Buffalo State defeats Geneseo, moves on to SUNYAC semifinals


Jessica Doolittle

Saleman Salim handles the ball for Buffalo State during SUNYAC quarterfinal action against Geneseo on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Coyer Field.

Jason Guth, Sports Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo State overcame a sluggish first half by scoring two goals in the final 27 minutes of play, capturing a 2-1 victory over Geneseo in SUNYAC quarterfinal action on Saturday at Coyer Field.

Theo Pencic headed a shot into the back of the net off a Zak Shaibi cross in the 63rd minute, and soon after tallied an assist of his own by feeding Saleman Salim off a corner kick, who fired a shot into the net just six minutes later.

After a first half dominated by Geneseo that saw the Knights score in the seventh minute and outshoot the Bengals 9 to 1, Buffalo State reversed the script and took control in the second half.

“We woke up,” Buffalo State coach Francesco Cardillo said of the second half resurgence. “This is something that’s been happening all season – where we just take a little bit to get into the game, and the second half showed our true selves and who we are and what we can do.”

And what this team can do is put on an offensive clinic.

The Bengals poured in 16 shots over the game’s final 45 minutes, dominating the time of possession battle by more than four minutes, converting two of their four shots on net. In scoring the victory, Buffalo State avenged its heart-wrenching double-overtime loss last Friday to the same Geneseo team.

“I got the tactics wrong and what we needed to do against them,” Cardillo said of last week’s loss. “We were grateful of having a week of training where we came in and we were able to combat what they did to us, and we understood (what we needed to do).”

Bengals’ goalkeeper Max Shoemaker earned his 11th win of the season, making a number of tremendous saves down the stretch – nine for the game – securing the victory for Buffalo State who moves on to the semifinal round of the SUNYAC Playoffs.


Buffalo State: On the road at No. 1 seed Cortland on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Geneseo: Returns to action next fall after losing in its first postseason appearance since 2017.