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Buffalo Women’s Soccer gets first shutout of season in 0-0 Brown draw

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A strong offensive performance again went for naught on the scoreboard for UB Women’s Soccer during today’s 0-0 draw with an overmatched Brown team.

Laura Dougall, returning to action for the first time since the first half against West Virginia needed to make only a single save in the draw, but UB could not capitalize on 22 shots—9 on net—built on the most possession they’ve seen this season. The shutout is the 22nd of Dougall's career; a new UB record.

Carissima Cutrona continues to look like the most dangerous player on the pitch, even as she dropped deeper into the midfield than ever before, and Julia Benati’s creativity on the wing creates some chances, but Benati somehow goes long stretches without seeing the ball and the UB offense feels more like five players thinking and moving individually rather than a cohesive group—UB’s best chances were when Cutrona or Benati were able to work in space and create their own shot.

This mostly worked but for goals because Buffalo in general had the physical advantage over Brown all over the field. It’s hard to overstate just how much the Bulls had the ball in this one. Possession was certainly more lopsided than against Binghamton, as UB outshot Brown 18-4 in regulation and did not allow a shot on frame against Dougall until the 104th minute. And yet, no goals.

Coach Burke mixed things up in the lineup and substitutions, as Nicole Gerritz moved up to the wing and Ashley Evans started in the open fullback slot. Mairead Martin was an early sub in both halves in the holding midfield spot and we saw nothing of Rebecca Bramble or Meghan Simmons tonight.

After the Binghamton game, Burke spoke to the need for his team to learn to "win ugly," and it’s hard not to see tonight’s game as a test of that mettle. The offense needs to be more variable than getting Cutrona in space and the midfield more creative and energetic without asking her to drop so deep into the formation.

The Bulls remain at home this weekend for a Sunday afternoon match against Navy, who are 0-3-1 (though with losses to Stanford, TCU, and NC State) heading into tomorrow night’s faceoff with Niagara.