With the regular season drawing to a close, the Binghamton University men’s soccer team extended its skid another game as it fell to Boston University, 1-0, on Wednesday night. The game marked Binghamton’s fourth consecutive loss after a 2-0 start to the conference season.
“I thought we started the match well,” Binghamton head coach Paul Marco said. “I thought we moved around well, we just didn’t put the ball in the goal. We created some good chances. We hit the crossbar once, we hit the post once, and their goalkeeper made two big saves. It was a very even game.”
The result leaves the Bearcats (6-9-0, 2-4-0 AE) tied with University at Albany for fifth place with six total points. But with University of Maryland, Baltimore County defeating University of Hartford on Wednesday, Binghamton clinched a spot in the America East tournament. The University of Vermont, Stony Brook University and UMBC have already secured the top three seeds.
The Bearcats started Wednesday’s game brightly, with a spectacular 30-yard attempt from Adam Whitehead that was denied by the crossbar in the sixth minute. The only goal of the game came in the 26th minute as a fine dribble down the left side from Vermont junior midfielder Anthony Ciccone opened up the Binghamton defense, allowing him to cut the ball back in the middle for freshman forward Mac McGuire to tap it into the goal.
Marco said his team should have done a better job at defending the goal it conceded.
“I thought in that moment we didn’t help each other a lot,” he said. “We had done very well throughout the entire game before and after the goal about helping each other and providing good cover, and doing the things we needed to do — stay compact, be difficult to get behind. And at that moment we didn’t do those things. We didn’t communicate well enough, and we got punished for it.”
The second half was a much more open affair with plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for both teams, but both keepers made a string of fine saves to keep the score at 1-0.
Marco said that it was the same story for the Bearcats of performing well but failing to come away with a positive result.
“It is only a moment here and there during the 90 minutes that we are not executing well,” he said. “Probably a fair result would have been 0-0. I thought we played pretty well throughout the match. We just don’t have any points to show for it.”
Both teams were even on goal attempts with 13 shots each. Binghamton senior goalkeeper Chris Hayen recorded six saves in his first appearance since suffering an injury in the season-opener.
Marco said he was very pleased to have the shot-stopper available for selection again and praised his character to have come through a serious injury.
“He is not at 100 percent yet,” he said. “He has had a significant injury that he has come back from. If I had to describe him in one word, he is an absolute warrior. He has really worked hard to come back from his injury.”
The Bearcats are set to wrap up regular season play with a visit to third-place UMBC on Saturday. The Retrievers are in excellent form currently, having won their last four outings, including a 7-1 thumping of the Hawks on Wednesday.
Marco said that his team is now completely focused on the postseason tournament and will use the weekend game as an opportunity to improve its level of play.
“UMBC is hot right now,” he said. “And we are playing well. So I think it is going be a very good game. If we can keep the game tight, and minimize our opportunities in the box, I think we can go there and get points. We want to go to UMBC and get a result, but realistically we want to see how much better we can get in the next seven to eight days.”
The game against the Retrievers is set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the UMBC Soccer Stadium.