Lengthening its hottest start since the 2004 conference championship season, the Binghamton University women’s soccer team picked up two wins in three games over the past week and a half. The Bearcats (6-2) sandwiched a 1-0 loss to St. Bonaventure University last Friday in between victories over Cornell University on Sept. 12 and Fairleigh Dickinson University on Sept. 16.
The Bearcats started the three-game stretch with a 2-1 win over the Big Red (0-7) at home. Senior forward Sarah Furminger, who has ranked as high as ninth nationally in goals per game this season, secured the win in the 61st minute. On the deciding play, with the score tied at one, Furminger received a free kick from sophomore back Connie Gormley on the left sideline, deked one defender and slipped past two more towards the middle of the field, along the edge of the 18-yard line. She then fired her 20-yard shot, finding the net’s top left corner.
Two days later, St. Bonaventure (1-6-1) dealt the Bearcats their second loss of the season. The slow-moving first half concluded without a goal from either team. It wasn’t until the 50-minute mark that St. Bonaventure slipped its goal under the cross bar on the far right side.
For the remainder of the game, the Bearcats pressed heavily on the Bonnies, giving them a 17-7 total shot margin. But despite taking 12 shots during the second half alone, Binghamton couldn’t find the back of the net, and the Bonnies took the match, 1-0.
“These were not the results that we wanted because we’re going in to win the game, but we definitely put a lot together in that last segment of the game so I think this was a good experience for us,” BU head coach Sarah McClellan said. “We hadn’t lost for a while, so sometimes even losing can be used in a positive manner for your team to really make sure that we’re doing all the little things we need to do to take control of the game. And I think the team responded great with the quick turn around and beating FDU on Sunday.”
Sunday’s win over the Knights (3-3-3) gave the Bearcats their fourth shutout of the season. Senior midfielder Brittany Walsh scored the game’s lone goal in the 54th minute, her second of the season. After Gormley sent a free kick toward the goal, it was bounced out to Walsh by FDU’s clearance header, allowing Walsh a half-volley into the far corner of the net.
Junior goalkeepers Stephanie Speirs and Carrie Martin, who have split the 90-minute games, with Martin taking the first 45 minutes and Speirs the second, saved a total of 16 shots over the past three games. McClellan said she is content with the duo’s current setup.
“They’re doing a great job in goal,” she said. “Having them split games really allows each keeper to focus and put all of her concentration into a shorter segment of time. We’re looking for 45 minutes of shutout from each one of them, and that’s something that we want to continue — to get shutouts.”
The Bearcats head into conference play, which is set to commence this Sunday, with four shutouts and only two losses. But McClellan said these statistics shouldn’t fog her team’s focus.
“I don’t think we’re really taking too much notice of the impact of our games, our records or how our players are doing on a higher level,” she said. “The team’s really focused right now and we’re headed into our last non-conference game on Friday and then we start conference. So really everything gets washed away once we start conference play.”
But before everything gets washed away, Binghamton will visit Marist College tonight for its final non-conference tuneup. The Red Foxes (5-4) are coming off consecutive shutout losses to Lehigh University and Columbia University, but stand at 2-0 at home.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field.