AKRON, OH - The Buffalo men's soccer team (2-8-1, 0-1 MAC) was handed a stiff test to open Mid-American Conference play Saturday night, facing seventh-ranked Akron on the road. The Zips (6-2-1, 2-0 MAC) scored three goals in the first half and cruised to a 4-0 win.
Akron forward Reinaldo Brenes scored a hat trick in the first 37:17 of the game, first striking off a corner kick in the 12th minute before adding goals in the 24th and 38th minute of play. Scott Caldwell added the fourth goal on an unassisted score in the 88th minute.
"I am gutted by the loss, I thought we played well defensively and the score does not represent the game," head coach David Hesch said. "We need to find a way to possess the ball and start scoring more goals. The boys played their hearts out for 90 minutes, there is a reason Akron is ranked so highly in the nation."
The Bulls were unable to generate offense and spent most of the game in the defensive third. Over the course of the game, UB was credited with only two shots, neither of which were put on frame. Akron owned a 28-2 advantage in shots and a 12-0 advantage in corner kicks. Senior goalie Jon Viscosi played admirably in the face of the one of the top offenses in the nation. The Ottawa, Ontario native made eight saves on the night, tying a career high.
The schedule will get no easier now that conference play is in full swing. Next up will be a match against new MAC member West Virginia. The Mountaineers will host the Bulls next Sunday at 1 pm. The meeting will be the fifth all time between the programs, with West Virginia holding a 3-0-1 advantage. The last match came in 2009, a 1-0 win for West Virginia in Morgantown.