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Successful spring primes UB women’s soccer for big season

Bulls go undefeated in spring soccer season

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For a team that has begun a winning tradition the past two seasons, the Buffalo women’s soccer team has some minor rebuilding that needs to be done before next season.

The Bulls are losing six players, with starting defenders Jackie Hall and Kristin Markiewicz and leading scorer Kassidy Kidd graduating and Brianna Shingary, a rising star in the program, transferring to Pittsburgh.

But Buffalo consistently keeps a winning tradition for a reason. They nearly repeated as champions one year following a Mid-American Conference title, and look to get back to the top of the MAC in the 2016 season.

And it didn’t matter whether the team played its offseason matchups against teams down the road or across the ocean. The Bulls still played with the same word running through their heads during the eight spring matchups: dominate.

And so they did.

The Bulls’ spring soccer season officially came to a close on Monday with a 3-0 victory over Niagara, which, more or less, gave head coach Shawn Burke a chance to see his revamped squad in action for the first time before the actual season begins this fall. And within the eight-game season, the team went 5-0-3 and proved next year’s squad could very well carry on the program’s winning tradition.

“We had some question marks going into this spring and next fall,” Burke said. “But we really had some players step up and we have a lot more confidence going into next fall.”

The season started out on a high note as the team secured a dominating victory over Stony Creek, 3-1. This high note was just the start to what Burke called an “incredible experience and an incredible spring season” for the team.

As content Burke was with the play on the home front, he was even more impressed with the team’s play across the Atlantic, as the Bulls embarked on a spring break trip to Spain.

“The extra training sessions, the extra games, it was also just a trip of a lifetime to get the camaraderie of the team together and just see them out of their element,” Burke said. “I thought the trip was fantastic, just embracing the culture and watching the style of play over there. I think the girls really embraced it.”

During the 11-day trip, the team played two matchups, with a 2-0 victory over U.E. Sant Andrea in Barcelona and a draw against Villarreal, a club team based out of Valencia.

Rising sophomore forward Carissima Cutrona found the trip to Spain encouraging for Buffalo’s chances next fall. She feels it will greatly enhance the teams’ playing ability, especially against top-tier competition in the MAC.

“It was awesome it was a really good experience,” Carissima said. “Both playing soccer and learning about the culture was a really good experience for the team.”

The Bulls came back home and played games against Unionville and Big-4 rival St. Bonaventure. Both games ended in a draw. The Bulls would rebound, defeating Canisius and Syracuse each with a final score of 2-0, before defeating Niagara 3-0 to close the season.

“These results don’t go in any record books, goals aren’t recorded, but winning is a mentality,” Burke said. “Going through an entire eight games without losing does matter.”

Though the team loses several players to graduation, the Bulls return several players, including rising junior goalkeeper Laura Dougall in net, capable of returning back to the championship glory of two years ago.       

Edward Goldschmid is a sports staff writer and can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com


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