After four road games with decent play but disappointing results, Men's Soccer desperately needs a homestand, and will spend the weekend at UB Stadium facing a pair of teams that gave them fits last year.
Buffalo is currently sitting on a near-four-game scoreless streak, but it's not for lack of chances, as UB has had a half-dozen or more quality chances called offside, gone of the framework, or seen a foul uncalled in the last few weekend. Against Lafayette and Niagara, the Bulls will look to get back on track.
Lafayette (7-1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Friday, 18 September; 5:00 PM
All-time series: Lafayette, 1-0-0
Last Meeting: Lafayette, 1-0; 14 October 2014
2015 Common Opponents: Bryant (1-1),
Streams: Home match means a UStream is available at ubbulls.com
Live Stats: UB's site has these, as usual, too.
Leopards Player to Watch: Sophomore GK Brad Seeber
Seeber made eight saves, some of them jaw-dropping, against the Bulls in the two teams' thrilling match last season, and has gotten much better as a sophomore, giving up just three goals over six games.
Lafayette like Buffalo comes into tonight on a run of disappointing results after a strong start to the season. The Leopards are 0-1-2 in their last three, with all three matches going to double overtime. Though it's been six days, that might play a role.
In more substantive commentary, Lafayette-Buffalo was my single favorite game from last year, even though it ended with a late goal from the Leopards. On that day, the Bulls showed some real defensive mettle and were able to generate shots and chances from their possession even without enjoying long periods of ball control. With an improved midfield this year, I'd hope that things are more even tonight and the UB defense is less tested.
Niagara (0-6-0, 0-0 MAAC)
Sunday, 20 September; 1:00 PM
All-time series: Buffalo leads 22-14-5
Last Meeting: Niagara, 2-1; 12 September 2014
2015 Common Opponents: None
Streams: UB's feed hooray
Live Stats: Also through UB
Purple Eagles Player to Watch: Freshman F Alex Dimitriu
Dimitriu is the leading scorer and shooter for Niagara, but those numbers are only two and seven. More below.
Niagara is not good at soccer this year, winless in six games. Their best showing is a 2-1 double overtime loss to Michigan, but they've only managed four goals on the year while averaging only five shots a game in total, not even on net. I have little more to say. The last time I guaranteed a win, things went poorly, but this certainly looks lopsided on paper, even if the game is played on turf.