Sarah Furminger is on fire.
The senior forward has a team-high four goals, and her latest came 46 seconds into overtime on Friday night, giving the Binghamton University women’s soccer team a thrilling 2-1 victory over Siena College.
Furminger leaked behind the defense just inside the 18-yard box, and senior midfielder Brittany Walsh found her with a through ball. After a quick hesitation move, Furminger launched a shot from the right side, finding the back left corner of the goal.
“Furminger, you know, it could be any one chance,” Binghamton head coach Sarah McClellan said. “You don’t know which one. It only takes you one chance … so the one in overtime — that’s good stuff.”
The Bearcats (4-1) had several chances early in the game, but so did the Saints (0-4), and just 12 minutes in, Siena capitalized first. A Binghamton foul set up a direct kick from the left side, and Siena senior Lisa Valenziano headed the ball past junior goalkeeper Carrie Martin.
BU senior forward Jamie Holliday had a few shots on goal in the first half, but the Bearcats’ first goal came off the head of freshman midfielder Katie Corcoran. The goal was the first of her collegiate career, tying the score at one.
“[Corcoran’s] doing a good job,” McClellan said. “We’re getting her some minutes, and [her] first collegiate goal — that was great. I know everybody on the sideline was pretty pumped that she got her first goal.”
But even though the Bearcats entered the break tied, McClellan said her team could have played better.
“The team was not happy at halftime with how we played, and I thought that Siena did a really good job moving the ball and finding their outside midfielders,” she said. “We just weren’t settled. We seemed a little bit flustered. We’re still getting better, so that’s something we’re going to have to continue to work on.”
Though the Bearcats didn’t score in the second half, they settled into their gameplan, limiting Siena’s chances and attacking the opposition. Binghamton outshot Siena 9-3 in the second, and the Saints didn’t earn a single corner kick.
BU senior forward Kerry Sullivan cut through the defense in the seventh minute, but Siena sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Booth made a diving save. Just a few seconds later, Furminger had a good look from the right side, missing just wide of the left post.
Siena’s best opportunity came in the 34th minute. The Saints had what appeared to be a one-on-one with junior goalkeeper Stephanie Speirs, who started the second half, but junior back Liz Cusato deflected the shot with her foot at the last moment.
In the 40th minute, Furminger set up Holliday on the right side, but the senior’s shot was wide. Neither team had another real scoring opportunity in the final minutes of regulation.
And then Furminger struck in overtime.
The Bearcats haven’t started 4-1 since 2008, McClellan’s first year at the helm. But the head coach says the team still has work to do.
“I think the record is nice, but we really want the performance to be full 90 [minute] performances,” she said. “We just don’t feel like we’ve done all of ourselves justice with the soccer yet. There’s more that we want from the players. And they know that there’s more for us to get out of them. I think we’ll be playing some real nice soccer in a couple weeks here.”
Binghamton is scheduled to host Cornell University on Wednesday night. The Big Red is 0-4 and fell 5-2 on Sunday to the University at Albany, which was picked to finish third in the America East preseason poll. On the season, opponents have outscored Cornell 17-6.
The Bearcats, on the other hand, have outscored opponents 10-4, recording three shutout victories.
Kickoff against the Big Red is set for 7 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex.