NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY - An early pair of goals from freshman Katie Roberts proved to be more than enough as the team shutout local rival Niagara Friday evening in the opening game of the Big Four Classic. It was the team's third straight shutout and moves its overall record to 6-1.
In the fifth minute, Roberts gathered a corner kick from Aubrey Stahl and kicked it near post to beat the keeper for a quick Buffalo lead. Just over two minutes later, she would strike again after taking a pass from Taylor Thompson inside the box in the eighth minute, turning and then firing for her second goal of the game (third of the season).
"On the first goal it was just such a great ball in from Aubrey and I was able to one-time it in, and on the second one Taylor put another great ball into the box," Roberts said. "We're all clicking and playing well together right now."
Head coach Michael Thomas was pleased to see the continuing offensive output from his freshman midfielder.
"Katie had a great day and its something that we can see coming and its nice to see her rewarded for her efforts," Thomas said.
The two early goals were enough to hold off the Purple Eagles, who had some chances but were unable to convert against Ainsley Wheldon and the defense. The sophomore goalie stopped three shots on goal including one before the end of the half that represented Niagara's best opportunity. While Buffalo was out-shot 13-10, it put four shots on goal while Niagara could only muster three.
"They (the defense) are always providing great cover behind us and they've been playing really well all year," said Roberts.
Next up will be an unofficial championship for the Big Four Classic with a Sunday morning game against Canisius (4-2-1) at 11 am. The Griffs snuck past St. Bonaventure 4-3 in the first game of the tournament.
"Canisius always puts up a great challenge; they're a very strong and physical side and we know that our job this weekend is only half done," Thomas said.