Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communication Departments
Buffalo 3, Gannon 1
Akron 0, Michigan St. 0
BUFFALO, NY - After capitalizing on a pair of first-half errors by the Gannon University defense, the UB men's soccer team (3-9-3) earned an early lead and never looked back in a 3-1 win. The team received goals from Nicolai Berry, Russell Cicerone, and Jake Jacobs, while also getting experience for young talent in a rare late-October non-conference match.
Berry started the night off strong in the sixth minute. He carried the ball up the left side, and went to goal. After taking it nearly to the end line, he crossed a shot through the mouth of the goal, and it snuck in after deflecting off a Gannon defender. It was the freshman's second goal of the season.
Gannon would make another mental error in the 27th minute, when Daniel Cramarossa pressured a ball that drew out the opposing goalie to the top of the box. After hammering Cramarossa, it was ruled that the goalie was outside the box, giving him an immediate yellow card and a free kick from 18 yards out. Cicerone smoothly curled a shot over the five-man wall that was unstoppable, netting his team-high fifth goal of the year.
Despite the 2-0 advantage, the Bulls were largely out-played by the Golden Knights through the first half, leading to the opposition scoring a goal in the 34th minute and advantages in shots and corner kicks heading into halftime. The Bulls came out with a renewed spirit in the second half, limiting Gannon to only five total shots while the offense generated seven chances on goal among 11 shots in the final 45 minutes.
After a handful of close calls on offense, UB put the game away in the 73rd minute off a set play. Nicolai Berry curled a left-footed corner kick into the box. A clear attempt instead found Cicerone, who kept it in the box long enough for Jacobs to find it for a point-blank goal.
The UB defense saw contributions from Alec Fisher and goalie Andrew Siviy, both making their first career starts as true freshman. Siviy made six saves in the win.
"It was a disappointing first half, they (Gannon) were very unlucky to be behind," head coach Stu Riddle. "I was much more pleased with the second half and finding that third goal and killing off the game. Ultimately we got what we needed, which was a win, and a lot of guys got minutes."
The Bulls will play one last non-conference game, traveling south to take on Belmont on Saturday at 6 pm. The team will have one last home game, when it hosts West Virginia on Nov. 1 for Senior Day.
AKRON, Ohio – Despite dominating play for 110 minutes, the No. 18 University of Akron men's soccer team was forced to settle for a draw in a scoreless result against No. 17 Michigan State Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The Zips (10-3-1) were sharp in their build up but couldn't find the finishing touch while out-shooting the Spartans 23-5 overall and 10-2 on frame. Still, it was a quality result against an MSU side (8-2-3) that entered play averaging nearly two goals per game and was shutout for the first time all season.
Freshman Fernando Pina made a pair of stops and sophomore defender Andrew Souders was a brick wall on the Zips backline as UA posted its third consecutive shutout and eighth clean sheet overall in 14 matches.
As the final statistics suggest, Akron was a bit unlucky as well as the Zips had a number of chances to jump on top but were turned away by Spartans goalkeeper Zach Bennett, who finished with 10 saves.
UA controlled the run of play from the start, out-shooting MSU 11-2 in the first 45 minutes, and appeared destined to take the lead in the closing seconds of the first half, but Saad Abdul-Salaam's shot from straight away and Matt Foldesy's ensuing rebound were both saved by Bennett.
The Zips had another golden opportunity near the end of the second half when Adam Najem, who banged a liner off the crossbar in the first half, created space in front of the net and had a go from the top of the box. Bennett made the stop, then quickly got into position to turn away the rebound by Quinn. Zac Portillos, who got the start at left back in place of Robbie Derschang, sent another dangerous shot into the fray just seconds later but Bennett wouldn't let it through and the match went into overtime.
Akron out-shot Michigan State 6-1 over the two overtime periods but couldn't capitalize. The Zips' best chance may have come in the 104th minute when Najem timed up a cross from Bryan Gallego and sent the one-timer just over the cross bar and out of play.
UA will jump back into Mid-American Conference play Saturday night when Northern Illinois comes to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for a 7 p.m. ET kick. Akron will salute its five seniors – Reinaldo Brenes, Derschang, Portillos, Quinn and Eric Stevenson – in a pre-game ceremony.