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5 home college matches to watch: Sept. 12-18

1) Medaille men (4-1) vs. Buffalo State (3-1), 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at D'Youville College's Dobson Field.

Why you should care: With apologies to Fredonia State, the top two local NCAA Division III teams square off on Saturday afternoon, as Micky Blythe's Mavericks will tussle with Mark Howlett's Bengals. Last year's meeting was one-sided - Buffalo State cruised to a 4-0 win, with Medaille seeing two red cards and a total of eight bookings.

This year, each team has suffered only one defeat: Medaille decisively to thriving John Carroll on Saturday, while Buffalo State laid an egg against Houghton on Friday.

The Bengals are slight favorites for Saturday thanks to superior depth, but spectators should enjoy watching the Mavs' Lachlan Wilkinson, James Lang and Mitchell Ali trade offensive forays with the Bengals' Luke Pavone, Sammy Wasson, August Finn and Ali Shawish.


2) St. Bonaventure women (0-6-1) vs. University at Buffalo (1-4-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15 at St. Bonaventure's Marra Field.

Why you should care: Rivalry match alert! Cruise down to Olean on Friday to see the Bonnies' chance at making a statement. UB proved they were vulnerable in their 2-1 overtime loss to Canisius earlier this summer, and even though St. Bonaventure lost to the Griffs on Sunday, the 1-0 scoreline points to a tightly contested match.

Gritty Canisius stuns UB on Shauna Lee's overtime goal

St. Bonaventure relies on the goalkeeping of sophomore Lauren Malcolm to keep them in games - like Sunday - but goal-scoring has been elusive; Steve Brdarski's team hasn't scored in its last 648 minutes. The Bonnies badly need forward Sydney Cerza and midfielder Dani Vis to start producing if the side expects to be competitive in Atlantic 10 play.

Affairs aren't much rosier in Amherst, though, where Shawn Burke's Bulls are a disappointing 1-4-1 through six contests, the most recent a 2-2 draw with Fairleigh Dickinson after blowing a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore Kara Daly has been a consistent bright spot on the wing for the Bulls during an otherwise disappointing beginning to the 2017 season. Expect them to right the ship against the Bonnies, however.


3) Niagara women vs. Monmouth, 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Niagara University.

Why you should care: It's been a scalding start for Peter Veltri's Purple Eagles, but visiting Monmouth was picked almost unanimously to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title this year.

The visiting Hawks haven't met expectations so far, however, entering Saturday's start to conference play with a 3-2-2 record; preseason MAAC Player of the Year pick Madie Gibson hasn't scored through seven games.

For Niagara, the return to health of Kelsey Araujo, the consistent excellence of senior Eva Bachmann, the ferocious defense of Breanne Guevara and the stellar goalkeeping of freshman Sabrina Locas have all played a role in the Purple Eagles' sizzling open to the season.

Niagara midfielder-forward Kelsey Araujo shields the ball away from a St. Bonaventure defender. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)


4) D'Youville women vs. Buffalo State, 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18 at D'Youville College's Dobson Field.

Why you should care: The Spartans are flying high after drawing favored Oswego, 0-0, despite being out-shot a ridiculous 36-3. Junior keeper Megan Dulniak made 13 saves in the effort, while the back four of Jenna Tomizzi, Dom Riforgiato, Amber Lundrigan and Kiernan Johnson stood firm against waves of pressure.

It's almost unimaginable that the Bengals, who qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division III National tournament, would be on even footing with D'Youville just months later, but a close contest is possible on Monday under the lights of Dobson.

Nick DeMarsh's Bengals did earn their first three points of the season on Sunday, shutting out Baldwin Wallace behind goals from Victoria Colotti and Lindsay Mahoney, as well as a seven-save shutout by Nicole Torres.

D'Youville women's soccer midfielder Marina Campbell, with the ball, has been a bright spot for Jim Hesch's team. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)


5) St. Bonaventure men vs. Hartwick, 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Marra Field in Olean.

Why you should care: Kwame Oduro's Bonnies rebounded from a 2-0 rivalry loss to Canisius on Friday with a rousing 1-0 defeat of Albany on Isaiah Wilson's finish of a Jon-Michael Perkins cross. Luke Iacobellis stopped six shots in St. Bonaventure's clean sheet, and Binghamton transfer Isaiah Barrett returned to the squad after missing Friday's game to injury.

Training focus rewards Canisius - unexpectedly - in win over Bonnies

Fans of FC Buffalo will recognize Hartwick winger Johnny McBeth, who starred for the local National Premier League Soccer side in 2016. The Scot has contributed two assists so far this year, good for third on the team in scoring.

United by banter: FC Buffalo's Scottish trio thrives under same roof



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