Lightning forces 1-1 draw between Buffalo State, Oneonta

Jason Guth, Sports Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Two lightning delays forced the game between Buffalo State and No. 25 Oneonta to be called in the 78th minute on Friday night at Coyer Field, with the score knotted at 1-1.

The first delay extended halftime by 1 hour and 47 minutes, after the Bengals had taken the lead with 30 seconds remaining in the first half on a bender from Zak Shaibi, his sixth goal of the season.

Before that miraculous shot found the back of the net, the Bengals and Red Dragons were putting on a defensive clinic as the first shot on goal didn’t occur until the 16th minute of play — and it took a free kick for Buffalo State to achieve the mark.

The time of possession battle was also fierce, as Oneonta (8-2-2, 4-1-1 SUNYAC) narrowly edged the Bengals by a margin of 54 seconds in the game’s first 45 minutes.

But when play resumed following the halftime delay, Oneonta was raining shots down on Bengals goalkeeper Max Shoemaker almost as steadily as the rain was falling from the sky. The Red Dragons registered seven shots in the truncated second half, three of them on target.

After narrow misses on two of those attempts in the 55th and 64th minutes, the third time was the charm for the Red Dragons in the 74th minute, as Lucas Fecci was able to head-in a cross from Aaron Harrison, lifting it just above the leaping Shoemaker which tied the game at one apiece.

Buffalo State (10-3-1, 3-2-1 SUNYAC) looked sluggish, and didn’t seem to have the tenacity they played with in the first half.

“If it was normal without the delay, we have a little bit of momentum because we scored so late in the first half,” Bengals head coach Francesco Cardillo said.

“The guys were eager to get back out on to the field, so unfortunately that delay pushes us (back) a little bit. … But obviously that’s on us, we just came out a little too flat in the second half and we gave them too much respect in terms of spacing, and that’s what kind of let us down.”

Let them down indeed, as the game was called due to lightning mere minutes after Oneonta evened the score, which could have implications on the SUNYAC playoffs: With the win, the Bengals would’ve leapt into fourth in the standings while Oneonta would’ve fallen to fifth.

For now, the Red Dragons remain slotted in third while the Bengals stay in fifth and would play on the road in the SUNYAC quarterfinals if the season ended today.


Buffalo State: Home against No. 21 New Paltz on Saturday at noon on Senior Day, followed by three road tilts next week to finish the regular season.

Oneonta: On the road against Fredonia at 1 p.m. on Saturday, followed by two more road games next week to finish the regular season.