Over the course of the next six weeks we will be counting down the Top 12 stories of the 2011-12 year. Each Monday and Thursday we will reveal a new story, until we reach the top moment, which will be unveiled in mid July.
The University at Buffalo athletic department had a lot of big wins this past season, but two teams set the bar with road victories over nationally-ranked opponents. The men’s soccer team took down Northern Illinois in overtime back on October 1 when the Huskies were ranked 18th in the nation, while the softball team shut out Baylor on the road, 1-0, on March 17 when Baylor was ranked 15th.
For men’s soccer, Lukas Fedler’s header at 107:04 gave the Bulls the victory as he scored off a free kick from Matthew Chereson. It was Fedler’s second goal of the season. Buffalo took an early lead in the contest as Maksym Kowal scored in the 17th minute and NIU tied it up with 18:53 left. Jonathan Viscosi had four saves in the game.
At the time head coach Dave Hesch had this to say about the team’s performance, “I’m very proud of the boys today. We had a plan and stuck to it. NIU is a very good team and the boys played very composed. Max Kowal scored a great goal to put us on the board early and Lukas [Fedler] found himself open off a set play for the game winner. It was a total team effort and we deserved to win.”
Softball followed up this performance in March as the Bulls wrapped up Spring Break play in Waco, TX with a 1-0 victory over Baylor. Senior Holly Johnson pitched a complete-game shutout as she allowed just two hits in the game, while striking out two.
The Bulls scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning as Alyssa Ward drove in Holly Luciano on a long double to left field. The win was Buffalo’s first over a nationally-ranked team since 2003 and just their third in school history.
“We’ve played really well over the last four games and it culminated with today’s victory,” said head coach Jen Teague at the time of the victory. “I’m pleased with our consistency and the progression we are making as a team.”