BOCA RATON, FL – The University at Buffalo men's
soccer team captured its first Mid-American Conference victory by
defeating Florida Atlantic, 5-3 on Friday night at the FAU Soccer
Stadium. On the Bulls' first two goals of the contest there
was a bit of déjà vu as junior Rich Wilson scored a
pair of goals off similar plays. Freshman Risto Latti scored the
eventual gamewinner for his first career goal off his first career
In the fifth minute, the Bulls jumped out to a 1-0 lead off their first shot of the contest. With the Bulls on an offensive attack, midfielder Kieron Gradwell crossed the ball over to fellow midfielder Wilson. Wilson received the cross inside the 18-yard box, firing a shot into the left upper corner for the Bulls' lead.
On the Bulls' second goal, it was a bit of déjà vu as Gradwell found Wilson once again on a cross pass inside the 18-yard box. This time around Wilson picked the opposite corner for his second goal of the contest, burying it in the right upper corner for a Bulls' 2-0 lead in the 10th minute.
Off a Florida Atlantic foul, the Bulls continued to build on their first-half lead. Junior forward Mike Unwin scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season by beating the Owls' goalkeeper Ciro Martinez inside the left corner. On the goal, Steffen Thoresen picked up his third assist of the season.
The Bulls' offense continued to dominate play in the first half. Off a corner kick deflection, freshman Latti received a feed from fellow freshman Matthew Chereson. Latti chipped his first shot of his career over the goalkeeper's head for his first career goal and a Bulls' 4-0 lead in the 35th minute.
With the Bulls holding a 4-0 lead to start the second half, Florida Atlantic scored in the 60th minute to cut Buffalo's lead to 4-1.
The Bulls regained their four-goal lead in the 72nd minute on a counter-attack off a failed Florida Atlantic corner kick. Freshman Casey Derkaczdropped a perfect pass behind the Owls' defense as sophomore Lucas Bassan raced for the ball. Bassan scooped up the pass and dribbled in on goal, beating the goalie for his fourth goal of the season and a UB 5-1 lead.
In the 78th minute, Florida Atlantic's Darnell King scored his second goal of the contest to cut the Bulls' lead to 5-2. In the dying seconds of the contest, the Owls nabbed a late goal with 11 seconds remaining but it was too late as the Bulls had the game locked up.
The Bulls held a 12-10 shot advantage with Wilson and senior Dan Bulley recording three shots apiece.
The Bulls (6-9-1, 1-4 MAC) will conclude the 2009 regular season on the road when they face MAC opponent Western Michigan on Saturday, November 7 at 1:00 pm.