Men’s soccer knocked out of NCAA playoffs by Hobart, 2-0

The Buffalo State men’s soccer team fought hard throughout the whole game but ended up losing 2-0 to visiting Hobart in the first round of the NCAA D-III men’s soccer tournament on Saturday night.

The Bengals came into the game after getting an at-large bid for the NCAA tourney, after a 14-2-3 season. It was their first appearance in the tournament since 1984.

Hobart opened the scoring early in the game with a header off of a corner kick in the 15’.

The Bengals looked to have evened it in the 42’ when Luke Pavone found Ali Shawish making a run, but the shot was off the crossbar and was waved offsides.

Hobart struck again right before the half after a Bengal defender deflected a cross that landed right at the feat of Hobart’s Mouhamed Diouf, who buried it in the back of the net.

Although Buffalo State finished with more shots and corner kicks, Hobart controlled most of the second half with the Bengals trying to play catch-up.

The Bengals had one chance in the second half when a loose ball fell the Sammy Wasson at the corner of the box, but the shot went wide left.

Buff State goalie Andreas Queen finished with three saves.

Bengals head coach Mark Howlett was still impressed with his team’s performance.

“The set piece was perfectly played, it’s a momentum builder,” Howlett said. “I still feel for over 90 minutes we were the better team, we were the aggressor. Overall we competed through and it shows we’re at this level.”

The Bengals continued to fight even after Barak Benyehuda got a red card in the 62’.

“That’s a trait, that’s the best thing to take away from this, even when the chips are down they are still fighting,” Howlett said. “That’s what makes them who they are. It’s great to see.”

Buffalo State still has a lot to be proud of. After the best season in recent memory, a lot can be taken to next season.

“We can take a lot of positives, it’s another step in the right direction and it’s a building block for next season,” Howlett said.

The Bengals will graduate nine seniors, but still have a lot of returners for next season including Queen, and starting defender Robert Williamson.