Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communication Departments
Buffalo 1, Cleveland State 0
Northern Illinois 2, Saint Mary's 1
Milwaukee 2, Western Michigan 0
CLEVELAND, OH - Facing an aggressive Cleveland State offense that put up season-high numbers for a UB opponent, the Buffalo men's soccer won its first game of the season and the Stu Riddle era Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 win. A penalty kick goal in the 84th minute from freshman Russell Cicerone - his second in as many games - would be the difference in the game. Goalie Waleed Cassis also starred in the game, making seven saves in his second shutout of the season for UB (1-4-3).
"I'm very proud of the team, we have been through a lot so far this season and they kept believing and got a great victory today, said Riddle. "Cleveland State is a very good side with a great home record, and I expect this boost to kick-start our season from this point forward."
The Vikings (3-4), who won the 2012 Horizon League title, and this is just the ninth loss at home for Cleveland State over the past five seasons. It was an uphill climb all afternoon for UB, who were out-shot 21-6 and allowed 14 corner kicks while not taking a single one on their end. Of the six total shots attempted by Buffalo, three quality shots would be taken in the first 17 minutes of play. Nicolai Berry and Kristian Lee-Him each put a shot on frame in the opening ten minutes, and Shane Sitar would find his shot carom of the post in the 17:01 mark.
With Cleveland State turning the momentum from that point on, it was up to Cassis and the defense to stem the tide and keep the Bulls in the match. After a late save punched away in the first half, the junior would make six more saves in the closing 45 minutes, including a buzzer-beating attempt from CSU with seconds remaining.
The Buffalo offense would catch a critical break late in the match, when a blatant hand-ball in the box by a Vikings defender drew a straight red card and a penalty kick opportunity in the 84th minute. After hitting the game-tying goal Friday at Detroit off a penalty kick, Cicerone was tabbed to put the Bulls ahead and did just that. It was his team-leading third goal of the year.
The win wraps up the team's longest road trip of the season, and it will now return home to UB Stadium on Friday for a match against Cornell. As part of a doubleheader with the women's team, the Bulls will take on the Big Red at 5 pm before the women open the Mid-American Conference season against Ball State at 7:30.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior James Stevenson (Falkirk, Scotland/St. Mungo’s) scored a pair of goals to help lead the Northern Illinois men’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Saint Mary’s on Sunday afternoon in the Northwestern Lakeside Classic.
“We have a very young roster and I think in the early part of the season we have had some very harsh lessons that we have had to learn,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “Credit to Saint Mary’s, they are really hard to play against. They don’t stop working, they are very committed, they have some set piece things that are difficult and they never let us off the hook.
“It was a good step forward for our young group that they were able manage that pressure, play through it at times and create a lot of good chances. Defensively we were pretty solid; on the whole it was a good performance, and a good step forward, for our young group.
Saint Mary’s (2-4-1) created the first chance of the match off a long throw in the third minute with the ball dangerously bouncing in the NIU box before a handball on the Gaels ended the threat.
The Huskies had a pair of chances in the 19th minute. Sophomore Charlie Oliver (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) started the sequence down the right wing with a cross to junior Isaac Kannah (Plymouth, Minn./Prairie Seeds Academy). He laid the ball into the path of sophomore Bertrand Gaschot (Austin, Texas/Westwood) for a shot that was blocked and on the rebound Stevenson had an opportunity that went just wide.
In the 32nd minute, Northern Illinois (3-5-0) created another chance as junior Jayson LeSeth (Des Plaines, Ill./Main West) chipped a free kick into the box that senior Sean Totsch (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) got to first in the air. Totsch’s header toward goal didn’t have enough pace and the Gaels were able to clear it from the line.
Two minutes later, Oliver had a good chance. After a Saint Mary’s defender slipped in the box, Oliver pounced on the opportunity and forced a fine save from Saint Mary’s goalkeeper Andre Rawls at close range.
NIU finally found the breakthrough in the 39th minute. The Huskies found junior Dusty Page (Germantown, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) at the back post on an initial corner. Junior Andrew Palumbo (Ft. Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/Darton College) picked up the second ball and flicked it into the air where Stevenson was first to it, heading home the opening goal.
The goal, Stevenson’s second of the season and 14th of his NIU career, gave NIU a 1-0 lead at the half.
Northern Illinois had the first chance of the season half as Stevenson played a ball in behind the Saint Mary’s defense to Gaschot who forced a save from Rawls.
Gaschot turned provider in the 57th minute, playing a ball to Oliver whose shot was cleared off the goal line by the Saint Mary’s defense.
A minute later NIU doubled its advantage. LeSeth hit a corner toward the back post that Totsch headed toward goal, Stevenson made sure the ball crossed the line, firing it into the back of the net for his third goal of the season and 15th of his career.
Stevenson and Kannah were named to the Northwestern Lakeside Classic All-Tournament Team.
In the 63rd minute, the Gaels had a chance off a corner as the ball fell to Ismail Adam who fired a shot just wide of the post.
The Huskies had a chance to get a third as Kannah played a short cross into Stevenson all alone in front of goal. Stevenson’s touch went just wide and the NIU lead remained 2-0.
Jake Stenberg had a look at goal for Saint Mary’s in the 72nd minute. Off a long ball from the Gael defense, Stenberg’s effort went high over the NIU goal.
The Gaels pulled a goal back behind Bobby Conner in the 76th minute. After a NIU foul, Rafael Sanchez played the free kick into the box where Conner rose highest and headed in from inside the six-yard box.
With Saint Mary’s pressing for a tying goal late, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Glaeser (Walla Walla, Wash./Walla Walla/Oregon State) did well to get a touch on a header by Connor off a corner for the Gaels. Glaeser was credited with four saves in the contest as the Huskies held on for the 2-1 victory.
Northern Illinois will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 28, when the Huskies travel to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State at 1 p.m. CT.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Western Michigan’s three-game winning streak was snapped by the Milwaukee Panthers in a 2-0 loss at the WMU Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The Broncos (3-5-0) faced a tough task against the No. 9 ranked team in the Great Lakes region, who is now 6-0-1 on the season. WMU was limited to just one shot on goal but managed to fire off eight shots overall.
“We knew Milwaukee was going to have a little more of the run of play,” said head coach Chad Wiseman. “I thought we were pretty well organized but the bottom line is when you play one of the best teams in the nation, and Milwaukee is one of them, they penalize you when you make mistakes. Both of their goals came off individual mistakes and they made us pay.”
A turnover led to Rami Younes’ goal in the 12th minute as his shot just rolled over the goal line before Chase Rau jumped on it. Another turnover led to the sequence of play that put the Panthers up 2-0 in the 58th minute. Younes found Isaias Juarez, who ran down the right flank. Juarez placed a low cross into the box and Laurie Bell fired it into the net for his fourth of the season.
Jason Grant led the Broncos with three shots, while Edu Jimenez had two shots and landed one on goal.
“Going forward for us the quality just wasn’t there,” added Wiseman. “The guys are working hard, I can’t fault them for their effort but the quality in the final third just wasn’t there. We just aren’t at that level yet. We will get there, but just not there yet."
Western Michigan has the week off before heading to the University of Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for a 7 p.m. start.