BUFFALO, NY - Despite a goal from senior Aubrey Stahl just 45 seconds into the game, the Buffalo women's soccer team could not withstand an aggressive Bowling Green squad Friday evening, losing 2-1 thanks to a Falcon goal in the 89th minute. The Bulls were outshot 23-6, with 16 of Bowling Green's shots being on goal.
Right from the opening kick, the Bulls were able to strike. In a trend that has been going for the entire season, the team was able to score first thanks to a long-distance strike from Stahl. After a turnover by the Falcons near midfield, Stahl struck a lazer from 25 yards out and beat the keeper high to give the team a very early lead. The Bulls have scored first in every single game so far this season, but for only the second time would it not stand up.
Bowling Green peppered the UB defense with shots all through the night, but through the first 64 minutes it was to no avail. Goalie Ainsley Wheldon made eight of her 14 saves in the first half, including a stop in the 41st minute on an acrobatic dive to stop what was to be a sure goal. In the 65th minute, though, the Falcons' Alyssa Zuccaro scored after settling the ball at the top of the box to even things up. The true heart breaker would come as the game was winding down in the 89th minute, when Zuccaro again made a run from midfield and was able to beat Wheldon on the near side for the clincher.
"She (Wheldon) would like to have that one back but she made a save in the first half that absolutely kept us in the game and goalkeepers just need to have a short memory," said head coach Michael Thomas. "She has been good for us all year and we expect her to come out Sunday and be good for us."
Following the goal in the first minute of the game, the Buffalo attack stalled, only managing only two more shots on goal the rest of the way. Unable to find any rhythm passing, the Bulls were forced to defend the Bowling Green onslaught rather than set up any attacks of its own.
"We didn't give a 90 minute effort today. We got up early and we tried to take a big section of the game off and we were punished for it," Thomas said. "Bowling Green focuses on pressuring the ball a lot so the speed was pretty high today and I thought we figured it out, but Bowling Green definitely deserved the goals."
The Bulls (7-2, 0-1) must now prepare for another challenging offense, as the Miami (OH) Redhawks come to UB Stadium for a Sunday afternoon matchup. The 'Hawks lead the Mid-American Conference with 18 goals in just seven games this season. Kickoff is set for noon.