Late goal triggers abrupt end to men’s soccer’s redemption season

A goal in the 83rd minute sank the Bengals in their SUNYAC quarterfinal game Saturday.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

A goal in the 83rd minute sank the Bengals in their SUNYAC quarterfinal game Saturday.

Before Saturday, it had been seven years since the Buffalo State men’s soccer team played a game in November.

Although the Bengals ended their long playoff drought this year, the outcome of their long-awaited playoff match wasn’t what they had hoped for, as they fell to Plattsburgh, 2-1.

The game wasn’t as close as the score might indicate, as Plattsburgh outshot Buffalo State, 23-7. The Bengals only registered three shots on net throughout the entire game.

“Plattsburgh was shooting the ball a lot, but they were shooting it from 40 yards out,” first-year coach Mark Howlett said. “It might look good on the box score, but when you shoot from that far out it doesn’t really mean anything.”

Even though Buffalo State didn’t have the edge in shots, they caused Plattsburgh a lot of problems with their offense.

“We did exactly what we planned to do,” Howlett said. “I’d be the first to say that they were lucky to get out of there with the win.”

Michael Moratis started in goal for the Bengals and he had to be spectacular right from the get go. Moratis had to make saves on Plattsburgh’s Fabian Chaparro and Alexis Archilla to keep the game in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Anthony Appiani and the rest of the Buffalo State defense played better midway through the first half to keep the game scoreless. Plattsburgh’s Nate Economou, Fabian Chapparo and Chris Bowden all had their shots go wide of the goal after tight defense forced them to take shots from far outside the box.

“We played as hard as we could on Saturday,” Appiani said. “Everyone left (it all) out on the field. We were glad looking back seeing how far we came.”

The game went into halftime scoreless, but Plattsburgh came out of the locker room with great urgency.

After getting numerous shots on goal midway through the second half they were able to punch one in to break the tie. Archilla scored his eighth goal of the season in the 66th minute when he beat Moratis down to the right side of the goal.

It didn’t take long for Buffalo State to answer back. It took just 45 seconds for the Bengals to apply pressure. Stephen Linderman took a shot on goal and the rebound was buried by Matthew Wong off a deflection from Plattsburgh goaltender Mitchell Jordon to tie the game at one a piece.

But Plattsburgh took advantage from there.

After five unsuccessful corner kicks, Plattsburgh was able to capitalize on one, as Archilla scored the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute. It was his second of the game and his ninth of the season. The goal was assisted by Nelson Vetter and basically ended the Bengals’ season.

With the loss on Saturday, the Bengals completed their 2013 season with a record of 9-9-1. They finished fifth in the SUNYAC and it was a big step forward for the program.

They weren’t expected to reach the post season under a new coaching staff and with a new system of play, but the Bengals still managed to win eight more games than they did last season.

“Our coaches wanted to let us know that even though we lost it doesn’t mean we failed,” Bengals forward Andrew Dugan said. “They wanted us to know we set the standard for years to come and we should keep our heads up as high as possible.”


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