Bulls fire blanks in Ohio
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
The women’s soccer team was the better squad on the field Tuesday.
The Bulls got off 18 shots, nine on goal, prevented their opponents from having a single corner kick and allowed only two shots on goal all game.
Stats don’t always equal wins. The Bulls (1-2-1) couldn’t make the two saves required to shut out Youngstown State (3-0-0) or convert any of their own shots on goal, falling to the Penguins 1-0.
The Bulls could not convert their chances, banging multiple shots off the goal frame. While the iron was unkind, Buffalo’s coach came out of the game with an optimistic outlook.
“I think we played our best soccer of the year. We came out and we created a ton of good chances,” said head coach Michael Thomas.
The defense and goalkeeping were strong but the offense failed to execute. Although Buffalo couldn’t score, its defense kept the team in it, shutting down Youngstown’s offense for most of the game.
Junior goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon had a career year last season, tallying a school record 139 stops. She had been solid again this year, giving up just three goals through three games and one exhibition. However, she was unable to stop a shot by Youngstown freshmen forward Katie Hohmann in the 36th minute. Hohmann found the back of the net when she fired home a rebound from a free kick.
“They actually got a free kick on us that play and we cleared out and the girl got the end of it and she beat Ainsley over the top,” Thomas said. “I know it is one that she would like to have back, but she has pulled us out of the fire so many times that it’s something that we needed to step up and get a couple of goals today.”
The Bulls spent the rest of the game applying pressure to Youngstown’s defense. Buffalo was the more aggressive team, drawing fouls and creating scoring opportunities. The Bulls created five shots on goal in the first half and four more shots on goal in the second half including two that nearly tied the game near the end of regulation.
“We obviously have to take care of our chances and be a little more careful,” Thomas said. “We had a couple of chances to do better, but when you’re talking about hitting the post a little bit of luck fits into it as well.”
Normally, the opportunistic Bulls are known to convert these scoring opportunities, but they simply could not find the net.
The Mid-American Conference Player of the Week, sophomore forward Katie Roberts, has ignited her squad’s offense this season, scoring two of the team’s five goals. Roberts has made a habit of scoring and putting the Bulls up early in contests, but Youngstown effectively shut her down.
“We created several real quality goal chances especially in the second half and we just need to tuck them away,” Thomas said.
Youngstown State played sloppy throughout the contest, committing 13 fouls to Buffalo’s six. But Thomas will not allow his team to use a tough opponent as an excuse, and neither will his team’s leaders.
“We were expecting a battle as a soccer team. They wanted to challenge us and wanted to compete with us,” said senior defender Shannon Algoe. “I don’t think it got too physical. It’s just something that comes with the game.”
The Bulls will travel to Bucknell (0-2-0) for a Friday evening showdown before they return home. Kick-off on Friday is slated for 7 p.m.