BUFFALO, NY - Fueled by a late first-half goal from Katie Kerr, the Buffalo women's soccer team broke out of a recent funk with a feverish offensive performance to beat Western Michigan 3-2 Sunday afternoon at UB Stadium in a critical Mid-American Conference match. Katie Roberts added two goals in the second half for the comeback win.
After scoring three goals in the past four games, the Bulls were able to find its groove again, starting late in the first half after the Broncos scored in the 32nd minute. Western Michigan (7-7, 3-3 MAC) came inches from an early 2-0 lead, but an apparent goal in the 24th minute was waved off due to a late offsides call.
With just under a minute remaining in the half, Karen McMahon won a tough tackle and made a sharp cross from the left side to the back post, finding Kerr for her second goal of the season. The goal marked a big momentum shift that would lead to an explosive Buffalo offensive effort in the final 45 minutes.
"I think we came out in the second half as a completely different team, just knowing that we can go in and score against them," Kerr said. "I don't think we relented, we kept attacking. It's happened before where we've gone down and gotten right back even. We knew we could do it."
Western Michigan scored quickly in the second half to regain a 2-1 lead, but Roberts came through with her first goal of the day thanks to a long run into the box from Aubrey Stahl. The senior forward made a run down the right sideline and brought the ball in towards goal, drawing in the defense before crossing it to a charging Roberts on the back post for an easy one-timer in the 52nd minute.
Almost nine minutes later on the nose, Megan Giesenhooked took a pass from Courtney Mann's header at midfield and hooked up with her former club soccer teammate Roberts for the eventual game-winning goal. Giesen sent a through ball into the box from the left side and Roberts took a shot to the low back corner that found pay dirt in the 61st minute.
"Courtney (Mann) won a great header in the middle and then Megan had a great through ball," Roberts said. "Courtney always works hard and you know she'll give you 100 percent all the time. She goes in hard on every tackle and just wins the ball."
After watching his team create multiple chances to no avail Friday against Northern Illinois, head coach Michael Thomas was happy with the team's will to win.
"I couldn't be prouder today. There were about 18 million times where it would have been easy to just quit and pack it in," Thomas said. "They just kept responding, playing hard and coming back from adversity and how can you not like that as a coach?"
The three UB goals were the most since a 3-0 win against Temple Sept. 9 and the team's 20 goals this season are the most since 2007. Now 9-3-2 (2-2-2 MAC), the Bulls will hit the road next weekend for a tough matchup against Ball State and Toledo. The team hasn't won 10 games or more since 2003.