Huskie Men's Soccer 'Buffaloed' Again in MAC Postseason Tournament Semifinal Defeat

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES

November 11, 2005

Huskie Men's Soccer 'Buffaloed' Again in MAC Postseason Tournament Semifinal Defeat

AKRON, OH — For the second straight year, the University at Buffalo gained the ultimate revenge for a regular-season loss by knocking the Northern Illinois University men’s soccer team out of the Mid-American Conference Postseason Tournament.

The No. 3-seeded Bulls scored early and just before the end in order to post a 2-0 triumph over the No. 2-seeded Huskies in the first of two semifinal contests played Friday (Nov. 11) night at the University of Akron’s Lee Jackson Field. Akron — the nation’s No. 1-rated squad and the tourney’s top seed as the regular season MAC champ — had no trouble advancing past No. 4 seed Western Michigan University (9-9-2) with a 5-0 shutout. The Zips now hope for an encore to last year’s league title match when UA (17-1-1) and Buffalo (14-3-1) meet in Sunday’s championship.

For Northern Illinois — which knocked Buffalo out of the top 25 poll with a 1-0 victory back on Oct. 23 — the season ends with an 11-6-2 ledger. On the positive side, it is the second consecutive double-digit victory campaign for third-year coach Steve Simmons who engineered the nation’s second-best turnaround when the 2004 crew finished 12-7-0 after having been 3-13-2 in his debut campaign.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort today because we certainly left it all on the field. In the end we just weren’t accurate enough,” Simmons stated. “It’s very disappointing to have your season come to a finish, but the boys played real hard and we’ve still got a lot of positives to hang our hats on.”
Buffalo managed to get on the board just 7:38 into the match on an Andrae Clark header that was et up by Greg Galemore and Erik Jaanimagi.

“That certainly changed the game in that it meant we were chasing them from then on. We had our opportunities and even increased the pressure in the second half,” Simmons noted. “But our passes were just a little off the mark or our free kicks were just a little off, and in a semifinal between two good teams, that can be enough. Buffalo was real solid on that goal, but most of the match was played in the middle or at their end.”

Indeed the second-half stats reflected that fact with NIU’s 10-7 advantage in overall attempts being a result of an 8-5 edge for the second 45 minutes. The Huskies also had a 4-0 second-half tally for corner kicks after UB took just one in the opening half.

With Northern Illinois pressing forward trying to net the equalizer, Buffalo was able to capitalize on a breakaway opportunity with just 2:38 left to be played with a Jaanimagi rebound goal that was set up by Sola Abolaji.

(For further information, please contact Steve Nemeth) —NIU—