Bengals split weekend pair, stay in playoff race


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Pictured: Senior defenseman Liz Malinowski.

Anthony Reyes, Staff Writer

The Buffalo State women’s soccer team left the friendly confines of Coyer Field and traveled to the “North Country” for two crucial SUNYAC battles this weekend. They came back home with both a win and a loss, but kept their playoff hopes alive in the process.

“We knew we had to get three points out of the weekend, if not six,” junior defenseman Gabrianna Boldinski said. “And we did whatever we could to do that.”

The Bengals defeated Potsdam, 1-0, on Friday and fell to Plattsburgh Saturday, 4-1.

On Friday, the Bengals dominated from the start. In the first half the Bengals outshot the Bears by a 7-1 margin, but it wasn’t until the second half when they were finally able to put one in the back of the net. In the 69th minute, Boldinski scored when she headed in a corner kick from freshman midfielder Breanna Knight.

It was only the third goal of her career, but her second in as many games. The Bengals were then able to play strong defense the rest of the way and keep the Bears off the scoreboard. The game ended in a 1-0 victory for the Bengals as they held a 16-3 edge in shots and freshman goalkeeper Nicole Torres earned her first collegiate shutout.

“We played pretty well,” sophomore midfielder Katie Shaw said. “Our attack was better than what it had been the past few games and it was an important game to win because it officially put Potsdam behind us in the rankings for playoffs.”

Buffalo State didn’t find the same success on Saturday, falling to Plattsburgh. The Cardinals came out flying, and it seemed the Bengals weren’t ready for it. They outshot the Bengals 10-4 in the first half and scored two goals within the first five minutes of the game.

“They were very motivated,” head coach Nick DeMarsh said. “You could even tell in the warm-up, they were very enthusiastic and they jumped on us early.”

In the 63rd minute, Plattsburgh freshman forward Lindsey Bushey extended the lead to 3-0.In the 83rd minute the Bengals began to try to mount a late comeback when sophomore forward Micky Tinnerman scored to make it 3-1 and break the shutout. The comeback would ultimately come too late as just four minutes later, the Cardinals scored on a free kick by junior midfielder Cassidy Clavet.

The game ended in a 4-1 victory for the Cardinals, who ended up outshooting the Bengals by a 15-7 margin.

“I don’t think the final result being 4-1 reflected the game action,” DeMarsh said. “I think we made a lot of mistakes that made things very easy for Plattsburgh.”

If the Bengals were able to beat the Cardinals, they would have jumped ahead of them in the standings and into the fourth seed. Instead, the Bengals were able to hold on to the sixth and final playoff spot with nine points. They now trail both the Cardinals and Fredonia State who are tied for that fourth seed with 10 points each.

The Bengals now have another big conference weekend with major playoff implications ahead of them. They will come home to Coyer Field to take on New Paltz on Friday and Oneonta on Saturday.

“It’s massive,” DeMarsh said. “Every conference weekend is massive. You have to get as many points as you can. We want to sweep the weekend, we want to win both games but we will only consider New Paltz, we will talk about Oneonta on Saturday.”

Shaw knows what her coach is expecting from the team and she’s very confident they can get it done.

“I think our chances are pretty good,” Shaw said. ”This week is going to be a pretty big week of practices, trying to learn from the mistakes we made in the Plattsburgh game and capitalizing and making sure we finally get those three points to put us in the playoffs.”