Women’s soccer gets first MAC win, splits weekend
Sophomore forward Courtney Mann notched her second goal of the season against Ohio, as the Bulls came back from a 1-0 loss to Kent State on Friday to defeat the Bobcats 1-0 on Sunday – marking their first Mid-American Conference win of the season. Reimon Bhuyan /// The Spectrum
The women's soccer team spent its weekend in Ohio and - after two intense games - crossed back into New York with its first victory since Sept. 14.
Buffalo (3-9-1, 1-4-1 Mid-American Conference) dropped its first of four straight road matches to rival Kent State (7-3-2, 2-2-1 MAC), a 1-0 defeat on Friday night. The squad fought back, though, with a 1-0 Sunday afternoon victory over Ohio (7-6-1, 2-3-1 MAC).
Kent State entered the match ranked second in the MAC with 20 goals. Forwards Jaclyn Dutton and Stephanie Haugh had combined for 14 of Kent State's 20 goals.
The two showed up to play against Buffalo, firing three first half shots. However, junior goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon - who returned to the field for the first time following her Sept. 28 injury - stopped every shot in the first half.
Buffalo had the first opportunity of the second half with a corner in the first 90 seconds, but the team couldn't capitalize. That's when Dutton showed why she is one of the most feared players in the MAC.
She scored the lone goal of the match in the 49th minute. Dutton received a pass from midfield and shot it to Wheldon's right. It was was Dutton's 11th goal of the season and Haugh's seventh assist, which leads the Golden Flashes. Dutton extended her MAC lead in points, upping her total to 25.
"[Dutton] is a talented goal scorer," said head coach Michael Thomas. "We did a good job at not giving her chances today, but we gave her that one chance and she punished us for it. We made a mental error on the play."
After being held to one goal in their previous four matches combined, the Bulls' offensive fortunes finally turned around versus Ohio on Sunday.
The Bulls were able to capitalize early on a foul and hold on for a 1-0 victory thanks to a penalty kick. This was Buffalo's first victory in league play and its first road win of the season.
Buffalo came out strong, challenging the Ohio defenders early and keeping them on their toes. In the 18th minute, senior forward Taylor Thompson chased down a loose ball in the box and was fouled hard, resulting in a penalty kick. Sophomore midfielder Courtney Mann put this kick in the back of the net to give the Bulls their first lead since Sept. 21. It was Mann's second goal of the season.
"Taylor Thompson did a fantastic job of running down the loose ball to draw the penalty kick," Thomas said. "It was nothing more than pure effort, and it was a very big moment for her and our team."
The Bulls' back line defenders - junior Natalie Jurisevic, sophomore Shannon Algoe, freshman Kristin Markiewicz and sophomore Sophie Therien - played the entire 90 minutes, helping keep the Ohio offense scoreless.
"I don't think enough could be said about our back line today," Thomas said. "They did a great job of containing a very potent Ohio attack."
Ohio was only able to fire three shots on goal, none of which got by Wheldon, who secured the 14th shutout of her Buffalo career - tying her for second in school history.
Ten of the Bulls' 16 shots were on goal, led by junior midfielder Courtney Gross, who had three shots on net. Ten different Bulls had shots in the match.
"I was really proud of the team's effort today," Thomas said. "We came out and fought to make this result come to fruition."
The Bulls look for their first win streak of the season when they travel to Bowling Green (2-11-1, 0-4-1 MAC) on Friday. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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