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Local premier soccer club Empire United and the Buffalo Blizzard have joined forces to present the annual Exceptional Seniors soccer game, shining a spotlight on the talent among soon-to-be Western New York high school graduates who aim to play in college. This year's match begins at 9 a.m. Nov. 8 at Sahlen's Sports Park (7070 Seneca St., Elma), and we've received the gam…

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Nick DeMarsh would prefer his 2015 Buffalo State women's soccer team to be remembered for something other than the majestic goal that clinched the SUNYAC regular season title. That goal, where Alexis Carillo's flip throw-in met Gabrianna Boldinski's head against Oneonta, has been trumpeted by local and national media, giving a quietly improving program an unexpected dose …

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University at Buffalo goalie Laura Dougall usually isn't brimming with confidence at the prospect of penalty kicks, but you wouldn't believe that after she stumped three Central Michigan shooters in the Bulls' dramatic 2-2 (3-1 in PKs) win at UB Stadium in the Mid-American quarterfinals. With the score knotted at 2 after two overtime sessions, the Chippewas shot first in …

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There should be absolutely no debate over the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for Week 10. After potting three goals and adding two assists against Rider on Wednesday, red-hot Melvin Blair added two more goals in Canisius' 3-1 win over Manhattan on Senior Night at Demske Sports Complex. While his goal that broke the 1-1 second-half deadloc…

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You could not have scripted Marcus Hanson's Senior Night more perfectly. The Bulls' captain wrested hope from the jaws of defeat with a late strike before a world-class goal from Russell Cicerone propelled the Bulls to a 2-1 win over Bowling Green, sealing the program's first trip to the Mid-American Conference Tournament since 2011. After going down in the 76th minute, …

While this weekly feature usually homes in on college matches only, there's too much going on in the local soccer world this week to limit our aims. 1) Lackawanna High School vs. International Prep, 5 p.m. Oct. 28 at Hamburg High School's Howe Field. $5 to get in. What is at stake: This is the Class B-2 Championship game, but it also holds larger meaning for Western New …

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The flip throw-in is a lost art in soccer. You don't see it in the English Premier League or Major League Soccer, where players are strong enough to heave the ball to their target without added propulsion from the flip. Few players can actually accomplish the acrobatic toss -- which takes a frightening level of coordination and can be embarrassing when it goes wrong -- but…

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Unlike goals and clean sheets, a team's belief is impossible to quantify, but this year's Buffalo State men's soccer program has the trait in abundance. With a 2-0 win over New Paltz on Friday afternoon at Coyer Field, the Bengals (10-5-2 overall, 4-3-1 conference) clinched their second SUNYAC playoff berth in three years after missing the postseason the previous six camp…

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Luke Pavone smiles a lot more than he used to. The Buffalo State midfielder has reason to be pleased -- he's already helped the Bengals to nine wins, tied for the program's most since 2008, with two games remaining in the regular season. A transfer from NCAA Division I school University of Massachusetts, Pavone ranks second in State University of New York Athletic Confe…

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Rivalry matches are often beautiful for their unpredictability. Regardless of where two nearby nemeses rank before the game, the ensuing competition is fierce and emotions run high because pride and bragging rights are on the line. Even, explosive matches frequently result. It took the Niagara Purple Eagles 101 minutes to overcome the Canisius Griffins, 1-0, on Wednesday …

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We've reached the best part of the conference soccer season, as most local college teams are either fighting for a spot in the conference tournament or jockeying for a higher seed. Although Western New York is bereft of a college club in first place, several are not far from clinching postseason play. 1) Buffalo State men (9-5-2, 3-3-1 in SUNYAC) vs. New Paltz (10-6-1, 3-…

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Senior Day reminded fans of UB Bulls women's soccer how exceptional this graduating class has been. Senior starters Jackie Hall, Kristin Markiewicz and Kassidy Kidd led the Bulls to a 3-0 win over the Central Michigan Chippewas, pushing UB's winning streak to three games and setting them up nicely for a tough conclusion to the Mid-American Conference on the road. "You al…

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Earning three points on Friday night against West Virginia was a massive result for the UB Bulls, who simply seemed better prepared and more determined than their Mid-American Conference foe. "We knew they were going to be a very talented team -- their coach referenced in the preseason that it was the best West Virginia team he's ever had," said Bulls head coach Stu Riddl…

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Good luck game-planning against the University at Buffalo women's offense. It's no secret that head coach Shawn Burke likes to isolate his wingers, Julia Benati and Carissima Cutrona, in order to carve apart defenses through the pair's pace and daring dribbling. But forwards Kassidy Kidd and Celina Carrero are proving that foes cannot focus their attention on the flanks,…

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After entering the USL Championship as a substitute in the 80th minute, Rochester striker Asani Samuels scored the game-tying goal in the first minute of stoppage time, then claimed the game-winner in the 113th as the Rhinos won the league in dramatic fashion, 2-1 (2 OT), over LA Galaxy II. The 6'5 Jamaican striker, who played four years at Canisius College and one with…