch, and nearly a fourth without scoring at all. The last tally came on a Russell Cicerone penalty in the fourth minute against UT-RGV back when the Bulls were still undefeated and untied.
Today, though, UB faded after a strong start. Bryant's stream wasn't great, and I wasn't able to watch the last 30 minutes or so, but judging from what I could see and the stream commentary, the Bulldog's goal came against the run of play. The stats weren't too lopsided in the first half, but UB had the better of possession and Bryant's play by play man felt that the hosts had been unable to generate any buildup offense all game.
UB had a 5-4 advantage in shots and 3-0 advantage in corners in the first half, including a flurry in the final minutes that saw Cicerone see two great chances and Braden Scales put one off the crossbar. and seemed to turn up the pressure in the second, but Bryant scored in the 59th minute well against the momentum. From there, UB couldn't seem to get much going despite plenty of subs for both teams.
We did see a different lineup today from the Bulls. Austin Place and Alec Fisher both cracked the starting XI, bumping Scott Doney to the bench further up the formation. Joseph Kuta got his first start for UB in net, making four saves in the loss.
Stu Riddle was complementary of his team's fight in the second half of Friday's 2-0 loss to UMass-Lowell (see sidebar), and given that last year it took a pair of miracle goals in the 89th and 101st minute to beat Bryant, I'm not wildly upset about today's result, but it's time for the Bulls to come home to UB Stadium. They have a pair of home matches against Lafayette and Niagara, two more teams from last season's schedule, next weekend.