NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY - The Buffalo women's soccer team wrapped up play at the Niagara University Fall Classic Sunday afternoon, losing 2-1 to St. Francis (PA) thanks to a pair of second-half goals coming off rebounds. The loss caps the non-conference season for the Bulls (2-5-1). Katie Roberts netted her third goal of the season early in the first half, but an opportunistic St. Francis team would rally in the final half to claim the win.
The Red Flash (3-4-1) had five quality attempts on goal and a corner kick all within the first 13 minutes of play, but Buffalo's first shot would be its best of the day. Roberts gathered a loose ball in the box and tucked it into the low right corner to give the team a critical early lead. In the first half, the Bulls were out shot 11-4 and ended up with a 22-13 deficit in shots for the entire game.
In the 66th minute, St. Francis would tie the game on a bit of good fortune. After a shot from in the box was saved by Ainsley Wheldon, the ball went off her gloves and hung by the line until it was swept up and converted for the score. The Bulls would only attempt two more shots for the rest of the game, while the Flash would take advantage of another unlucky bounce of the ball for UB.
On a corner kick in the 85th minute for St. Francis, Alecia McNiff put a header on frame that was again saved by Wheldon, but the ensuing rebound was scored for the eventual game-winner by Brianna Brancato. For the game, Wheldon made six saves. Kassidy Kidd again was effective on offense, putting two of her three total shots on goal. Taylor Thompson led the team with four shots overall.
The loss brings a close to the non-conference season, and the Bulls will now hit the road for a crucial opening weekend of Mid-American Conference play. Buffalo plays at Ball State Friday afternoon, before going to Miami (OH) for its MAC East opener against the rival Redhawks.