Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — FC Buffalo’s losing streak hit six games as Fort Pitt Regiment handed the Wolves a 3-1 loss Sunday afternoon at the Demske Athletic Complex at Canisius College.
With the defeat, the Wolves fell to 3-8-1 in the National Premier Soccer League’s Great Lakes East Conference, putting them in last place in the division with two games remaining in their season.
“I think they did a good job of pressing us and changing the flow of the game,” said FC Buffalo head coach Brendan Murphy about the visitors’ takeover of the match.
With FC Buffalo trailing 2-1 in the 60th minute, the Wolves changed goalkeepers, replacing starter Waleed Cassis with Steven Casey, the Amherst native and soon-to-be freshman at Niagara University, where he’ll join their men’s soccer team.
It wasn’t the smoothest debut for the 18-year-old. In the 69th minute, Casey bobbled a shot by Tyler Tompkins. Fort Pitt’s Dante Piccolo was right there to get the loose ball and scored to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors.
Casey recovered shortly after, though, and made a big save on Jamie Luchini, who was streaking in after taking a long pass.
“He’s a good goalkeeeper. Just tries to give the guys a little spark,” said Murphy. “He’s been working really hard in practice and made a bunch of saves. He’s big. He’s tall. He could be dominant in the box, so we thought we’d give him a chance.
It was tough to get thrown into that type of situation as a senior in high school but we just wanted to give him some minutes. We thought we’d give the team a spark and he did well for periods of it.”
The Wolves challenged early and within the first five minutes forced two corner kicks. On the second, Fort Pitt goalkeeper Adam Alhabashi collided hard with one of his defenders and was down for several minutes, favoring what appeared to be an injured left leg. He didn’t leave the game but when play resumed he was clearly favoring one leg. His defenders were also taking his goal kicks for him.