In a tale of two halves, what started as a promising 45 minutes ended as another learning experience for the Binghamton University men’s soccer team.
The Bearcats (2-3) fell to undefeated Hofstra University (4-0-1) Friday night at the Bearcats Sports Complex, 3-2, after winning their previous two games.
“I thought it was what we were expecting,” Binghamton head coach Paul Marco said. “A very good college game. Two teams playing pretty well … I thought we played quite well in the first half and I thought we didn’t come out and play in the second half.”
After Hofstra junior Tyler Bottle scored on a corner kick in the 28th minute, Binghamton senior forward Jake Keegan one-timed a pass from senior midfielder Adam Whitehead into the back of the goal to tie the game, 1-1, a minute later. It was Whitehead’s team-leading third assist of the season.
With the momentum back in Binghamton’s favor, Keegan took complete advantage. Thirty-three seconds after his first goal, Keegan positioned himself perfectly to tap in a shot fired by junior forward Marts Reid-Warden.
It was Keegan’s second career two-goal game, and the 33-second span in between his goals is the fastest two-goal outburst by the Bearcats during their 12-year Division I era.
The senior now has 12 total points through five games this season, including four goals and three assists in the past three games alone.
“When he crosses the white line, he’s a competitor,” Marco said about Keegan. “He wants to win. His knack is putting the ball in the net.”
After missing several opportunities to open the floodgates late in the first half, the Bearcats would settle for a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, it was all Hofstra. The Pride got the better of the Bearcats twice, scoring in the 50th minute on a shot from Joseph Holland and on Bottle’s game-winner in the 64th minute, marking his second goal of the game.
“I thought we started the match quite well and we responded in the first half,” Marco said. “And when we came out in the second half, I thought we gave them a little too much room, we gave them a little more time and space and good players will take you apart. And they did.”
The Bearcats outshot the Pride 14-10 in the game.
Marco believes that consistent play for all 90 minutes will be the key for his team going forward.
“Any loss stings,” Marco said. “I don’t like losing. We’ll let this one sit for a little bit because we don’t play again until next weekend … I think that what we’ll take from this game going forward is that if we can replicate the performance we got in the first half, I think the team will be quite good. If we continue to play like we did in the second half, we might get stung again.”
Binghamton will look to turn things around this weekend at the UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Classic at UNCW Soccer Stadium. The Bearcats are scheduled to take on Appalachian State University at 5 p.m. Friday and resume play at 2 p.m. Sunday against host University of North Carolina Wilmington.