On a day that could have been celebratory, with junior attack Matt Springer earning his 100th career point, Binghamton men’s lacrosse folded under pressure and suffered a disappointing 11-3 loss to America East rivals Hartford on Saturday. On Monday, Binghamton dropped its second straight game, a tight 12-11 non-conference match to Canisius.
Over the weekend, the Bearcats (5-7, 1-2 America East) got on the scoreboard first against the Hawks (6-5, 2-1 AE) with an unassisted goal by sophomore attack Tucker Nelson, but after relinquishing a goal that broke a 2-2 tie, Binghamton never saw the lead again.
“It’s very disappointing,” Binghamton head coach Scott Nelson said. “I think we had a lot of chances early in the game to get some nice goals and we didn’t finish them. And then all we did was play defense for the whole second half.”
As usual, Springer and junior midfielder Michael Antinozzi were the focus of Binghamton’s offense. However, both players found it difficult to find the back of net. Springer scored two goals on 13 shots, while Antinozzi was held scoreless for only the second time this season. Antinozzi did notch one assist on the day.
“They’re usually great shooters,” Scott Nelson said of Springer and Antinozzi. “Springer didn’t shoot the ball very well today and he had a lot of great looks at it. And Antinozzi, he took some bad shots, but he had some good looks — he just didn’t put them in.”
After trailing 5-2 at halftime, the Bearcats had a complete defensive lapse at the start of the fourth quarter and gave up five goals in the first four minutes, allowing the Hawks’ lead to balloon to 10-2.
“I think we just played so much defense that [we] started to come apart,” Scott Nelson said. “Kids just kind of panicked – it shouldn’t be happening in our 11th game.”
The game saw another big loss for the Bearcats when junior midfield Alex Doerflein went down in the beginning of the second quarter with a knee injury, which initial reports called an ACL tear. Doerflein had been taking the majority of Binghamton’s faceoffs.
In terms of replacements on faceoff, Scott Nelson said he plans to use a committee. Freshman midfielders Mitchell Labianca and Joey Dalfo and freshman defender George Diegnan could all be called upon to take faceoffs in the final games of the season. The trio is a combined 6-35 on faceoffs for the year. While Labianca’s faceoff record currently stands at 2-17, Scott Nelson said he has great potential.
Hartford was whistled for four penalties during the game, which should have played right into a Binghamton game plan that anticipated a Hartford team known for taking a lot of penalties. But the Bearcats only converted on one of the four man-up opportunities.
“We did hit the crossbar a couple of times,” Scott Nelson said. “The goalie had some incredible saves so it wasn’t like the opportunities weren’t there. We executed a lot of it pretty well, we just didn’t finish.”
The lone man-up goal was scored by Springer, his 25th of the year. It was his 100th career point.
On Monday night, the Bearcats fell down early at Canisius but rallied from down 12-6 to pull within one with 1:31 remaining. The comeback fell short, however, as the Golden Griffins buckled down in the final 90 seconds.
Springer tallied a game-high six goals.
The Bearcats will look to get back in the win column when they play conference-rivals Vermont on Saturday. Face-off is scheduled for noon at the Bearcats Sports Complex.