Women’s soccer (10-3-2, 4-2-2 MAC) defeated Western Michigan (4-11-0, 2-6-0 MAC), 4-3, in a thriller Thursday night at UB Stadium. UB then traveled to Dekalb, IL Sunday afternoon, where they tied Northern Illinois (4-10-2, 1-5-2 MAC), 1-1, in a wild double-overtime match.
The win against the Broncos kept the Bulls in fourth place in the Mid-American Conference standings.
Senior midfielder Katherine Camper scored the Bulls’ first goal at the ten-minute mark Thursday, to give UB an early 1-0 lead. Broncos sophomore forward Jenna Blackburn answered back with a goal to tie the game at one at the 32-minute mark, which began a series of back-and-forth goals for the rest of the match.
The score remained tied at one a piece heading into the second half.
Western Michigan quickly broke the tie to start the second half, when sophomore forward Cas Flanagan capitalized on a UB turnover and found the back of the net at the 50-minute mark. UB responded at the 59-minute mark, when junior midfielder Leah Wengender crossed it over to freshman midfielder Alya Ruken, who netted her first goal of the season.
Another turnover helped the Broncos take the lead, with fifth-year forward Bailey Korhorn scoring a goal at the 65-minute mark to give WMU a 3-2 advantage.
Less than a minute later, graduate student forward Gianna Yurchak tied the game at three after converting on a penalty kick.
WMU fifth-year goalkeeper Maggie Rogers finished the game with five saves while UB senior goalkeeper Emily Kelly had three.
With less than 10 minutes left to play and the game tied at three, graduate midfielder Marcy Barberic broke free from the Broncos’ defense and found Ruken across the middle of the field. Ruken then fired a shot in the top right corner of the net, securing the 4-3 victory.
The Bulls attempted to build on the win when they traveled to Dekalb, IL to take on the NIU Huskies Sunday afternoon.
The Barberic-Ruken connection picked up immediately and almost capitalized at the eight-minute mark but were fended away by the Huskies’ defense. However, a hand ball netted the Bulls a penalty kick and Barberic capitalized to give UB an early 1-0 lead.
The Bulls had opportunities to extend the lead but could not convert. UB freshman midfielder Kaya Schultz had a prime scoring opportunity off a corner kick at the 39-minute mark, but banged the shot off the crossbar.
The Bulls’ defense looked strong in the first half, allowing just one shot on goal.
After the break, the Huskies came out aggressive, which resulted in a goal from redshirt senior midfielder Grace Louis, who slipped behind the Bulls’ defense to tally the equalizer.
Even though it doesn’t show on the scoreboard, the Bulls dominated down the stretch, logging 23 shots to the Huskies’ eight.
In overtime, UB sophomore midfielder Olivia Bizzoni had two opportunities to secure the win but both shots were off the mark.
The second overtime was quiet, with both teams combining for just three shots.
The Bulls will travel to Bowling Green, OH to take on the three-time defending MAC Champion Falcons (7-5-3. 6-1-1 MAC) on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bulls received the cold shoulder from the MAC last year due to a bylaw typo, which prevented them from qualifying for the championship game. BGSU qualified instead.
The highly-anticipated matchup will stream live on the WBGU-PBS YouTube channel..
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