Junior midfielder Mike Antinozzi’s eighth career hat trick was not enough for the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team as it dropped its season opener to Siena 9-8 on Saturday at Siena Turf Field. The Saints (1-2) took control in the second half of the game, scoring four goals in the final 30 minutes of regulation to secure the come-from-behind victory.
The Bearcats (0-1) raced off to an impressive start, led by scores from sophomore attack Tucker Nelson and senior midfielder Shane Warner.
Nelson’s goal, two minutes into the game, came right before Warner’s face-off win and score 15 seconds later to give BU a 2-0 lead. Antinozzi followed suit with two unassisted goals of his own, giving the Bearcats a commanding 4-0 lead late in the first period.
“We expect him to [be] very good, like last year, and we expect him to keep improving,” BU head coach Scott Nelson said about Antinozzi. “He played well on Saturday.”
Siena finally responded with a pair of quick goals late in the first quarter to trim the Bearcats’ lead to two. But, with Tucker Nelson assisting, the Bearcats responded with a goal from senior midfielder Tyler Perrelle to end the quarter with Binghamton leading 5-2.
Siena stormed back in the second quarter, netting a total of three goals. But the Bearcats responded well to Siena’s aggressive style, with junior attack Matt Springer and Perrelle each recording a goal. Binghamton capped the first half with a strong defensive showing, led by junior goalie Max Schefler, who saved seven shots in goal to assure BU’s 7-5 halftime lead.
The Saints opened the second half with a pair of goals from junior attack Colin Clive, and the Bearcats struggled to replicate their dominating first-half performance, as their offense was held scoreless for the entire third period. Clive’s goal with only 45 seconds left in the period, his third score of the game, tied the contest at 7-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Siena built upon its run early in the fourth quarter, scoring three minutes in to take the lead. Binghamton’s cold offense finally responded as Springer netted his 60th career goal to knot the score at eight, ending a nearly 20-minute drought for the Bearcats offense.
But the Saints took the deciding 9-8 lead later in the fourth off a goal from redshirt junior midfielder Kyle Curry. Defensively, the Bearcats stayed in the game as Schefler recorded 13 saves in his debut, but the contest slipped away from them as they failed to capitalize on a turnover forced by junior defender Garrett Augustyn with nine seconds left on the clock.
“I don’t think we were aggressive enough in the second half,” Nelson said. “I think we had a lot of great looks in the first half, and we just took some bad shots in the second half.”
The Bearcats are set to play No. 5 Cornell at 4 p.m. today at Schoellkopf Field.