The Binghamton University men’s soccer team capped off its three-game week on Wednesday with a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of No. 24 Cornell University. The weekend prior, the Bearcats opened the UNCW Hilton Gardens Inn Classic with a 1-0 loss to Appalachian State University before notching a last-second 3-2 win over host University of North Carolina Wilmington.
The first defeat came at the hands of Appalachian State University sophomore defenseman Patrick Harrow, who launched a free kick into the back of the net in the 24th minute of the first half. The Mountaineers (4-2-1) needed nothing more en route to a 1-0 victory in the tournament opener.
Despite controlling the first half, outshooting the Mountaineers 8-2, the Bearcats (3-5) couldn’t locate the back of the net.
“We created a lot of chances in front of the goal but they were able to make their free kick,” BU head coach Paul Marco said, according to a press release on www.bubearcats.com. “We played quite well but were a little unfortunate.”
Freshman goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi made his first start for the Bearcats and finished with two saves.
With just two days to prepare for its match against tournament host UNC-Wilmington, Binghamton needed to quickly put the loss in the past.
Binghamton sophomore forward Steven Celeste started the scoring on Sunday after finishing a cross from senior forward Jake Keegan in the 18th minute. This goal was his second in the past three games.
The Seahawks (2-6-1) evened the score with a header by freshman forward Collin Bonner with six minutes remaining in the first half.
Following one goal apiece, the game was knotted up 2-2 with eight minutes remaining.
With the seconds quickly ticking off of the clock, the Bearcats put one last run together. Sophomore back Ben Nicholson blasted a shot off the crossbar, and with just a few seconds left Keegan recovered the rebound and shot for goal, scoring with just one second remaining.
Keegan finished with two goals and an assist, giving him seven goals and 17 total points for the season. The goal total matches his career high from last season, and his 17 points are two shy of a career-best.
“We were determined to win the game before it went into overtime,” Marco said, according to the Bearcats website. “Jake played fantastic and he has a knack for creating goals like the one that won us the game.”
Binghamton looked to carry the momentum into one of the most important and challenging non-conference games of the season — never before had a ranked opponent visited the Bearcats Sports Complex, and No. 24 ranked Cornell, an undefeated squad, was set to arrive for a match on Wednesday.
The Big Red came to Binghamton following an exciting game-winning goal from the nation’s leading scorer, junior forward Daniel Haber.
The two teams played evenly for the first 20 minutes of the game as a diving save by Frantellizzi embroidered a tightly contested match.
Lightning struck twice for Cornell shortly after, as it scored two goals in a 2:48 span. Haber converted on one of the goals after dribbling around his defender and skidding one past a diving Frantellizzi. The Big Red junior finished with two goals and an assist, ending the game with a nation leading nine goals for the season.
“Daniel Haber is very sharp and finishes his chances,” Cornell head coach Jaro Zawislan said. “But he will be the first one to tell you that individual recognitions and his goals are the outcome of a full team effort.”
The Bearcats went into the locker room at halftime trailing by two goals, and things continued to get worse for Binghamton as the Big Red piled on three more goals in the second half to cement a 5-0 blowout.
“I’m obviously disappointed by the outcome,” Marco said. “I’m a bit disappointed that our guys weren’t tough enough tonight … I think taking that away from the game was the hardest thing.”
This game marked the worst defeat for Binghamton at home since a 5-0 loss to Northeastern University in 2002.
BU is next scheduled to take on Adelphi University at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Motamed Field.