Men’s soccer begins SUNYAC play, starts strong


Freshman forward August Finn has scored two of Buffalo State’s 15 goals this season.

Andrew Kuczkowski, Staff Writer

The Buffalo State men’s soccer team got their first win on SUNYAC opening weekend in over eight years on Saturday against Geneseo, beating the Blue Knights, 2-1.

The Bengals started their weekend up Friday at Brockport as they faced the Golden Eagles, a contest that ended in a 2-2 tie.

Head coach Mark Howlett was satisfied with the draw, noting that Brockport had only given up one goal in their past six games before his team netted two against them.

Sophomore Danny Clavin scored his first goal of the season and freshman Bass Sarr netted his team-leading fifth goal of the season.

Sarr received two yellow cards, resulting in a red card, which meant he wouldn’t be able to play in Saturday’s game against Geneseo.

“It didn’t make a difference,” said Howlett of Sarr’s absence. “We have guys that will step up.”

Saturday at Geneseo, freshman August Finn was ejected in similar fashion after receiving two yellow cards 50 minutes apart, disqualifying him for Wednesday’s non-conference matchup against D’Youville.

“I don’t think that anyone on the team is irreplaceable,” Howlett said. “That’s what make us a good team. It’s that people can step in and not one person can dictate if we win or if we lose.”

Buffalo State went into the game versus a Geneseo team that had not conceded a game at home, down their top scorer, Sarr.

Junior captain Luke Pavone stepped up during the important conference game and netted both the Bengals’ goals, his fourth and fifth of the season, and the Bengals only let up one goal in the 2-1 victory.

Junior captain Daniel Aguilar Lobo is happy to have five of their final eight games on home turf.

“We’ve been on the road for quite a while now,” Aguilar said, “and it’s going to be nice with the home crowd supporting us. It’s really important. The boys get excited, they get pumped for it.”

The Bengals have played 10 games, only two of which were at home on Coyer Field.

“We take pride in playing here at Coyer,” Pavone said. “The boys are going to be excited to finally be at home in front of our home crowd.”

Howlett called out the poor home-game attendance at Coyer Field and would like to see more fans come out to support his team as they battle for a playoff spot.

“We go away to these places and there is real passion for their soccer team and a real passion to get behind them to get that edge,” Howlett said. “I don’t feel that we had that over the last two years since I’ve been here.

“I’m hoping people will start getting out because it has been a very, very good year and we’re on pace to have one of the best years in the last 25 years.”

Buffalo State will play at D’Youville on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. and home on Saturday against Fredonia at 4 p.m. for their SUNYAC home opener.

“I know that it has been 34 years since Buffalo State has beat [Fredonia],” Howlett said. “That game’s massive; it’s a rivalry. We have the added ‘Battle of the Lake’ with it as well and our leading goal scorer last year [Joe Vucic] transferred into them this year. I think if we win this weekend, we end Fredonia’s season, realistically.”

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