Friday's MAC Men's Soccer Results

Updated 9/21/2012

Stories Courtesy of MAC Home Sports Information Departments 

Friday's MAC Men's Soccer Scoreboard - 9/21
Buffalo 2, Albany 1
Denver 3, Northern Illinois 2
Michigan State 2, Western Michigan 1 


Buffalo 2, Albany 1
- The Buffalo men's soccer team came out flying Friday night at UB Stadium, aiming to find a way to snap a six-game losing streak while facing an Albany team that was equally as desperate, losing four straight on their own coming into the match. Maksym Kowal slammed home a pair of first-half goals and the defense provided the final spark in the second half to give the Bulls a 2-1 win.

The home side didn't have to wait very long to find its early advantage, as Kowal knocked home a header on an assist from Jesse Andoh in the seventh minute of the game. Andoh won the ball and took it just outside the right side of the 18-yard box before crossing it deep and finding the soaring head of Kowal, who beat Albany goalie Tim Allen high right. The Bulls were almost able to follow it up just under three minutes later, but a Richard Craven shot went wide of the goal mouth and a sliding Kowal was unable to corral it for another score. His aggression on offense would earn him his second goal soon after.
In the 22nd minute, Patrick Ryan played a through ball right up the heart of the Great Danes' defense, and Kowal was able to win his race with a charging goalie and skip it in for a 2-0 Buffalo lead. Though Albany's keeper was able to get a piece of the low, skipping shot, the ball still had enough pace to squirt over the line.
The Great Danes would pull within one with a goal in the 42nd minute, but could not generate any quality chances in the final 45 minutes. Jonathan Viscosi made six tough saves and was aggressive on snuffing out Albany's set pieces, allowing the Bulls to maintain pressure on offense and out-shoot the opposition 17-15.
"We came out in a different system with different personnel, and we just came out flying. We just forgot about the other team and worried about ourselves and it all clicked at the end of the day," head coach David Hesch said. "Whenever we can score early that's great, but we still need to buckle down and not let in those easy goals that we did in the first half. We could've won 4-0 or 5-0, we played great. I think we're rolling now but I don't want to look any further than this Sunday."
Ryan nearly had a pair of goals himself, as two of his three total shots in the game were on frame and with tremendous pace. In the 66th minute, he nearly came through but his shot was knocked down by Albany's Allen. Though he has yet to score this season, he leads the team with three assists.
The Bulls will hope to cap the non-conference season this Sunday with a 3:30 pm match against Robert Morris. Buffalo lost 2-1 in overtime to the Colonials last season and hope to put together its first winning streak of the season before Mid-American Conference action starts on Sept. 29.

Denver 3, Northern Illinois 2
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Trailing 2-0 at the half, the Northern Illinois men’s soccer team fought back to force overtime before falling 3-2 to Denver on Friday evening. Junior midfielder Gael Rivera (Oslo, Norway/WANG Elite Sports Academy) and junior forward James Stevenson (Falkirk, Scotland/St. Mungo’s) scored for the Huskies before Josh Wren got the game-winner for the Pioneers in the 109th minute.

“I told the guys that I didn’t think we deserved the final result, but at the same time we dug ourselves a hole in the first 45 minutes because we didn’t work,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “We got outworked pretty badly in the first half. I challenged the guys quite a bit at halftime and they had a great response, we were quite good in the second half. We had our chances in overtime, the overtime period was pretty even and they finished their chance.”

Denver (4-1-2) led 2-0 as the second half began and the Pioneers had a pair of chances in the first five minutes of the second half, including one that forced a save from senior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey (Ocean Springs, Miss./Ocean Springs).

Junior midfielder Karim Darbaki (Crystal, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) had a pair of chances in the 60th minute; his first shot was blocked before his second opportunity went high. 

Northern Illinois (1-4-2) cut the Denver lead in half in the 71st minute on Rivera’s third goal of the season. Freshman forward Matt Pritchard (Omaha, Neb./Creighton Prep) received a ball and fed it to Rivera whose near post shot from inside the box beat Denver goalkeeper Oliver Brown to cut the Pioneer lead to 2-1. 

Stevenson then pulled the Huskies back level when he converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Following a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Jayson LeSeth (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West), Denver was whistled for a foul in the box, giving Stevenson the chance from the penalty spot. Stevenson made no mistake from the dot, scoring his second goal of the season and the 11th of his NIU career. 

Godsey was forced to make the only save in the final eight minutes of regulation as he stopped a shot from Cole Chapleski in the 88th minute. Godsey finished the match with seven saves.

“We got the ball down on the ground, played soccer, moved it quickly,” Luzzi said of the differences in the second half. “We worked hard for each other on both sides of the ball.” 

In the first extra session, sophomore Isaac Kannah (Plymouth, Minn./Prairie Seeds Academy) had the first opportunity when he took a shot that went wide in the 92nd minute. Stevenson had another chance for the Huskies two minutes later, but his attempt was saved by Brown. 

In the second overtime period, Rivera had a shot that went wide in the 104th minute. Godsey made a save on a shot by Ryan Dodson in the 107th minute, but one minute later the Pioneers found a winner as Wren beat Godsey for his fifth goal of the season. 

Denver opened the scoring in the 15th minute on a goal from Blake Shannon. With their fourth corner of the match, Denver played the initial ball to Cole Chapleski. Chapleski played the ball to Shannon whose shot took a deflection the way to goal and found the net to give the Pioneers and early lead. 

Denver doubled its advantage in the 38th minute on a goal by Brian Hoyt. An initial shot from Ryan Dodson hit the post and Hoyt was first to react, firing the rebound off the bar into an open net. 

Northern Illinois will return to action on Sunday (Sept. 23) when the Huskies face fifth-ranked New Mexico in Albuquerque at 2 p.m. CT.


Michigan State 2, Western Michigan 1
EAST LANSING, Mich.- Michigan State scored two goals in a two-minute span and held on for a 2-1 win over Western Michigan Friday evening, as the Spartans posted their first home win of the season. For Western Michigan, its was just the second loss of the season, as the Broncos slipped to 7-2-0 on the year.

The first half was a scoreless affair, but Michigan State (3-5-1) managed two second-half goals in a 90-second span to open a 2-0 lead. Tim Kreutz scored in the 56th minute off a rebound on a header by Adam Montague. Luke Norman then struck in the 57th minute from six yards out off a cross from Kreutz.
WMU's Shane Lyons cut the difference in half in the 72nd minute, scoring his second goal in as many games. Lyons collected his own blocked shot at the top of the box and blasted a hard, low shot that found the bottom right corner of the net.
"We learned a lot from this defeat today," said Bronco head coach Stu Riddle. "I saw some unusually jaded performances from guys but there is no excuses when you concede two goals in less than a minute of play. It was good to get some guy minutes that haven't played as much as they would have liked this season and the subs made a very big contribution."
Western Michigan fired 10 shots in the game, while Michigan State attempted 11. Bronco netminder Sean Lewis made three saves. Bryce Dobbins had six saves for the Spartans.
Western Michigan has a pair of home games next week, hosting IUPUI Tuesday at 4 p.m. and then opens Mid-American Conference play against newest men's soccer affiliate member West Virginia Saturday at noon.