Men’s soccer swept in doubleheader over weekend


Buffalo State Sports Information

Joe Vucic leads Buffalo State with five goals.

Ryan Esguerra, Beat Reporter

The Buffalo State men’s soccer team took to Coyer Field over the weekend in its first home doubleheader of the season against Clarkson and No. 19 St. Lawrence.

The Bengals (1-5) fell to Clarkson Saturday, 4-1, and despite an offensive explosion Sunday, they fell short of upsetting No. 19 nationally ranked St. Lawrence.

On Saturday, Clarkson came out firing, jumping out to a 2-0 lead before Buffalo State’s Bayak Benyehuda found a streaking Joe Vucic to cut the deficit in half going into the second period.

Two more Clarkson goals in the second period would prove too much for the Bengals to overcome on Saturday.

“We had a tough game yesterday against a tough opponent,” second year head coach Mark Howlett said. “The effort to win and succeed wasn’t there yesterday (Saturday).”

Sunday, however, proved to be a different story for the Bengals — they fell just one goal short of their goal total for the entire year. A quick St. Lawrence goal could have buried the Bengals immediately, but they battled throughout, and going into the 2nd period, they found themselves down only 2-1.

The beginning of the second half featured a St. Lawrence goal, quickly answered by the Bengals when Vucic netted a goal assisted by senior midfielder Francesco Cardillo.

St. Lawrence dropped in a fourth and final goal with 13:45 remaining to take a two score lead, but the Bengals refused to go away. Less than two minutes later, the Bengals netted another to bring it make it a one-goal game, only to watch time expire and take another loss.

“I think today (Sunday), you cannot question the guys effort,” Howlett said. “It was fantastic really, we needed a few more defensive stops, but our offense performed well. Not many teams can say they put up three goals on such a good team.”

            These losses put the Bengals four games below .500, but the team has not recorded a SUNYAC match yet the season, so the season is still just getting started.

Cardillo, a captain, takes what his team did on Sunday as a great start to what could potentially be a successful season.

“What we learned today was that we can come back from anything, we could be down two goals, three goals and we won’t give up,” Cardillo said. “We are a team out here and we will never give up and that’s our goal.”

The Bengals look to rebound next weekend when they host D’Youville, Thursday, Sept. 18, in what acts as their homecoming game — their last match before SUNYAC play begins that following a week against Brockport.

Vucic, Buffalo State’s leading scorer, has all of the confidence in the world, as the Bengals are set to take on the bulk of their SUNYAC schedule in the coming weeks.

“We were down early, we fought our way back so I think that will do us well come SUNYAC time,” Vucic said.

When asked to predict his team’s fortunes for this year, Vucic responded with a smile on his face.

“Well man,” he said, “if I were to predict, I would say SUNYAC champs.”