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5 home college matches to watch: Sept. 6-10

The non-conference portion of the college soccer schedule is in full swing, and while these contests may not have the importance of conference matches, local rivalries or match-ups between unusual foes help compensate.

For a composite calendar of all the home college soccer matches for fall 2017, go here.

1) St. Bonaventure men vs. Canisius, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 at St. Bonaventure University's Marra Field.

Why you should see it: This match needs little introduction, as two of the remaining local NCAA Division I men's programs go head to head in Olean for bragging rights. Last year's clash between the two squads was decided by a fifth-minute header by Canisius' Thomas Teupen, but St. Bonaventure wasn't overmatched in the least in the 1-0 defeat.

Considering Kwame Oduro's Bonnies have taken points from three of their first four games in 2017, including overtime wins over Bucknell and Robert Morris, St. Bonaventure might be modest favorites on the friendly confines of Marra.

Midfielder Paul Afful was named Atlantic 10 offensive co-player of the week, while the Ghanaian joined Kieran Toland on the all-tournament team for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Invitational.

For the Griffs, Grand Island alum Troy Brady was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for scoring three goals and adding an assist in the Griffs' two home wins. Read more about his game winner against Robert Morris here, then look at the Griffs' in-depth season outlook, below.

10 things to know about Canisius men's soccer

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2) Canisius women vs. St. Bonaventure, 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10 at Demske Sports Complex (1829 Main St.).

Why you should see it: Rivalry games receive royal treatment in this weekly piece, so the identical match-up - just on the women's side - rolls in at No. 2. At Demske, though, the Griffins will be heavy favorites given Bona's 0-5-1 record so far, with just one goal for, while Todd Clark's Canisius team stands at 3-1, with the highlight an upset of perennial favorite University at Buffalo.

Melanie Linsmair and Emily Czechowski have quickly formed an impressive center back pairing, one with enough bite and physicality to stymie opponents without conceding too many dangerous set pieces. Maggie Canitia, the freshman starting left back, has been a real find.

Steve Brdarski's Bonnies have been without the services of captain center midfielder Dani Vis for three of the five games due to a nagging leg injury; the senior's return to health by the arrival of conference play is likely more vital than out-of-conference results.

St. Bonaventure did collect its first point of the season on Thursday, however, as Lauren Malcolm's clean sheet was the high point of a 0-0 draw against UMass-Lowell.

Freshman Maggie Canitia has looked comfortable at left back for the Griffs. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

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3) D'Youville men vs. Elmira, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 at D'Youville College (320 Porter Ave.).

Why you should see it: Former Buffalo State, Canisius and UB assistant Kevin Brenner returns to Buffalo in his first year at the helm of Elmira College, with assistant and former Griff Andrew Incho by his side. While there's not much of a Western New York imprint on Brenner's squad yet, D'Youville head coach Brendan Murphy draws heavily from the high school pool in Buffalo.

Sweet Home alum Josh Hammer scored the Spartans' only goal of the season - to equalize Fredonia in the first half during an eventual 5-1 loss - while Hunter Sherman (Lockport), Mark Passantino (Iroquois), Allan Wade (Starpoint) and Jumale Jumale (Da Vinci) all have important roles.

Jake Kowalewski, a standout for BDSL Division 1 runners-up Polonia, has been one of D'Youville's more aggressive attackers in the early going.

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4) Blue Devil Classic in Fredonia: men's and women's tournament, Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9 on two different fields at 280 Central Ave., Fredonia.

Why you should see it: On the women's side, D'Youville, Penn State Behrend, Oswego State and hosts Fredonia make up the field, while Alfred State, Houghton, Buffalo State and the Blue Devils will take part on the men's side.

While a Buffalo State vs. Fredonia men's tussle would have been the highlight of the weekend, that's reserved for the Battle for Lake Erie, in SUNYAC play, on Sept. 30 at Coyer Field.

Houghton College should present a test for both the Bengals and the Blue Devils, even though the Highlanders are adjusting to life without All-American Jesse Toth, attacker Landon Sheaffer and goalkeeper Jacob Dunnett.

Expect Oswego State to be the class of the tournament on the women's side, although upstart D'Youville could test the Lakers.

Matt Casey, left, is now the leader of the Fredonia defense. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

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5) Buffalo State women vs. Baldwin Wallace as part of Bengal Classic, 1 p.m. Sunday at Coyer Field (Buffalo State).

Why you should see it: There's been a lot of turnover on Nick DeMarsh's Buffalo State roster, which suggests the Bengals - who advanced to the NCAA Tournament last fall - are in the early stages of a rebuild.

Senior midfielder Breanna Knight returns as one of the top players in the SUNYAC, and heralded goalkeeper Taylor Carillo begins her sophomore season between the pipes after 13 clean sheets in her first year, although senior Nicole Torres has started the first two matches of the season. Victoria Colotti is the only other returning starter, while Sophia Perrothers was an important bench piece last fall.

Local freshmen were recruited in abundance, as Alexandra Bone (Williamsville East), Mia Sugg (Depew), Sophia Osmond (West Seneca West), Gracie McNamara (Grand Island), Samantha Brick (Newfane) are all on the roster.

Baldwin Wallace presents a stiff test as a road opponent, too; the Yellow Jackets smoked the competition at the Penn State Behrend tournament.

Official 2017 Buffalo college soccer calendars

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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