BUFFALO, NY - It was a tale of two halves for the Buffalo women's soccer squad Sunday afternoon at UB Stadium. After being outshot 9-2 in the first half and giving up an early goal to the Toledo Rockets, the team came out with a purpose in the second half but were denied an upset opportunity thanks to a late Toledo goal.
The conference leader coming into today, Toledo struck first in the 24th minute on an unassisted goal. The Rockets controlled the tempo in the first but were held to only the lone goal thanks to goalies Ainsley Wheldon and Danielle Quigley. Wheldon left the game with an injury mid-way through the first half and Quigley filled in admirably for the injured freshman.
The Bulls came out charging in the second half, keeping the ball on the Rockets' side of the field and putting strong shots on the net. The team's aggression paid off as freshman Karen McMahon was fouled hard by the goalie after dribbling the ball in on the left side, drawing a yellow card for the goalie and a penalty kick for the Bulls. Senior Lindsey Bailey made the most of the opportunity, shooting the ball to the right past the keeper to even the score at one apiece.
"I think that one of the strengths of our team this year has been our fitness and our willingness to battle," said head coach Michael Thomas. "We've been getting stronger as the games go on and we definitely saw that today."
Freshman Natalie Jurisevic gave the Bulls its best chance at taking the lead in the 80th minute after she squared up from 30 yards out and nearly buried the ball into the top right corner, forcing the Toledo goalie to make a terrific save.
"We always want our backs to get into the attack and Natalie is such a fantastic athlete that when she covers all that ground she covers it well, and she was about a quarter of an inch from a potential game-winning goal," Thomas said.
Just minutes later, Toledo scored off a cross to put it back up, 2-1 in the 83rd minute for the eventual game-winning score.
The loss puts Buffalo at 1-13-2 for the season and 0-6-2 in MAC play. The team will have its final home game Friday Oct. 22 against Ohio to close out a five-game home stand. It will also be senior day for the Bulls. Kickoff is set for 5:30 pm at UB Stadium.