Myers’ OT goal shocks Geneseo in thriller, 2-1

Ryan Mullen, Reporter

The men’s soccer team (7-2-1) came into this weekend with a tall order; the outcome of their first two SUNYAC matchups were looming and ready to set the tone for their entire season.

Buffalo State made a statement to the entire conference with two huge wins against Geneseo (4-3-1) in a 2-1 overtime thriller, and Brockport (1-5-1) in a physical 2-0 decision.

“Anytime I step on the field, I just feel like, you know, I have to do it. I have to go 120% every time,” sophomore midfielder Bass Sarr said. “It’s gonna get physical, because it’s SUNYAC. We don’t expect it to be easy; we don’t want it to be easy. That’s how we play. We play hard as a team; we play hard individually. We just come and give it to them. Nobody is gonna come here and get the win.”

Buffalo State led from the 19th minute on after junior defenseman Drew Braun’s goal, and dominated the Geneseo Knights in shots on goal and overall play for the entire game. The match seemed decided until Geneseo forward Connor Ross put one in the back of the net in the 77th minute.

In overtime, senior goaltender William Banahene saved the Bengals from when Geneseo forward Ethan Gunty outmuscled a Bengal defender to get a clean break on the net. Banahene charged out and Gunty made a gutsy move to try to get around him for a goal. Banahene snagged the ball from Gunty’s foot on a brilliant save.

With less than a minute left in the first overtime, the Bengals moved the ball up the field quickly. It seemed like minutes passed before Sarr passed to junior forward Tristan Myers. Myers made a move around a defender and put the ball in with one second left.

“We made it a lot more difficult than we needed to, but what a thrilling last minute,” said head coach Mark Howlett. “It had everything for everybody to really get involved. To win in that way, it pushes your season on. It was fantastic.”

The win kicked off the Bengals’ SUNYAC slate and got the ball rolling.

“Obviously it’s a huge victory for us, because it’s the first game, and getting it in the last second is a huge morale,” Myers said. “I was listening to the guy. and he’s like four…three… and I was like, I knew I had to get it off, so I just hit and hoped, really, and it went in.”

The Bengals capped off the weekend with a team victory over Brockport. It was no overtime classic, but it was a very physical game between two rivals. Sarr’s two goals were the only ones to hit the back of the net against. Sarr would’ve scored a hat trick in the first half, but a goal was called back on an offside call.

It was the first time the Bengals defeated Brockport since 2001, and it’s been close to fifteen years since Buffalo State has gone 2-0 to start conference play. Buffalo State now goes on the road for three pivotal SUNYAC games against Fredonia, Oswego and Cortland.

“It’s a massive stretch for us, where we are more than capable of getting big results,” Howlett said.  “I think we’ve been good on the road anyway, so I’m just excited to go and test ourselves against other opponents.”

Buffalo State’s first of three on the road starts on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. against Fredonia. The following two are next weekend. The Bengals next home game is on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. against the current SUNYAC leader, Plattsburgh.

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