A strong start for UB Women’s Soccer lapsed into something of a dogfight, and the Ohio Bobcats for the third straight season presented a tougher than expected challenge for the Bulls in a 2-1 Buffalo at UB Stadium Thursday night.
Carissima Cutrona proved the winner, heading in a rattling Ashley Evans corner in the second overtime just as it felt like a tie was inevitable. It’s the sophomore’s eighth goal and fourth gamewinner of the year.
After a long stretch of regulation in which UB struggled to build momentum, both overtimes were more up-and-down and generally even, if a little in favor of the Bobcats, who forced Laura Dougall to make a sliding save on the edge of the box late in the first extra period.
Celina Carrero had opened the scoring early in the first half off some nice UB passing, and Dougall made four saves, but UB was outshot and in general struggled, especially after halftime, in their third straight game without junior wing Julia Benati.
The Bobcats equalizer came just four minutes after the break, when Allie Curry slipped an overhead kick inside the far post off a corner, and the second half trended slightly toward the visitors, their more aggressive style, and their ability to draw fouls, though neither team generated enough high-quality chances to make overtime feel undeserved.
The win for UB is their third straight, even if the shutout streak ended, and brings them to a winning MAC record with nearly half the season remaining.
The Bulls hit the road for a key match on Sunday against East-leading Kent State. Much like their opening weekend trips to Ball State and Miami, this one presents a challenge that could serve a chance to stake a claim to a home tournament game or put UB behind the eight ball for a tournament game at all.