Unfortunately for the Binghamton University men’s soccer team, dominance in regulation doesn’t always translate into success in overtime.
The Bearcats (6-7-0, 2-2-0 America East Conference) fell to the University of Vermont in double overtime on Saturday night, 1-0. UVM senior Joe Losier spoiled Binghamton’s homecoming with his goal on a penalty kick 3:27 into the second overtime.
“I thought we were very good [Saturday] night,” Binghamton head coach Paul Marco said. “I can’t see anybody watching the game, live or at home, that didn’t think we were the better team.”
The Catamounts (6-4-4, 3-0-1 AE) had trouble keeping up with the Bearcats all game long.
“We were out-competing them,” Marco said. “We were first to the ball. We were very good with the soccer ball. I thought our guys put on a performance that the fans would enjoy watching. We were attractive last night.”
Binghamton outshot Vermont 16-6 in the match and seemed to be knocking on the door for the duration of the game.
BU junior back Robbie Hughes had two shots, sophomore back Ben Nicholson had three shots and senior forward Jake Keegan led the team with six shots, including three attempts inside the last 11 minutes of regulation.
“I always think that if it doesn’t go in we can do a little bit more,” Marco said. “I thought that the shot choices we were making weren’t great … I thought that Jake [Keegan] had a couple of opportunities, [junior midfielder] Tommy Moon had a couple of opportunities, [sophomore forward] Steven Celeste had a couple of opportunities where a foot the other way and it’s probably in. We hit a lot of balls right at the goalkeeper. But give their goalkeeper some credit.”
Junior Conor Leland made seven saves for Vermont in the shutout, while freshman goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi recorded one save for Binghamton.
With the stakes as high as they were, the contest quickly turned into a physical onslaught. Each side committed 13 fouls apiece, including three yellow cards for Vermont and two for Binghamton.
“The conference matches are always competitive,” Marco said. “Vermont, that’s the type of team that they are. They bring tremendous competitive spirit to the game … I enjoy playing them. I think teams like that tend to bring out the best in you. And I thought our guys were up for the challenge last night.”
With Binghamton still in control of momentum in the second overtime, Losier got inside the box and was fouled. He knocked his penalty kick into the upper left-hand corner of the net to end the match. The referee’s call for a penalty kick, however, wasn’t without controversy.
“I was disappointed in the call, but I understand the referee’s position in that we did put our arm on their player,” Marco said. “I don’t think that we dragged him down from it, though.”
A crowd of 1,973 fans gathered at the Bearcats Sports Complex for the match, marking the seventh-largest total for a men’s soccer game in the five-year history of the venue.
“It was great,” Marco said. “We had a great time. I always look forward to our homecoming weekend. It’s been special.”
Binghamton, currently sitting in a third-place tie with University at Albany, will look to turn things around on Saturday when they play host University of Hartford in another crucial America East matchup. The Hawks are coming off three consecutive conference losses at the hands of Vermont, University of New Hampshire and Stony Brook University.
Action is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Bearcats Sports Complex.