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5 big Buffalo soccer results: Oct. 28-30

It was a feel-good story for the Fredonia Blue Devils, who won their first playoff game since 2007, knocking off Plattsburgh in the sixth round of penalty kicks. We covered that match in detail here, but there were plenty of other meaningful results from the weekend.

1) Buffalo State men's soccer avenges loss to New Paltz: With a 5-4 record in the SUNYAC, Mark Howlett's Bengals mustered a first-round home playoff game against New Paltz, a team that had beaten Buffalo State in the regular season finale. That result was a tad misleading, though, as the Bengals went much deeper into their bench than usual, having already clinched a postseason spot.

On Saturday, senior goalkeeper Will Banahene made seven saves and second-half goals from Bass Sarr and Brandon Galanti were enough to slay the Hawks, 2-0, at Coyer Field.

Sarr's goal pushed his total to 12 for the season, vaulting him back into first place over Cortland's Nick Tata. The Bengals will travel to Cortland for a 1 p.m. match Nov. 2 against the top-seeded Red Dragons.

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2) Erie Community College women topple Finger Lakes, head to national tournament: After a wild regional semifinal where the Kats overcame a three-goal deficit to beat Delta College 4-3, Erie Community College avoided a slow start in the final against Finger Lakes Community College, winning 2-0 behind a goal from leading scorer Abbey Lombard in the 42nd minute, an insurance tally by Kallie Smith in the 61st and a clean sheet from Hannah Clarkson. The Lakers were the foe that knocked ECC out of the Region 3B semifinals last year.

Lombard earned Most Valuable Player honors for the Region 3B Tournament, scoring three times and adding an assist on Chrissy Alonge's game-winner against Delta. ECC will travel to Toms River, New Jersey, for the NJCAA Division III National Tournament, which runs Nov. 10-13.

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3) Bulls men seal playoff spot, can win Mid-American outright by beating Bowling Green: It was far from the prettiest match, but the UB Bulls rode a first-half goal from Tommy Fogarty-Cameron en route to a 1-0 victory over Northern Illinois on Friday night, as Joseph Kuta kept his eighth clean sheet of the season.

Sunday, Stu Riddle's team topped Oral Roberts by the same score in a non-conference match, as sensational senior Russell Cicerone powered in a header for his 13th goal of the season. Kuta collected his ninth clean sheet, leapfrogging the MAC's previous leader, West Virginia goalkeeper Jose Santos.

If the Bulls can take three points from Bowling Green on the road at 7 p.m. Nov. 5, they'll be crowned regular-season champions and would host the conference tournament.

University at Buffalo's Tommy Fogarty-Cameron, left, has scored twice in MAC play, including the game-winner over Northern Illinois. (Don Nieman/Special to The News)

University at Buffalo's Tommy Fogarty-Cameron, left, has scored twice in MAC play, including the game-winner over Northern Illinois. (Don Nieman/Special to The News)

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4) Canisius men control their own playoff destiny: Don't look now, but the Griffs' men's soccer team has a terrific chance at qualifying for the 2016 MAAC Tournament.

With Saturday's vital 1-0 win over Fairfield, in which the contest's lone tally was a Stags own goal in the 56th minute. Canisius was out-shot 20-8, but redshirt-junior goalkeeper Marco Trivellato made five saves and earned the clean sheet.

Sitting in sixth place - the final playoff spot - Canisius needs a win against Niagara on Wednesday to solidify their place; Iona, the only other team with a shot at passing Dermot McGrane's team, visits Manhattan on the same night, desperate for three points and a Niagara result.

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5) Niagara men blank Manhattan: Williamsville South alum Steve Casey stopped four shots for the clean sheet and redshirt-senior Fabrizio Chiari orchestrated the game's only goal, veering in from the left side and setting up Saiaz Saenz's finish.

The victory was Niagara's first on its home turf in 2016, with Wednesday's Battle of the Bridge contest vs. Canisius a chance to play spoiler on Monteagle Ridge.

TOUGH TURNS:

*University at Buffalo women's soccer fell in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament to Central Michigan, 1-0, on the road.

A dearth of scoring plagued the Bulls for much of the year - worsened by the extended absence of winger Julia Benati - as Shawn Burke's squad failed to score more than one goal in any of the final seven matches, suffering three shutouts in that span. The two-time reigning regular season MAC champions scored only 19 goals in 20 matches.

UB Stadium was friendly to the Bulls, who went 7-0-3 at home, but a dismal road record of 0-6-2 proved that UB struggled in unfamiliar settings. Burke graduates seven seniors, including starters Celina Carrero, Andrea Niper, Angel Hart and Ashley Evans.

*Canisius women's soccer suffered the same fate as the Bulls in their first-round game, falling to Quinnipiac, 3-0, on the road. The Griffs close the season with a record of 8-9 under head coach Todd Clark, an improvement over the 6-11-2 mark of 2015.

*While the ECC women triumphed on Saturday, the men fell to undefeated Herkimer, 6-0, on Sunday. After winning their first nine contests, John Grabowski's Kats finished 4-6 over their last 10.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is remarkably bad luck for Canisius when he attends their games, at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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