Soccer Battles Akron To 2-2 Draw; Claims #5 Seed In MAC Tournament

Gianna Yurchak

AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo women's soccer team (7-8-3, 5-4-2 MAC) battled the Akron Zips to a 2-2 draw on the road on Thursday in the regular season finale. With the results on Thursday, Buffalo earned the #5 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament and will head to #4 seed Bowling Green on Sunday for the MAC quarterfinals.

The Basics

  • Score: Buffalo 2, Akron 2 (2OT)
  • Records: Buffalo (7-8-3, 5-4-2 MAC), Akron (2-13-4, 1-7-3 MAC)
  • Buffalo Goal Scorer: Julia Benati (7), Gianna Yurchak (3)
  • Akron Goal Scorer: Rylie Howman (1), Rachel Baughman (2)
  • Akron Assist: Erica Schrader (4), Kiana Zuk (1)
  • Location: First Energy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field – Akron, OH
  • Attendance: 283

Starting Lineups

How It Happened

  • Buffalo was able to notch the first shot of the match in the third minute as Julia Benati saw her shot stopped by the Akron keeper.
  • After some back-and-forth play, Carissima Cutrona poked a shot towards the net that was stopped by the Akron keeper to keep the match scoreless.
  • The Zips had a good scoring chance in the 23rd minute but Ashley Amato saw her shot saved by Laura Dougall.
  • In the 29th minute, the Zips got on the board first off of a set piece. Erica Schrader sent a corner into the box where Rylie Howman got a head on the ball and beat Laura Dougall to the right corner of the net.
  • After a yellow card on the Zips, Julia Benati had a dangerous free kick from just outside the box but her attempt was blocked and cleared out of harms way.
  • A couple minutes later, the Bulls were able to end the first half on a high note as Julia Benati dribbled through the Zips defense and ripped a shot from the top of the box that hit the bottom of the cross bar and went into the back of the net to send the match to halftime tied, 1-1.
  • UB started off the second with a great scoring chance as Julia Benati made a quick move and drilled a shot towards the left corner but the Akron keeper made a nice diving stop to her right to keep the score, 1-1.
  • The Zips were able to regain the 2-1 lead in the 52nd minute as the UB defense couldn't clear the ball out of the box and Rachel Baughman gathered the loose ball and buried it into the left corner of the net.
  • Buffalo wasted no time tying the match as Gianna Yurchak gathered a loose ball on the right side of the box and buried a left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net for her third goal of the match.
  • In the 60th minute, Carissima Cutrona made a nice pass to Moira Petrie in front of the net but her right-footed boot soared just over the net.
  • With the game still knotted, 2-2, in the 83rd minute, Julia Benati had a great run and took a dangerous shot that was knocked down by the keeper and grabbed.
  • Rachel Villalta had a good scoring chance in the 101st minute of play as Kaitlyn Walsh sent a cross into the box but Villalta's shot went just wide right of the goal.
  • Sidney Reeves nearly ended the match in the 105th minute of play but her hard shot from distance went off the cross bar and out of play.
  • Akron had a dangerous chance to end the match in the final minute of play but Lena Lucas made a great defensive play to clear the ball and prevent the goal to help UB earn the draw.

Inside The Numbers

  • Buffalo earned the #5 seed for the MAC Tournament as they have now qualified in four straight seasons for just the second time in program history.
  • The Bulls held the dominant 18-8 edge in shots while the Zips held the narrow 7-6 lead in corner kicks in the draw.
  • Julia Benati netted her career-best seventh goal of the season in the 44th minute. She has now notched a career-high 17 points on the season. Over her last seven matches, Benati has notched four goals and 10 points
  • Gianna Yurchak netted her third goal of the season and she now has nine points on the season.
  • Senior goalkeeper Laura Dougall finished off her match with three saves while her counterpart Amani Jiu made nine saves in the draw.
  • Julia Benati led all players with six shots, four on goal, while Carissima Cutrona, Kaitlyn Walsh and Sidney Reeves each finished with two shots.
  • Amanda Kneppel appeared in her first career match on Thursday.

Player of the Match
Following the match, the UB coaching staff selected Gianna Yurchak as the Player of the Match after netting her third goal of the season in the second half.


Buffalo earned the #5 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament and will travel to #4 seed Bowling Green on Sunday for the MAC Quarterfinals. The match will kick at 1:00 pm on Sunday in Bowling Green.