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Enduring grueling two-game weekends, spending hours with the trainer and gutting through two-footed tackles all seems worthwhile if your college program reaches the postseason. As is true in any sport, anything can happen in the playoffs. Across the landscape of local college soccer, several programs have advanced to their respective conference tournaments, which begin,…

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The final two weeks of October are the most exciting in local college soccer. Teams have improved over the course of a season, ideally peaking at the right time to seal a playoff berth and make a run through the conference tournament. Given the playoff setup of different conferences in different NCAA levels, the challenge of reaching the postseason varies considerably. …

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Two weeks still remain in Canisius men's soccer's conference season, but the Griffs' 2018 campaign has already been a roller coaster of inexplicable lows and a couple triumphant highs. There's been a little of everything. The positives include Dermot McGrane's side coming within one goal of drawing then No. 5 in the country Michigan State on the road, and later smashing…

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The Wolves are about to cross the pond. National Premier Soccer League side FC Buffalo announced Friday that the team will embark on a weeklong preseason trip to Germany - specifically the cities of Dortmund, Frankfurt and Hamburg - from May 5-12, 2019, to mark the club's 10th anniversary. The Wolves plan to play at least two exhibition matches while overseas, agains…

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Aside from maybe the Canisius men, no other college program has been more ransacked by injuries than the Niagara women's soccer team. Over the last three years, roughly a dozen players have suffered long-term ailments, leaving head coach Peter Veltri frequently with a short bench and few alternatives in his rotation. While the approach to preseason, time for recovery an…

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Before Wednesday night, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference campaigns for the Canisius men's and women's soccer teams had brought primarily disappointment, particularly troubling for the men's team predicted to win the MAAC before the season. But for one night, at least, both Canisius sides seized encouraging results from Battle of the Bridge rivalry matches against …

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Little has gone right for the Niagara University men's soccer team since the Purple Eagles reached the 2012 NCAA Tournament. In the last five and a half years, the Purple Eagles have won 20 matches, lost 73 and drawn 11. It's been a dark stretch for the program, but even though wins still aren't coming routinely, third-year head coach Bill Boyle has Niagara competing. W…

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Theo Pencic thought his season had ended early - and abruptly. Late in the final non-conference tilt against the University of Rochester before the dawn of SUNYAC play, the Norwegian freshman striker - tied for the team-lead in goals at the time - suffered a broken toe. Beating a monthlong recovery timetable by a week, Pencic returned to the pitch in Saturday's Battle b…

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There's little certainty from one year to another at NCAA Division III soccer programs. Without athletic scholarships available, players have more freedom to jump ship after a down season and less incentive to remain committed through hardship. It's just the reality of the level. At Fredonia, the intensity of the roster turnover was unexpected. Sure, the graduation of f…

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The year after a college program reaches the NCAA Tournament can be uncomfortable, especially if it's not a regular occurrence. Expectations of a repeat effort rise, while conference foes suddenly are hungry to dethrone the defending champions. After losing in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference playoffs in his first two years at the helm of the Mavs, head coac…

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When Buffalo State players, coaches and fans look back at the Bengals' 1-1 draw against Geneseo on Friday, most will not remember the final score, the goal scorers or what the result meant to the conference's playoff race. After all, Buffalo State has a quick turnaround against Brockport on Saturday, so Friday's memories will soon be shrouded by the inevitable positives an…

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A summer of change blindsided the Buffalo State men's soccer program after the Bengals made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1984. Head coach Mark Howlett, twice named the SUNYAC Coach of the Year in his five seasons at the helm, unexpectedly accepted a coaching vacancy at Geneseo, citing family reasons. The sting of his departure went beyond the two awa…

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Local college soccer programs have all moved into conference play, where the games have significantly more meaning. As of late September, there's no Western New York team with a realistic chance at an at-large bid to a national tournament. Buffalo State men's soccer may be the closest, but falling to the University of Rochester and Oneonta in the span of a week seriousl…

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The taste is still in their mouths. Last year, the St. Bonaventure men's soccer team advanced to its first Atlantic 10 Tournament since 2012 in epic fashion, upsetting the nation's No. 22-ranked team Virginia Commonwealth on the final day of the regular season to qualify. While the Bonnies fell decisively, 4-1, to the Rams in a first-round rematch four days later, si…

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Four seasons at one program is the magic number for a college soccer coach. It means four recruiting classes have come into the team, suffered through the same preseasons and, in most cases, grappled with the same concepts integral to what it means to wear the jersey. For Todd Clark, now in his fourth year at the helm of the Canisius Griffs women's soccer team, the frui…