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Buffalo influence still present in Major Arena Soccer League

Although it's closing in on two years since the Rochester Lancers - an organization that drew some of its talent from the Buffalo area - ceased operations, there's still a bit of a local influence in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL), the highest level of indoor soccer in the country.

The Syracuse Silver Knights represent the closest team to Western New York, and former Canisius College and FC Buffalo goalkeeper Andrew Coughlin holds the starting job between the pipes there. The 17 teams in the MASL have all played between 10 and 14 games, and you can keep track of the standings here as the season unfolds.

Browsing through the league's rosters, here are the players and coaches with Buffalo ties:

1) Andrew Coughlin, goalkeeper, No. 1, for Syracuse Silver Knights
- 10 games, 4-6 record, 5.92 goals against average, 130 saves
- Connection to Buffalo: Spent two seasons with Canisius College and two with FC Buffalo ('13, '15)

[RELATED: Coughlin honored for sparkling play during '16 season]

2) Ben Ramin, midfielder, No. 2, for Syracuse Silver Knights
- 1 game, no points, first season with the team
- Connection to Buffalo: Played with FC Buffalo during the 2013 season

3) Brett Petricek, goalkeeper, No. 00, for Cedar Rapids Rampage
- 13 games, 9-4 record, 4.48 goals against average, 186 saves
- Connection to Buffalo: Played two years with Niagara University, leading them to 2012 NCAA Tournament. Holds school records for career goals against average and career shutouts.

[RELATED: From 2012 - Niagara is off to Michigan for NCAA Tournament]

4) Austin Tom, forward, No. 77, for Syracuse Silver Knights
- No games, no points, second season with the team
- Connection to Buffalo: Attended Christian Central Academy, Medaille College and has played BDSL for SoHo

[RELATED: Austin Tom in BDSL premier final vs. Sharpshooters]

5) Bernie Lilavois, head coach for Ontario Fury
- Ontario's record is 4-7 so far, good for third in the Pacific Division
- Connection to Buffalo: Scored 31 goals in 32 games for the Buffalo Blizzard during the '98-99 NPSL season

5) Gino DiFlorio, assistant coach for Harrisburg Heat
- Harrisburg's record is 5-6, good for third in the Eastern Division
- Connection to Buffalo: Scored 99 games in 72 games as a Buffalo Blizzard forward from '94-97

6) Jamie Swanner, assistant coach for St. Louis Ambush
- St. Louis' record is 1-12, good for last in the Central Division
- Connection to Buffalo: Played 78 games as a goalkeeper for the Blizzard over two seasons

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who still misses Blizzard games, at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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