No. 18 Bengals set sights on semifinals


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Junior midfielder Breanna Knight and the top-seed Bengals enter the SUNYAC playoffs on a 12-game win streak.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, Reporter

After a lopsided 6-1 victory against St. John Fisher, the regular season has come to an end, and the No. 18 Buffalo State Bengals prepare for a fifth-straight playoff run, the longest streak since the program’s establishment in 1981.

The Bengals, led by the former three-time All-SUNYAC forward and Buffalo State alum Nick DeMarsh, ended the regular season 15-1-2 and an undefeated 9-0-0 in conference play. The Bengals ended the regular season on a 13-game unbeaten streak, winning the last 12 games. Their last loss was on Sept. 11 against Misericordia University.

This streak led to the Bengals clinching the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage for the second time in consecutive seasons.

On this past Wednesday, the Bengals will host the No. 4 seed Plattsburgh Cardinals (11-8-0, 5-4-0). Earlier this season, a goal apiece from senior forward Catherine Mammoser and senior forward Melissa Smith propelled the Bengals to a 2-0 victory over the Cardinals in Plattsburgh.

Smith leads the SUNYAC in points with 33. She is followed by Plattsburgh’s Madeline Saccocio, who has 29 points, and Anissa Hartman, who has 27 points.

“They’re dangerous on set pieces. They press hard for the first 10-15 minutes. Solid team all around,” DeMarsh said. “… We have been aware of high-impact activities to avoid collisions and unnecessary knocks, but our philosophy will not change, regardless of our opponent.”

After defender Hind Alamari did not play against St. John Fisher because of a lower body injury, it came to attention that good health has been key all season for the 15-win team.

“Hind looks good. Everyone seems fit and healthy. The team selection will be difficult because we have several players in form. That said, I don’t foresee any surprises unless someone gets injured in our last session,” DeMarsh said.

The playoffs bring out many feelings of anticipation. Though the team’s run of 13 straight games of unbeaten play is impressive, the Bengals are starting fresh for the SUNYAC playoffs.

“It’s extremely exciting to be able to play this game on our home field. It gives us that extra incentive to play with everything we got. We have to survive to advance now, so every game that we play could be the last one,” Smith said.

“I’m nervous, but I believe in my team as well as myself. If we go into the game and play it the way we play, I think we will be very successful,” said freshman goalkeeper Taylor Carillo, who broke multiple school records in net this season.

If the Bengals emerge victorious on Wednesday, they will host either the two-seed Geneseo Knights or the three-seed Oneonta Red Dragons on Saturday, Nov. 5. The winner will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.


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