Men’s soccer loses first two conference contests

Midfielder Byan Daiglera and the Bengals offense was limited to just one goal in a pair of conference losses.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

Midfielder Byan Daiglera and the Bengals offense was limited to just one goal in a pair of conference losses.

Tony Callens, Staff Writer

The Buffalo State men’s soccer team struggled in its non-conference schedule to start the season.

Things didn’t get any better when the team opened SUNYAC play this past weekend.

After a 2-5 start to the season, the Bengals aimed to get back on the right track in the competitive SUNYAC race with matches against Brockport and Geneseo, but were unable to capitalize on chances in both games, falling to Brockport, 3-0 and to Geneseo, 2-1. With the pair of losses, Buffalo State falls to 2-7 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

“We wanted to win, we wanted to compete,” said a disappointed Buffalo State head coach Mark Howlett.

The Bengals were unable to find a rhythm in the Brockport game. The Eagles opened the scoring with a goal by senior midfielder Paul Altobelli in the 22nd minute. The ball took a strange flick off his body from a free kick by junior midfielder Collin Goettel.

The Bengals responded with an offensive attack that saw a curving shot by sophomore forward Joe Vucic bounce off the right post.

That was the most offense the Bengals would muster as Brockport controlled the pace of play and outshot the Bengals 12 to 9.

In the second half, after several minutes of stagnant play from both teams, the Eagles added to the lead with a goal in the 82nd minute by junior midfielder Brandon Bianchi as he got just enough of the ball to bounce over the end line after an assist by Goettel, his second of the game.

There was no answer by Buffalo State as Altobelli added his second goal of the game on a penalty kick in the 86th minute to seal the deal for the Eagles.

“We just have to work harder in practice, forget about our losses, work on our set pieces for sure, that’s where we’re conceding,” a frustrated Vucic said.

Buffalo State looked to rebound in their match against Geneseo on Saturday. They got off to a fast start with a quick goal by Vucic in the 2nd minute on a one-time, volley off a chip from senior midfielder Francesco Cardillo as the shot sailed past the Geneseo goalkeeper.

The Bengals had a couple of chances later in the first half but were unable to take advantage as they allowed the Knights to stay in the game with a 1-0 score at the half.

Geneseo came out in the second half with intensity and capitalized with the equalizing goal off a corner kick from the head of junior fullback Brad Campion in the 50th minute.

Hunter Hein stood on his head to keep the score level as he was peppered with 16 shots, seven of them on goal, by the Knights.

“I wanted to be more commanding in my box, which I don’t think I was as good as I should’ve been, but just wanted to keep us in it as long as I could so our forwards [could] help us out and get us some goals,” Hein said.

Buffalo State had to adopt a counter attacking style from there as Geneseo controlled possession for most of the game. In the 81st minute, the Knights finally broke the deadlock on an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder John Leva on a shot that came off a block and was tucked in the lower left corner of the net.

The Bengals had one last opportunity to score the equalizer in the 86th minute when freshman forward Tristian Myers broke open on the right side of goal, took a shot and sent the ball flying harmlessly to the side.

“There’s no real difference,” Howlett said between the pair of losses to Brockport and Geneseo.

“We didn’t concede a goal from open play yesterday and they scored on three set pieces. Two of them were questionable at that and today we had a couple of moments where we lost focus.”

“Obviously, this isn’t the results we wanted but we also started 0-3 in the conference last year and still made the playoffs for the first time in seven years and so we keep moving forward from this and don’t let it phase us,” Howlett said.

Buffalo State travels to Fredonia next Saturday to continue SUNYAC play.


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