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ECC soccer ends playoff run

The Erie Community College men's soccer team saw its season end with a 3-0 loss to Tompkins-Cortland Community College in the NJCAA Region III semfinals Saturday.

The game was played at Herkimer County Community College.

The Kats finished the season at 12-5 -- the second-most wins in a season. ECC also had 12 wins in 1990 and 1976. The program record is 19 set in 1982.

TCCC (15-4-1) took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute when David Cerasani scored on a rebound. The Panthers added insurance goals in the 68th and 79th minutes.

--- Amy Moritz

Around the halls: WNY Highlights

It's the end of the collegiate fall season and that means championships, playoffs, jocking for position and rivalry games. Highlights from around Western New York from this weekend:

Cross Country: It was championship weekend and two local woman took home second place finishes in their respective conference championships.

On Friday, Maura Frauenhoefer (Nardin) of Canisius took second at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships, running the 6K course at Hammonassett State Park in Madison, Conn. in 21:26.

On Saturday, D'Youville's Anya Bogdanets (Kenmore West) took second at the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championships. Her time of 18:51.0 on the 5K course set a new school record. The meet was held at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Men's Soccer: In the Battle of the Bridge match, Niagara scored two first half goals en route to a 2-0 win over Canisius at the Demske Sports Complex. Carl Haworth scored his 11th goal of the season on aheader in the 14th minute. Michael Pass scored his first of the year in the 38th minute. Niagara improves to 5-9-2 overall while the Griffs fall to 3-11-1.

Women's Soccer: Today's games end the regular season for Canisius, Niagara and St. Bonaventure with playoff spots on the line. Canisius and Niagara both play home games, hoping to make the four-team MAAC tournament in Baltimore, Md., Nov. 5-7. The Griffs, who host Saint Peter's at 1 p.m., are tied for first place with Marist while Niagara, which hosts Manhattan at noon, is in a four-way tie for third.

The Bonnies, winners of their last four Atlantic 10 games, are on the road at Richmond. They are tied for third with Duquesne with the top six teams advancing to the A-10 tournament, Nov. 4-7 in Kingston, R.I.

In Division III action, it was a disappointing end to the season for both the Medaille and D'Youville women's soccer teams as both dropped overtime decisions in the first round of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference playoffs.

D'Youville dropped a 2-1 OT decision to Pitt-Bradford. The Lady Spartans had taken a 1-0 lead ona corner kick goal by Daneille Braun (Iroquois) in the 13th minute but Pitt-Bradford tied the game on a penalty kick in the 68th.

D'Youville finishes its season at 11-7 -- the best record in the 11-year history of the program.

Meanwhile, Medaille lost, 1-0, in double overtime to LaRoche. The Lady Mavericks finish the season 3-16-1 overall.

---Amy Moritz

UB-Miami Game Analysis

Miami 21, UB 9

Turning Point: Zac Murphy's career-best 54-yard punt with wind pinned UB at its 8 early in fourth quarter. RedHawks next drive start came at UB 42, from where they needed just three plays to make it 21-9 on Thomas Merriweather's 2-yard run.

How UB Lost: What? Haven't you been paying attention all season? The offense continues to sputter and totaled just 265 yards. The running game's non-existent. The young QB's receiving on-the-job training. Same-old, same-old.

Player of the Game: Miami freshman receiver Nick Harwell had eight catches for 97 yards and two TDs, one of them a scintillating, one-handed 29-yarder at the goal line that put the RedHawks ahead, 14-0. He has 33 catches in the last four weeks.

Player of the Game II: Miami sophomore QB Zac Dysert is the real deal. He completed 21 of 36 for 231. Bulls will be glad to see him leave -- after 2012 season.

Stat of the Game: On a windy day that catered to the running game Miami amassed 66 rushing yards, UB 55.

What Loss Means: Bulls have lost three straight at home and haven't scored more than a touchdown in any of them. They must win out to become bowl eligible, for those still tracking such things.

In the House: 12,786 braved the conditions.

He Said It: UB coach Jeff Quinn on Alex Zordich: "I think that is the thing that we can take (as) a positive out of this game."

Up Next: Bulls travel to division tri-leader Ohio on Thursday. Tough task.

-- Bob DiCesare

Miami (Ohio)-UB game thread

Miami 21, UB 9, final: The Bulls fall to 2-6 and 1-3 in the MAC on the season while Miami moves up to 5-4 and 4-1 in league play.

7:19 left in the game: Domonic Cook records his sixth INT of the season. Bulls have the ball on the Miami 39.

Miami 21, UB 9, 10:17 left in the game: Thomas Merriweather scores on a 2-yard run, a play that was set up by a 40-yard pass to Chris Givens to the UB 2.

14:38 left in the fourth: Wallace sacks Dysert to start the period.

Miami 14, UB 9, end of the third

Miami 14, UB 9, 56 seconds left in the third: Zordich scores his first career TD on a 12-yard run but A.J. Principe missed the PAT. The Bulls ran a five-wide set and Zordich took the ball in from the left side untouched. It was the Bulls second rushing TD of the year. 

Miami 14, UB 3 4:08 left in the third: John Rachuna kicks a 52-yard field goal. The last time a UB kicker hit a FG of 50-yards or more was Dallas Pelz on Nov. 1, 2003 at Toledo. Rachuna's FG is the longest in UB's FBS history.

9:29 left in the third: The offense is now 1 of 9 on third down. The offense line, which played well at Northern Illinois, isn't giving Zordich much time to throw or any running lanes for the tailbacks.

Miami 14, UB 0, halftime

4 seconds left: A.J. Principe missed a 47-yard FG wide right. It would have been his career long.

15 seconds left: Ed Young returns a kickoff 68-yards for a TD but the play is under review. He stepped out of bounds at the Miami 45-yard line so the play was reversed. Young fielded the squib kick, bounced off one tackler and avoided another before stepping out of bounds.

Miami 14, UB 0, 22 seconds left in the second: Harwell scores his second TD of the game on a sensational one-handed grab over CB Josh Thomas from 29-yards out.

2:25 left in the second: Zordich fumbled on third down and was recovered by Miami. Replays show Zordich's left foot was out of bounds when he fumbled.

13:27 left in the second: Khalil Mack sacks Dysert to force third and long and Miami punts. Shannon laid out DeMarco Paine on the punt return to free up Terrell Jackson for a good return. Bulls take over 1st and 10 from the 50.

Miami 7, UB 0, end of first: The Bulls have the ball 4th and inches from the Miami 24 to start the second quarter. Zordich completed a nice 16-yard pass to Aaron Connacher on 3rd and 6 from the Miami 49. UB went for it and came up short. Miami ball. Jeff Quinn has just challenged the spot of the ball and the play stands.

3:22 left in the first: FS Davonte Shannon recorded his 9th career INT and returned it 26 yards to the Bulls 46.

6:12 left in the first: The Bulls punt for the third time in the game but at least this time it wasn't a three and out. Alex Zordich had his pass slapped down by DE Jason Semmes on 4th down.

Miami 7, UB 0, 7:40 left in the first: Miami QB Zac Dysert set up the RedHawks first TD with a 27-yard pass to Nick Harwell on first down. The Bulls safeties were no where to be found on the play. Four plays later, Harwell scored on a 5-yard slant play from Dysert.

Pregame: Sophomore outside linebacker Jaleel Verser (foot) will not play today. Sophomore Dalonte Wallace is starting in his place. ... Jerry Housey, Richie Smith, Mike Marr and Ed Young are today's captains.

---Rodney McKissic

Binghamton buys out Broadus

---Kevin Broadus has left Binghamton after agreeing to a $1.2 million settlement. Interim president, C. Peter Magrath, seemed unconcerned that the university would have to dish out a lump sum of $819,115 to Broadus. Here's a statement from Broadus' lawyer and a copy of the settlement.

---The NCAA decided that they will not eliminate the July recruiting just yet, instead opting to study the recruiting process for a year.

---Duke and Michigan State are atop of the new AP poll.

---Mike DeCourcy tells us which freshman will make the biggest impact.

---Rodney McKissic


UB senior takes long road to college

---UB senior safety John Sanders has been willing to go just about anywhere for the chance to play football.

---There are few answers in regards to the death of a Notre Dame student manager, who lost his life when a gust of wind toppled a video tower where he was filming practice. The incident is under investigation.

---The Big East knows it needs to do something. With expansion and realignment in the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and Mountain West, the Big East needs to move from its eight-team football family concept, and do it quickly.

---The biggest red flag that causes ADs to reach for the pink slip is the players quitting on the coach. As Colorado coach Dan Hawkins trudges toward what's expected to be his eventual firing, the biggest question becomes: When?

---Tony Dungy, a QB at Minnesota in the 1970s, has agreed to advise AD Joel Maturi as he considers replacements for Tim Brewster, a role that should ensure that minority candidates receive serious consideration. One name to keep in mind is Miami's Randy Shannon.

---Here are some coaches on the rise.

---Rodney McKissic


Zordich earns another start

---UB coach Jeff Quinn said he again will start true freshman Alex Zordich at quarterback on Saturday when the Bulls host Miami (Ohio). Quinn added that he’s been pleased with the progress of both Zordich and sophomore Jerry Davis, who started the first six games of the season.

“Jerry has been very positive in regards to his role in this process,’’ Quinn said. “It’s never easy, but at the same time he’s a teammate and a team player and they’re both important to the success of our program.’’

Zordich stayed after practice and worked on routes with junior receiver Terrell Jackson.

“He loves it,’’ Quinn said of Zordich. “I told them to work on something specific, don’t go and try to run the whole playbook.’’

Quinn also said redshirt freshman Branden Oliver will start at tailback and that sophomore Jeffvon Gill and senior Ike Nduka will also play. Nduka has been hampered with a sore back that caused him to miss last week’s game against Temple.

---The Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Buffalo visited attended Thursday’s practice and the Bulls players greeted the children warmly after practice.

“We wanted to invite the community into our team and our football family,’’ Quinn said. “”We wanted to engage with them and embrace it and this is what you gain. These guys are loving it. You never know when you brighten up a young kid’s life.’’

---Rodney McKissic


UB picked last in MAC East

The Bulls men's basketball team was picked by the MAC News Media to bring up the rear in the league's East Division. This is the second time in the last three seasons UB has been predicted to finish last but two years ago they were co-champions of the East and played in the MAC championship game finals where they lost to Akron.

East Division

1. Ohio
2. Kent State
3. Akron
4. Miami
5. Bowling Green
6. UB

West Division

1. Ball State
2. Central Michigan
3. Eastern Michigan
4. Western Michigan
5. Northern Illinois
6. Toledo

East Division Preseason All-MAC Team

Brett McKnight, F, Akron
Scott Thomas, F, Bowling Green
Justin Greene, F, Kent State
Julian Mavunga, F, Miami
D.J. Cooper, G, Ohio

West Division Preseason All-MAC Team

Jarrod Jones, F/C, Ball State
Trey Zeigler, G, Central Michigan
Brandon Bowdry, F, Eastern Michigan
Xavier Silas, G, Northern Illinois
Flenard Whitfield, F, Western Michigan

---Rodney McKissic


Position switch suits Cook

---A fixture at cornerback, St. Joseph's product Domonic Cook moved to strong safety alongside three-time All-MAC free safety Davonte Shannon. And while UB still hasn't latched onto a solid replacement for Cook at corner, there's no debating the benefits of the switch.

---Here's a scouting report on Miami (Ohio), and a preview of Saturday's game by The Sports Network. The Bulls are 4.0 underdogs at home.

---Alabama can get back into the national title hunt over the next few weeks. Bama has the toughest future schedule in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The Tide's final three FBS opponents have a combined record of 19-3, and all are ranked in every top-25 poll.

---Be prepared for more unbeatens to fall on Saturday.

---Ron Higgins writes that Auburn's Cam Newton, barring injury, is three-fourths of the way to finishing the greatest individual season in SEC history.

---The NCAA seeks informantion about rouge agents from former rouge agent Josh Luchs.

---Recruiting guru Tom Lemming writes there's no blueprint for success in recruiting.

---The WAC is close to completing expansion plans that would bring Texas State and Texas-San Antonio into the conference for football beginning with the 2012 season. Denver and Seattle don't play football but are strong candidates to join in other sports, including men's basketball.

---Rodney McKissic


Thermilus out for the season

Brandon Thermilus, the UB senior tailback, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn right ACL, coach Jeff Quinn said on Tuesday.

A fifth-year senior, Thermilus collegiate career might be over, but Quinn said the school will investigate whether Thermilus can earn an additional year. He missed his true freshman season in 2006 with a knee injury suffered during training camp.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound Thermilus suffered his latest knee injury at Northern Illinois while on kickoff return coverage. In five games this season, Thermilus rushed for 106 yards on 27 carries.

He was expected to play a huge role at tailback and came into the season listed atop the depth chart but was beaten out by redshirt freshman Branden Oliver. His playing time decreased after suffering fumbles on his first two carries of the season.

As a junior Thermilus, the son of former Houston Oilers running back Alonzo Highsmith, played in 11 games with five starts and was the team’s second-leading rusher. He ran for 560 yards and four TDs while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He added nine receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Thermilus, who was recruited by former coach Turner Gill out of Flower Mound, Texas, scored 14 career touchdowns. He is the third player at UB to suffer an ACL injury this season, joining Gokhan Ozkan and Terry Peden.

---Rodney McKissic


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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |