The Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team took a hard defeat on Friday afternoon when the University of Buffalo came to town and defeated the Eagles 1-0 on a cold, windy day at Scicluna Field.
Lack of offensive production once again stifled the Eagles’ (3-7-1; 0-3-0 MAC) game plan, and even though the Green and White held a majority of scoring chances, corner kicks and possessions, it was the Bulls who came out victorious (6-4-1; 2-1 MAC). Friday marked what coach Scott Hall said was his team’s most “together game of the season.”
“Everything looked good minus the score,” said Hall. “I thought today we put a good effort in but we’re learning good lessons.”
Scoring woes were apparent when in the first half the Eagles acquired four corners and three shots on goal in a 20-minute span, but a goal was left non-existent. Junior Ellie Tillar had a good look on net off of a corner served by junior Rachel Washburn but the ball was sent wide.
Both freshman Kristin Nason and senior Megan Trapp had impressive looks in the attacking third, but a shot was never taken on net, leaving scoring opportunities feeling empty.
Buffalo was inches away from taking the lead in the first half, when on its first chance of the game forward leading scoring Julia Benati was left alone eight yards away from goal. But freshman goalkeeper Kaylin Williams stood her ground and made an exceptional save to keep the game level.
The score stayed 0-0 at halftime despite the Eagles’ control of the first half.
Sensing that Eastern Michigan was having a hard time finishing on opportunities, Buffalo sent numbers forward from the beginning of the second half, attempting to overwhelm a defense that, for the most part, stayed strong and sturdy for 89 minutes.
In the 66th minute it was Benati who found the back of the net, beating Williams near-post. The ball came from an impressive cross from Carissima Cutrona and because of a defensive lapse in structure both Buffalo players were left open, leading to the goal and giving the Bulls a 1-0 lead with 23 minutes left.
The game stayed the same, with the Eagles pushing to find an equalizer and take a point away from a game that, on paper, should have been won after the first half.
“Everything is there minus the ball in the back of the net,” said Hall. “We’ve played three top teams and one goal games. Overall, we have to find a way to put the ball in the net when we get teams on the ropes and make them chase the game.”
The Eagles return to Scicluna Field on Sunday afternoon to finish up a three game home-stand against The University of Akron (4-6-1; (1-2 MAC). The last meeting between the Eagles and the Zips ended with Akron on top 2-1.