The first week of November is nearly over, and four Buffalo area college soccer teams are still alive. That's more than usual for this time of year. While we spent Saturday in Erie to cover Medaille's Allegany Mountain Collegiate Conference loss to Penn State Behrend, the other local teams in action saw more success.
1) The Buffalo State women are dancing! Buoyed by Melissa Smith's 15th goal of the season, the Buffalo State women's soccer team preserved the shutout in their 1-0 victory over Geneseo in the SUNYAC final. Keeper Taylor Carillo notched her 13th clean sheet of the season, making three saves in the process. The News has a short write-up on the game here.
It was the Bengals' first conference title in program history - Nick DeMarsh's team was trending in the right direction, though, losing in the SUNYAC semis in 2014 and then the final in 2015.
Given Buffalo State's place in the polls - they're ranked third in the East Region and No. 18 in the country - an at-large bid likely would have been awarded to the Bengals had they lost in the final, but they left nothing to chance.
The NCAA Division III National Tournament selection show will air at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7 and can be viewed here. Buffalo State's seeding and first-round game will be determined.
2) Canisius men upset Marist, advance to MAAC semifinals. Even though they controlled their own destiny, it took the Canisius Griffins until the final day of the regular season to seal their spot in the playoffs.
All Dermot McGrane's team needed was a chance, and the Griffs took advantage, blanking the Marist Red Foxes on the road, 2-0, to win their first playoff game since 2007, when they beat Iona in Disney.
In the regular season meeting between the two schools, Cameron Harr scored in the third minute for Marist. In the playoffs, Canisius turned the tables - forward Eric Strauchen leaped to meet Jake Montante's cross and nod a header past Mark Rajovic, just over two minutes in.
Crafty holding midfielder Will Pauls would create the Griffs' insurance goal, sending Mathew Santos in behind the Red Foxes defense in the 68th minute. Harr, who's tied for the national lead in goals with 17, was kept off the score sheet despite taking four shots.
According to the Canisius website, the Griffs' senior class - led by defensive standout Thomas Teupen, attacking reserve Francesco Strangio and backup keeper John Hollinger, plus Mathew Santos, who's a senior academically despite having played only three years with Canisius - owns the most wins of any class in program history, with 33.
The Griffs will travel to Quinnipiac to take on the No. 1-seeded Bobcats on Nov. 11.
3) UB men draw Bowling Green, clinch No. 3 seed: Goals have been tough to come by for the UB Bulls since their 2-1 win over West Virginia, but they've done enough to wrap up the third seed for the Mid-American Conference Tournament, accruing eight points over five matches.
Saturday's clash against Bowling Green - where a winner would take the regular-season crown - went scoreless for 110 minutes, allowing Akron, which smashed Western Michigan, 3-0, to swoop in and claim the top seed and right to host the conference tourney - which they have every season since 2006.
The Bulls' Daniel Cramarossa struck the crossbar in the 89th minute, while Bowling Green hit two posts, one in each overtime period.
UB goalkeeper Joseph Kuta was easily the team's man of the match, stopping nine shots en route to tying the program record for clean sheets, matching current Major League Soccer keeper Bobby Shuttleworth's 10 in 2008. Bowling Green out-shot the Bulls 22-11.
Stu Riddle's squad will play the same Falcons at 4 p.m. Nov. 11 in the MAC semifinal.
4) St. Bonaventure bows out to Fordham, misses Atlantic 10 Tournament: The upstart Bonnies dropped their season finale at Fordham, 4-0, and they did not get the necessary help from other conference sides to extend their season. The Rams, who earned the No. 2 seed for the tourney, scored three goals in the first half and out-shot the Bonnies 22-7.
St. Bonaventure finished 10th in the A-10, with a record of 3-4-1. They were picked to finish last (13th) in the conference by a landslide, so 2016 proves that Kwame Oduro's team is making progress.
5) Eric Community College have their NJCAA Tournament match set: Gary Boughton's Kats will travel to Toms River, New Jersey, to face Brookdale Community College at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 10. Erie is the No. 3 seed in the eight-team bracket, which you can see below.
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