Buff State’s historic run comes to end in NCAA playoffs


Geoff Schneider/Sports Union

Buffalo States historic season came to an end Saturday. The unbeaten streak was halted at 15 games.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, Reporter

The Buffalo State Bengals women’s soccer team saw their magical 2016 campaign come to an end on Saturday afternoon at the hands of the Montclair State Red Hawks.

It was a record-setting season for Buffalo State. The Bengals set a program-best 17-1-3 record. They had an unbeaten streak of 15 games, winning 14 games. Before their loss this past Saturday, they had not suffered defeat since Sept. 11.

Senior forward Melissa Smith tallied 37 points this season, which helped her catapult into the top five in career points in program history, despite only playing two seasons. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Carillo shattered the school-record for consecutive minutes without conceding a goal (871 minutes and 56 seconds). She also set the school record in shutouts and wins in a season at 13 and 17, respectively.

Carillo also won SUNYAC Rookie of the Year. All of this led to the Bengals capturing their first SUNYAC title and appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

On Saturday, the Bengals hosted the Montclair State Red Hawks, an at-large bid from the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The winner would play the Messiah Falcons as they defeated the Staten Island Dolphins at Coyer Field prior to their game.

In the 44th minute, Smith was taken down in the box. The referee blew his whistle and awarded the Bengals with a penalty kick. Junior midfielder Victoria Colotti took charge of the penalty kick but her shot was blocked by Red Hawks goalkeeper Molly Barrow. Colotti, however, showed great awareness as she took the rebound and put it in the back of the net to give the Bengals the 1-0 advantage into the half.

The lead wouldn’t last too long as the Red Hawks were able to equalize in the 55th minute. Ashley Koester was able to find Tyler Madison, and she ripped one that ricocheted into the net past Carillo. For the rest of the game, it was back-and-forth as neither team was able to really get a good look to the net.

After 90 minutes, it was still knotted up at one goal apiece and they headed into overtime. The back-and-forth trend carried into the extra 20 minutes. After 110 minutes, the Bengals and Red Hawks went to a penalty shootout.

In the first round of the shootout, Montclair’s Daniela Greco and Buffalo State’s Breanna Knight both made their shot. In the second round, Montclair’s Erin Sullivan and Buffalo State’s Colotti both missed their attempts. In the third round, Montclair’s Brooke Beatty beat Carillo and Buffalo State’s Tianna Hatch wasn’t able to send her chip shot in. In the fourth round, Emily Beenders gave the Red Hawks a 3-1 lead in the shootout.

Malyssa Chanthansoto needed to convert to keep the Bengals season alive. It wasn’t meant to be, as Barrow dove to her left and blocked Chanthansoto’s shot to advance to the Round of 32.

“It’s a tough way to go out. A penalty shootout isn’t a keeper’s best friend,” Carillo said. “I watched the shootout over and over again. My team did a fantastic job.”

A long, dominant season came down to five crucial kicks. Unfortunately for Buffalo State, it didn’t work out in their favor.

“Soccer is a cruel game, and we were not good enough on penalties. The season set a new standard that will be difficult to match for generations to come,” said Bengals head coach Nick DeMarsh, who won his third SUNYAC Coach of the Year award. “I am proud of my team and what we have accomplished.”

The loss marked the end of the collegiate careers of seniors Kristin Seiferth, who won SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year, Jenna Smolinski, Catherine Mammoser and Smith, who won SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Year and SUNYAC Tournament MVP.


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