Bulls banking on momentum kick

Women’s soccer snaps losing streak, draws 0-0

By Matthew Parrino
On October 6, 2010

The women's soccer team brought a six-game losing streak into last weekend's games, and after two hard fought matches, they broke the string, barely.

After falling 1-0 on Friday night against Northern Illinois, (6-4-1, 2-4-1 Mid-American Conference), the Bulls (1-10-1, 0-3-1 MAC) salvaged the weekend with a 0-0 draw against Western Michigan (6-5-1, 2-1-1 MAC).

Sunday's shutout by freshman goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon was the first of her career and the first for the Bulls since October 2009. Although the Bulls didn't get a win on Sunday, avoiding another loss was a nice change of pace for a team that has been struggling.

"We are excited to carry some of the momentum that we have generated [over the weekend] to try and get in the win column [in our next game]," said head coach Michael Thomas.

Despite the draw, the Bulls have only managed seven goals in their 12 games this season. The play of Wheldon has kept the Bulls in many games, despite the team's scoring struggles. Along with the defensive effort for the Bulls against the Broncos on Sunday, Wheldon's play has really impressed Thomas.

"Ainlsey has been really relaxed the last few games and you can see it in her play." Thomas said. "Frankly, the whole back five were all good today."

Against Western Michigan, the Bulls were on their heels throughout the match. The Broncos outshot Buffalo, 12-6, and had five corner kick opportunities on the day.

Two of the three shots on goal for the Bulls were by freshman midfielder Megan Abman. The first-year player continues to lead the offensive attack for Buffalo. She has started eight games and played in all 12.

Abman leads the team in almost every offensive category. This season, she has three goals, six points and a .214 shooting percentage.

Wheldon was really impressive on Friday night. She recorded 10 saves in a match for the third time this season, but it wasn't enough.

In the 48th minute, the Huskies blasted home the only goal of the game off of a corner kick. Northern Illinois exploded in the second half with 13 shots and took the will from the Bulls.

After her weekend performance, Wheldon now leads the MAC with 23 saves in MAC play. She also ranks 10th in the conference for save percentage on the year.

The Bulls will use the next few days to gear up for Central Michigan at UB Stadium on Friday night.

"We are excited to get home," Thomas said. "We have Central Michigan, who may be the best team in the conference. We have a five game home stand coming up and being able to just sleep in your own bed [will be nice].

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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