Courtesy of Buffalo Athletic Communications
BUFFALO, NY - Led by a season-best performance from its backstop, the Buffalo men's soccer team shutout cross-town rival Canisius (1-2-1) Wednesday evening, posting a 0-0 tie in double overtime to remain unbeaten at home. Buffalo (0-3-2) shut down a Canisius offense that had not been held scoreless yet in the young season.
"The opening 15-20 minutes Canisius was the better team but from that point on I thought we really got a grip on the game," head coach Stu Riddle said. "Overall, the positive was how we defended. I thought we defended like men for the first time this season and the commitment level the boys showed to defend was pretty remarkable."
Waleed Cassis led the charge between the posts, making eight saves in the game. With his previous season high in saves being just three, the junior transfer made five saves in the first half alone and had eight for the game. Among his five saves in the opening stanza, he was able to snare three would-be goals from the Griffs.
"We know he's a fantastic goalkeeper, his background has shown that," Riddle said of his junior goalie. "We're starting to see some good play from him and I'm very pleased with him."
While the defense was able to lock up the first shutout of the season, the Buffalo offense was able to generate quality chances but could not convert for a score. Bad luck and extra touches cost a number of chances, most notably a breakaway opportunity for Kristian Lee-Him that was just a yard too far out front of him.
In the second overtime period, Austin Place found the ball on the back post off a corner kick from Nicolai Berry, but his attempt would spoil wide to the left. Despite the missed chances, Riddle believes that the team will be able to shake the tentativeness and plans to "score in bunches" after getting that first goal.
The Bulls will now travel out on its longest road trip of the season, starting on Friday against Binghamton. The two teams will square off for a 7 pm first kick.