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Monday, June 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Bulls disappoint in tournament

There were plenty of shots fired on the soccer field this weekend. Unfortunately for the women's team, they were on the receiving end of most of them.

The Bulls (1-7) squared off in the Puma/Big Four Tournament at St. Bonaventure over the weekend and left winless. After dropping Friday's contest against Niagara (5-1-1) by a score of 1-0, the Bulls then lost a 3-0 decision to Canisius (4-4) on Sunday.

The first round provided a close game between the Bulls and the Purple Eagles. Though the Eagles won 1-0, the final score didn't reflect the Bulls effort as they kept their opponents scoreless until halfway through the second half.

Buffalo had a strong defensive effort behind four saves from freshman goaltender Ainsley Wheldon, but gave up the game-winning goal to Niagara's Jamie Raepple in the 69th minute.

Sunday's game against Canisius was a chance for the Bulls to maintain a winning record against the Big Four as they defeated St. Bonaventure earlier in the season.

Closely resembling the first match, the Bulls held their opponents scoreless in the first half. In addition, Buffalo outshot the Golden Griffins 12-7 and took five corner kicks.

Ultimately, the team's performance at the outset of the game could not prepare them for its opponents' second half performance. The Griffs fired 15 shots on the Bulls in the final 45 minutes. Out of the 22 total shots during the game, 16 were on goal.

Wheldon recorded 10 saves in the game but was replaced in the 72nd minute by senior Courtney McHale. The Bulls could not contain Canisius junior Kelly Reinwald, who accumulated five shots, all of which were on target. She helped her team out with both an assist and a goal for the game.

Failing to find any rhythm on offense, the Bulls only recorded two shots on goal during the game. The Bulls' top performer on offense was freshman Megan Abman, who took a total of four shots.

Canisius took more shots and scored more goals, finishing on top of the Bulls, 3-0.

The two losses stretched the Bulls' losing streak to six on the season. Bulls head coach Michael Thomas was not pleased with the outcome of the team's trip to Olean.

"It was pretty simple, we just came out and got outworked," Thomas said. "The other team ran a little bit more, won more tackles and outworked us."

Although the tournament finished on a disappointing note, there was no lack of effort. Wheldon's 10 saves tied a career high even though she did not finish the game. Thomas also recognized other areas in which he saw extra effort.

"I thought Angela Nicholas had a good weekend," Thomas said. "She came in and won headers, competed and did well."

The next few games will measure the heart of the Bulls as they look to fix their problems.

"It's gut check time for everybody," Thomas said. "This is where we find out who we really are."

The Bulls will be back on the road for a matchup with the Bowling Green Falcons (2-6-1) on Friday. Start time is set for 4 p.m.



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