After five straight losses for the Binghamton University men’s soccer team, including a 3-0 loss at University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Saturday night, the Bearcats will carry the No. 6 seed into the America East tournament this weekend.
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Retrievers (10-4-4, 4-2-1 AE) had won their last four matches by a combined score of 15-3.
“I thought UMBC was very good,” Binghamton head coach Paul Marco said. “They’ve gotten better through the last four games. I think they’re playing with a lot of confidence … they’re a very hot team right now. They did a great job of maintaining energy in the game and being able to absorb the pressure we were putting on them and you’ve got to give credit to them, they were very good on the night.”
In the 19th minute, UMBC senior midfielder Milo Kapor slipped a pass in between two defenders to assist junior forward Kadeem Dacres in putting the Retrievers on the board, 1-0. In the second half, sophomore midfielder Mamadou Kansaye gave UMBC some cushion when he netted his first goal of the season in the 52nd minute to put the Retrievers up 2-0. Freshman forward Pete Caringi put the game beyond doubt in the 64th minute when he scored his conference-best 14th goal of the season.
“I thought we were prepared for the match,” Marco said. “We started the match very well. I thought we had the best opportunity in the first half to score a goal. Their goalkeeper made a pretty good save and the rebound came out and we didn’t get to it … And then I thought as the game wore on, our guys lost a little bit of their shape, we lost a little of bit of understanding of what to do on a set piece. We were countered a little bit which very rarely happens to our team.”
The Bearcats (6-10-0, 2-5-0 America East) were outshot by the Retrievers 21-7. Freshman goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi recorded six saves in the game, while UMBC freshman Phil Saunders accumulated four.
“I think that [the Retrievers] finished their opportunities,” Marco said. “But I don’t think it’s a game where you can look at the statistics and say that’s what happened in the game, because it clearly didn’t. What happened in the game was we got in a little bit and their goalkeeper made a couple of great saves. When they got in on us, Pete Caringi had one shot on goal and he scored. It was a terrific header that he scored his goal on. I just think that it was one of those games where they found the back of the net and we didn’t.”
The Bearcats are scheduled for one last tune-up tonight against non-conference opponent Bucknell University. The Bearcats will use the game, as well as the rest of the week, to get in shape and ready for an America East quarterfinal matchup at Stony Brook University, scheduled for next Saturday.
“All of our energy right now is going into the Stony Brook game, as well as the Bucknell game, but the Bucknell game we’ve been prepared for,” Marco said. “Our travel arrangements are already made [for Stony Brook], we know when we’re training down there, we’ve looked at our previous game with them that we played at home, and came up with a new game plan for the match.”
Binghamton is set for action with Bucknell tonight at 7 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex, weather pending.