BUFFALO, NY - Playing in front of a crowd of over 1500, the Buffalo men's soccer team opened up its season Friday evening at Demske Sports Complex with a heated rivalry match against Canisius. After allowing an early goal to the Griffs, the Bulls evened the score on a Richard Craven goal in the 31st minute equalized it. The team's played to a 1-1 tie after a pair of overtime periods.
Just under three and a half minutes into the match, Canisius (0-0-1) got on the board with a header from six yards out off a cross that beat senior UB goalie Jonathan Viscosi. He would recover well, though, making five more saves and commanding the box on each of the Griff's nine corner kicks.
Buffalo would find its game-tying goal later on in the half, as Steve Mounnarat was able to beat his man to the inside from the left wing and put a cracking shot on goal. It was turned away, but the rebound wound up right in the middle of the box and was quickly scooped up by Craven. The junior tucked his shot into the bottom left corner of the net to square the score at 1-1.
In the second half, the Bulls came out fast but were ultimately unlucky on offense for the first ten minutes. Canisius then took control, keeping the ball on the attacking half of the field for much of the final 45 of regulation. Despite the possession advantage, the Bulls managed to gain a 7-6 shot advantage and kept the Griffins from any major threats on goal.
In the two overtime periods, UB asserted itself and found numerous chances, but nothing would come to pass. In the final overtime period, the Bulls earned three corner kicks and forced a save off a header, but squandered its chances and settled for the draw.
Next up for the team will be another Big Four match, with the Bulls opening a four-game home stand Tuesday against St. Bonaventure. First kick is scheduled for 7 pm.
NOTE: The game was covered by Time Warner Cable Sports, which will air on tape delay Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm, Monday at 10 pm, and Tuesday at 3 pm.