Women’s soccer secures SUNYAC playoff berth


Dave DeLuca/ The Record Sophomore defenseman Emma Laffey slides to get a 50/50 ball in action against Potsdam.

Anthony Reyes, Staff Reporter

The Buffalo State women’s soccer team finished off their SUNYAC schedule and clinched a playoff spot this weekend with a 2-1 win over the New Paltz Hawks on Friday and a 1-1 draw against the Oneonta Red Dragons on Saturday.


Buffalo State knew it was the most important weekend of the season. They controlled their own destiny, knowing that at least one win would secure a SUNYAC playoff berth.


The Bengals came out roaring Friday against New Paltz and controlled the pace from the start. They had shots from seven different players and generated many scoring chances, which had the Hawks on their heels for much of the first half. The Bengals held the lead in shots by an 11-4 margin but ultimately couldn’t find the back of the net.


They went into halftime tied at zero.


In the second half the teams traded chances until the Bengals finally opened the scoring. In the 70th minute, junior defender Gabrianna Boldinski ripped a shot from about 40 yards out and freshman forward Tianna Hatch got her head on it to tip it past the goalie for her fourth goal of the season.


“The ball was in, like, slow motion,” Hatch said. “It was just coasting. It was a beautiful ball, a perfect ball. Gabe is amazing at that, and I literally just tipped it off the top of my head and I turned around and watched it.”


The goal gave the Bengals a 1-0 lead but they weren’t done yet. Just two minutes later, they scored again. Freshman midfielder Breanna Knight was awarded a free kick from right at the top of the box and took advantage of it.


Knight lined up to kick with three defenders standing directly in front of her blocking the right side of the net while the goalie stood on the left side of the net. Knight ripped her shot just inches above the defenders heads and just under the crossbar to give the Bengals a 2-0 lead.


Just four minutes later, in the 76th minute, the Hawks were awarded a penalty kick and senior midfielder Eleni Anselmi capitalized on it to make it a 2-1 game in favor of the Bengals.


The Bengals were able to hold off the Hawks for the remaining 15 minutes and walk away from Coyer Field with a 2-1 win.


“I thought it was a well managed game today,” head coach Nick DeMarsh said. “We killed the clock off in the last five minutes, looked like professionals, overall I was pleased with the game.”


The win guaranteed they would finish no lower than sixth in the SUNYAC standings, which meant they had clinched a playoff spot. They weren’t satisfied with just getting in though; their eyes were then set on Saturday’s matchup with Oneonta. A win versus Oneonta would guarantee them a home playoff game.


Once again the Bengals came out roaring to start the game. Just three minutes into the game the Bengals were on the board and had the lead.  Junior forward Meghan Allen launched a corner kick into the box, freshman midfielder Victoria Colotti headed the corner towards the net and senior forward Megan Chapple came across and kicked it in.


The Red Dragons made their own push towards the end of the first half but couldn’t capitalize. They had a goal disallowed because a player was offside and they also had a shot hit the crossbar. Going into the half, the score was 1-0, Bengals.


The teams continued to go back and forth until the 76th minute when the Red Dragons would tie it up in controversial fashion. The Red Dragons were awarded a corner kick and as the corner kick came towards the net Bengals freshman goalkeeper Nicole Torres came diving across to make the save. When she came diving across Red Dragons senior defender Sarah Glowa went crashing into her, which caused both Torres and the ball to go into the net.


The goal was allowed and no explanation was given to the Bengals. The game was tied at one with just 15 minutes to go. Neither team would score in the final 15 and the game headed to overtime.


In the first overtime it looked as if the Bengals had won the game after Knight took a corner kick and Colotti got her head on it. It was headed right for the back of the net until junior forward Kayla Ceschini came out of nowhere and stuck her foot out to keep the ball out of the net.

The teams continued to trade chances and headed to a second overtime. With just 30 seconds remaining in the second overtime the Bengals were awarded a penalty kick. Freshman midfielder Gina Taggart lined up to take the kick and junior goalkeeper Kelley Murphy stopped her.


The game ended in a 1-1 tie. Both teams also finished with 11 shots and six of them on goal.


With the tie and the eventual Plattsburgh win, the Bengals finished SUNYAC play with 13 points and the final spot in the playoffs. They will take on the Fredonia Blue Devils this Saturday in Fredonia in the SUNYAC quarterfinals.


It has been a very up-and-down season for the Bengals, who finished 4-4 in the SUNYAC and sit at 7-7-3 overall with one more regular season, non-conference matchup with St. John Fisher remaining.


It wasn’t easy to get to where they are now they have had to learn many lessons because they’re a young team.


“We knew we had the talent to be a playoff team on paper,” DeMarsh said. “It was a matter of how quickly these girls were going to be groomed and become experienced players and get into rid of the little mistakes on the margins that determine outcomes of games. I think they’re finally coming around.”


Hatch and sophomore defender Kristina Change both felt that the team is really starting to come around now as well.


“I’m excited I knew we could do it starting from the beginning of the season,” Hatch said. ”Even though were really young we have a lot of talented players and we’re really just getting it to click.”


“It means a lot to come this far after we kept being disappointed all the time,” Change said. “To peak at this point in the league its really nice, its very rewarding.”


Email: reyes.record@outlook .com


Twitter: @A_Reyes26