An inability to score goals has cost the Binghamton University women’s soccer team in the past few games, and the dilemma was further compounded Thursday night as the home side fell 1-0 to University at Albany.
The opening half played out predominantly in the midfield, as little could separate the two sides as they met in the halfway point of the conference campaign. The only real chance of the first half fell to the Great Danes, whose senior forward Shayla Bergeron got in close, but fired straight into the hands of junior goalkeeper Carrie Martin from a tight angle.
“We’ve got to come out ready to play and we’ve got to battle right from the get go,” Binghamton (6-6-1, 0-3-1 America East) head coach Sarah McClellan said when asked how the team could improve on the slow start to the game.
Both defenses looked strong early on as they prepared to dig in for what proved to be a hard-fought night. Constant play to the forwards was rare as the midfielders slugged it out to see which side could gain the advantage in possession. Albany (5-7-1, 2-1 America East) was able to send off three shots, while the Bearcats were only able to register one.
The second half provided more excitement as both teams had their share of chances on goal.
The Great Danes found the first goal of the match in the 48th minute, with a good play down the left flank from senior midfielder Maggie DeVerna played in Bergeron who in turn cut the ball back for Chelsea DeVerna, senior midfielder and twin sister of Maggie, who put the shot away from 10 yards out. The shot marked her third consecutive conference game with a goal.
The early goal seemed to spring the Bearcats into life as they turned the heat up on the Great Dane defense.
“We started playing harder after we got scored on,” McClellan said. “We need to learn to play hard before getting scored on and then we’ll have a chance to win the game.”
The first real opportunity fell to senior forward Sarah Furminger in the 57th minute, who beat one of her defenders and rounded the goalie before putting her shot over the bar as the chance went begging.
From there on out, it was all the Bearcats. They showed an offensive threat, outshooting the Danes eight to four in the second half. Binghamton’s best chance came in the dying stages of the game, as the ball bounced around in the area, first arriving at the feet of sophomore midfielder Connie Gormley. Gormley smashed the ball off the post only to allow freshman midfielder Rebecca Raber to fire a shot that hit the woodwork, leaving the Albany keeper stuck in no man’s land in what should have been an easy equalizer.
“We’re gonna need to work to create more, get the ball forward and to get inside the box,” McClellan said. “We’ll work on that and I’m sure we’ll be able to sort that out and be prepared for our next game.”
Martin played the entire 90 minutes, recording two saves.
After outscoring opponents 13-6 en route to a 6-2 start to the season, Binghamton has scored just one goal in the last 526 minutes of play.
The Bearcats will look to return to their early season form on Sunday against The University of Maine as they search for their first win in conference play. The Black Bears (5-5-2, 1-2-1 America East) are 2-2-1 away from home this year and winless in conference road games.
Kickoff is set for noon at the Bearcats Sports Complex.