Miami Sends Bulls Soccer Home Early For Second Straight Season
The Miami of Ohio RedHawks scored seven second-half goals to squash the Bulls' hopes of advancing in the MAC Championship Tournament Tuesday afternoon at Miami.
The Bulls (9-9, 7-5 MAC) quarterfinal loss was their second-straight MAC Tournament loss to the RedHawks (10-8-1, 3-2-1 Big East). This season is the first that Buffalo has not posted a double-digit win total since 1997.
Buffalo went into the half with a 0-0 tie, but their rival came on strong, scoring two minutes into the second half. Miami's Danielle Altiero found teammate Danielle Berkemeier wide open in front of the goal and let passed Berkemeier the first of the RedHawks' seven successful shots.
"After the first goal you see everybody's head go down for a couple minutes and that was a bad sign," said UB goalkeeper Emily Cox.
"We just lost our momentum after that first goal," explained UB's Erin McGarry.
The seven goals are the most the Bulls have given up since a 7-0 loss at Penn State on Sept. 29, 1995, Coach Jean-A. Tassy's first season.
Despite outshooting the Bulls 12-3, Miami could not find the back of the net during the first half.
"The first half I played like I should have been playing all season and the second half everything just fell apart," said Cox.
Miami had six different players score in the second half. Freshman Ashley Swinehart was the only player to score twice, on two unassisted goals, and had two assists on the day.
Altiero had three assists, tying a Miami record. However, the most impressive record came at the 83:28 mark, when Miami junior standout Andrea Cunningham became the MAC's all-time scoring leader with 106 career points. The previous record was held by former UB star Paula Listrani. Cunningham's 15 goals this season also make her the MAC's leading scorer on the year.
Nicole Olszewski led UB in scoring with 20 points on the season, good enough for eighth place in the MAC. Not far behind was Sinclair, who trailed with 14 points. Goalkeeper Emily Cox finished with 119 saves in 17 starts.
When reflecting on the season, McGarry said, "We had a few good wins but there was some games that we lost that we probably should have won."
Next year should be a little brighter for the Bulls, who will only graduate one player.
"We just need to keep on improving and next year we should be right back into contention to win the MAC," said UB junior Elizabeth Pfeffer.