UB men’s soccer loses third straight match with shutout loss to Bryant
After a promising start to the season, the men’s soccer team is suffering a major downfall. On Sunday afternoon, things went from bad to worse.
The Bulls (3-3-1) lost to Bryant 1-0 in Smithfield, Rhode Island Sunday. Buffalo was held scoreless for its third consecutive game and hasn’t picked up a victory in four straight games. After going 3-0 to start the season, the Bulls have gone 0-1-3 in their last four games.
Head coach Stu Riddle declined to be interviewed after the loss. Bulls players were also not made available.
Midfielder Russell Cicerone has appeared to sizzle out after starting the season with three goals and three assists in his first four games. The standout junior has been held scoreless and without any assists in the last three games. Cicerone had just one of his three shots go on target Sunday as the Bulls offense could not generate a spark to win the game.
Bryant seemed like a good opponent for the Bulls to get back on track with, as the Bulldogs were coming off two straight double-overtime ties and possessed an 0-2-2 overall record heading into the game.
Sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Kuta made his first start as a Bull and saved four out of five Bryant shots. The Bulldogs outshot Buffalo 11-8. Buffalo had three shots on target, while Bryant had five.
The Bulls showed strong defense in the first half by holding Bryant scoreless. Toward the end of the half is where Buffalo nearly broke the scoring drought.
In the 44th minute, the Bulls were inches away from scoring with a Brandon Scales header that hit the crossbar and went out of play.
As time was expiring in the first half, Cicerone weaved his way into Bryant territory and was taken down inside the box without a call.
Minutes into the second half, Bryant went up 1-0 with a Thomas Binder goal as he dribbled his way into the box and beat Kuta with a shot that stayed on the ground.
Buffalo had many chances, included outnumbering Bryant in corner kicks 6-1, but could not capitalize. With 10 minutes left in the game, Cicerone had a chance to level the score with a booming kick that was blocked by a Bryant defender. That would prove to be the Bulls’ last chance to overcome the deficit, as Bryant’s defense would hold strong from then on.
Buffalo will look to bounce back next week as they host to Lafayette (2-1-3) on Friday.
Romulo Romero is a sports staff writer. Sports desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.