Men’s soccer shuts down Spartans in 5-0 shelling Saturday

Senior midfielder C.J. Scirto had a goal and two assists against DYouville in the Bengals victory Saturday.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

Senior midfielder C.J. Scirto had a goal and two assists against D’Youville in the Bengals’ victory Saturday.

During Saturday’s game at Riverside High School, the men’s soccer team looked like they were in a different class than host D’Youville.

The Bengals came out on top in a convincing 5-0 win, their largest margin of victory since they beat D’Youville 6-0 in 2011.

The defe­nse played well and Robby Kuhnle recorded his first shutout of the season, but the offense was the real story of the game.

“[D’Youville was] 0-7 going into it so we had to stay focused and not look past them,” said forward Andrew Dugan. “It’s easy to look ahead and get caught up looking forward and we definitely didn’t want to be their first win.”

The Bengals did a good job spreading the ball around throughout the game. Midfielder C.J Scirto led the Buffalo State attack with a goal and two assists. Dylan Ross added three assists, and five different Bengals scored a goal.

From the opening whistle, the Bengals pounced on the Spartans. Forward Brett Lanham scored the first goal just 2:31 into the game, and Scirto recorded the assist on the play. The goal was Lanham’s first of the season.

After multiple scoring chances for the Bengals, Scirto put in his second goal of the season on a corner kick from Dylan Ross to make it 2-0.

D’Youville committed three fouls in the next five minutes, which led to Buffalo State’s third goal.  Forward Francesco Cardillo scored his second goal of the year on another assist from Ross to give the Bengals a 3-0 lead.

Buffalo State scored its fourth goal in the 28th minute when Andrew Dugan capitalized on a pass from Scirto. They finished off the scoring in the 37th minute when Dylan Ross registered his third assist of the game on a pass to midfielder Erik Tellgren, who scored to make it 5-0.

The second half saw a different focus for the Bengals. Buffalo State still moved the ball effectively, but the team was focusing on their defensive play to keep the shutout intact for Kuhnle, the newly named starter in net.

The game plan for head coach Mark Howlett worked to perfection in the heavy rain.  Buffalo State outshot the Spartans 21-6 throughout the game, including 15-1 in the first half.

Senior midfielder Jonathan Commisso said an up-tempo approach spurred the Bengals’ strong offensive showing, something that he believes should have a positive impact on the team’s morale going forward.

“[Coach Howlett] wanted us to move the ball quickly on that very narrow field and whip in crosses to make it difficult for them to get a breather,” Commisso said. “I do believe this was beneficial for some of the players to get their confidence up.”

Although the Bengals played a strong game, senior captain Anthony Appiani said that there is much more to accomplish than just a strong win like this.

“We can always improve this week on switching the ball and keeping good defensive shape,” said Appiani. “We can always improve on just overall speed and quality of play.”

Buffalo State will hope to build on its convincing victory when it opens SUNYAC play this Friday at Geneseo.

Joe Sarro can be reached by email at [email protected]