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UB secures NCAA tournament berth winning MAC women’s soccer title

AMHERST, N.Y. — University at Buffalo’s women’s soccer team is going to the Division I NCAA tournament for the second time in program history after defeating Ball State 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference championship game Sunday at UB Stadium.

UB (15-1-4) brings a 17-game unbeaten streak into the NCAA bracket, and will learn its seed and first-round opponent when the selection show airs at 4 p.m. Monday.

The Bulls’ only loss this season came on the road against a Rutgers team ranked No. 3 nationally at the time and currently among the top 25 in Ratings Percentage Index. UB entered the MAC tournament at 39 in RPI.

Leah Wengender gave UB the lead in the 18th minute of the MAC final, Arianna Zumpano added her eighth goal of the season in the 74th minute, and Wilson native Emily Kelly recorded her 35th career shutout, a school record. Kelly has allowed eight goals all season, and four during the 17-game unbeaten streak.

UB previously won the MAC championship and played in the NCAA tournament in 2014, losing 4-1 at Penn State in the first round. That team finished 16-3-3.

Many of the players on the current UB roster were disappointed at not receiving an NCAA at-large bid after being left out of the MAC tournament in the 2021 spring season, when the Bulls had the most conference wins and highest RPI.

Two women’s soccer teams from Western New York’s D-I colleges played in conference finals in the same season for the first time in history. Niagara made its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title game appearance since 2009, losing 4-0 at Quinnipiac on Sunday.

Medaille’s men’s soccer team will play in the D-III NCAA tournament for the seventh time and first since 2017. The Mavericks (12-1-6) have won six in a row after claiming the Empire 8 Conference championship in overtime on their home field Saturday night. This is Medaille’s first season playing in the Empire 8. The NCAA selection show airs at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

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Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.


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