BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's soccer team (3-5-1, 1-1-0 MAC) returns to the pitch this weekend after opening up Mid-American Conference play with a win and a loss at home this past weekend. The Bulls will travel to Eastern Michigan for a match on Friday at 4:00 pm before heading to Central Michigan on Sunday for a 12:00 pm showdown with the Chippewas.
The Bulls opened up MAC play on Friday night with an impressive 2-0 victory over Western Michigan behind goals from captains Carissima Cutrona and Julia Benati. The win for senior goalkeeper Laura Dougall was the 35th of her career, setting the program record for wins in a career by a goalkeeper. Buffalo wasn't able to stay unbeaten on Sunday afternoon as the Northern Illinois Huskies defeated UB 2-0 behind a pair of second half markers.
Buffalo is being driven offensively once again by Cutrona who leads the team with four goals and three assists for 11 points. The junior currently ranks 14th in program history in points (43) and 15th in goals (17) as she has notched double digit point efforts in all three of her seasons at Buffalo. Fellow captain Julia Benati ranks second on the team with three goals and an assist for seven points while sophomore Kara Daly is having a career year with two goals and three assists for seven points.
Defensively, the Buffalo back line is being anchored by a pair of sophomores in Gurjeena Jandu and Adrianna VanCuyck. Jandu has played nearly every minute this season while VanCuyck is turning into a great defender after an early season injury. Freshman Marcy Barberic has played in multiple positions early on in her UB career and has performed well for the Bulls, starting all nine matches. In goal, Dougall continues to be the backbone of the Bulls as she owns a 1.29 goals-against average, a 7.89 save percentage and three clean sheets.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles enter Friday afternoons match with a 3-7-1 overall record and a 0-2 MAC mark after falling at Ohio, 2-1, in overtime and at Kent State 1-0. The Eagles have lost four straight matches overall but own a 2-1-1 record at home. Offensively, Sabrina McNeill leads the Eagles with two goals and two assists for six points while notching a team-high 28 shots. Nicole Remedios ranks second on the team with four points while starting nine matches and five other EMU players have notched one goal. In goal, Kaylin Williams has started all 11 matches and owns a 1.76 goals-against average with a .725 save percentage while making 50 stops and preserving two clean sheets.
This will mark the 24th meeting between the two programs with the Eagles owning the 10-6-7 all-time series lead over the Bulls. Buffalo is 2-0-2 against Eastern Michigan over the last four meetings including a 1-1 draw in Buffalo in 2016.
Central Michigan enters this weekend with a 5-4-1 overall record and a 0-2 MAC mark after falling at Kent State, 2-1, and at Ohio, 3-0. The Chippewas had won five of their last six before MAC play opened up last weekend. Leading the way offensively is sophomore Lexi Pelafas who has notched seven goals and an assist for 15 points while taking a team-high 51 shots. Madison Costner ranks second on the squad with four goals and an assist for nine points while Mary Carlson has two goals and an assist for five points on six shots. Between the pipes, Zoie Reed has started all 10 matches and owns a 1.48 goals-against average as she has made 45 saves and held two clean sheets.
The meeting against the Chippewas will be the 24th in series history with Central Michigan owning the 13-6-4 series lead over the Bulls. Buffalo is 3-1-1 against CMU in the last five meetings with the lone loss coming last season in the MAC Quarterfinals as the Chippewas prevailed, 1-0, to move onto the MAC Semifinals.
After a pair of road matches this weekend, Buffalo will have a split weekend ahead of themselves as they travel to Ohio for a 4:00 pm match on Thursday before returning to UB Stadium on Sunday for a 12:00 pm showdown with the defending MAC Champions, Kent State.