With some hindsight, this afternoon's 2-0 Men's Soccer loss to Lafayette makes perfect sense. It had a little of everything we've seen before in the 2014 matchup between the teams and UB's recent play.
In 2014, the Leopards needed a late goal to pull out a gritty 1-0 win in a game that saw each team find multiple quality chances and struggle to consistently build in the midfield. This season, Lafayette has been even stronger in their defense and seen goalie Brad Seeber step into a big role.
Over the past few weeks, UB has been unable to score - the scoreless streak now reached 470 minutes before Russell Cicerone scored today - despite a number of quality chances. Today, UB hit two crossbars and put a penalty kick off the post while earning eight corners prior to Cicerone's goal in the 85th minute.
I missed the early going and Lafayette's goal, but UB controlled possession for much of the final sixty minutes. To some degree, this is encouraging, though to another it felt like the visitors were comfortable dropping almost their entire team behind the ball and relying on their defense.
Well-organized defenders from Lowell and Bryant managed to stump the Bulls last weekend and survive when UB just missed on quality chances, and today was more of the same. UB had a number of chances to tie the game a 1-1 and 2-2 from Cicerone; a penalty kick off the post, a free kick just over the bar moments before Lafayette's second, and a curling chance sent just wide in the final minute. But ultimately the only goal they potted came when the junior was able to pull the ball into space after a few blocked shots and put it on net.
UB will stay in Buffalo this weekend and host Niagara on Sunday at 1:00 PM.