Double Overtime Yields 1-1 Tie
Following the cancellation of their last two games due to last Tuesday's tragedies, the UB men's soccer team eagerly resumed competition over the weekend with a 1-1, double-overtime tie against the Detroit Mercy University Titans Sunday at RAC field.
The Bulls remain undefeated in their last four games, having not lost a contest since their season opener against Lehigh University on Sept. 1.
"We're playing very well defensively, we still need to get some coordination with midfielders and forwards, creating more scoring opportunities," said Assistant Coach Dave Kreger.
The Titans struck first early in the opening half on an unassisted score by freshman midfielder Eric Scott at the 39:07 mark.
The Bulls answered in the second half on an exciting play by sophomores Mike Gellar and Patrick Beckley at the 58:19 mark. Gellar carried the ball past the Titans defense, and put it in the air. Beckley leapt up and directed the ball into the back of the net on a perfectly placed header for his first score as a Bull.
Neither team, however, could be able to score again as the defenses tightened and players grew cautious. The Bulls out-shot the Titans in overtime 7-5, and in the match 19-12.
"Detroit was a good team. They played very hard, I thought a tie score was a worthy score against that opponent," Kreger said.
For a moment it seemed that the Bulls had broken the tie on a goal by Justin Higgins with 10 minutes left in the second half, but the score was disallowed as the officials called an offside on the play.
The pace of the game did not slow through the two overtime periods, despite the exhaustion evident in many of the players' faces.
"Both teams were getting tired, but I don't think fatigue was an issue," said Kreger.
"I don't know if it was the rust, as it was just mentally trying to get back," Kreger said when asked if a seven-day layoff hurt his team. "Obviously the tragedy affected us during the week and we didn't have a great week of practice."
Goalkeeper Brian Wozniak did not see much action, but stayed focused between the posts and tallied two saves. Scott's goal was the first that Wozniak, who is currently carrying a 0.46 goals against average, has allowed in four games.
"Brian's been playing very well, he's been providing great leadership from the back," said Kreger.
On the other side of the ball, Detroit's two keepers each had three saves, with Michael McAfee giving up their only goal.
The Bulls' next game will prove to be the true test for the squad as they take on Akron Friday at 7 p.m. at RAC Field. The game will mark the start of Buffalo's Mid-American Conference schedule. UB was picked to finish last in the MAC's pre-season poll.