On a day meant to honor the largest senior class in program history, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team dropped its final home game of the regular season to Albany, 22-6.
After back-to-back games that saw BU (2-10, 1-4 America East) record season-high scoring totals in spite of losing, the Bearcats were held to under seven goals on Saturday for the fourth time this season. The match pushed BU’s losing skid to four, while the Great Danes (10-4, 4-1 AE) clinched a spot in the conference tournament with the win.
Albany used a pair of giant runs to coast past the Bearcats on their home turf. After BU jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 1:38 into the match, the Great Danes took control for the rest of the half, embarking on a 13-1 scoring streak, highlighted by 11 unanswered goals. The run gave Albany a 13-4 advantage at the break.
The first two minutes of play saw goals from Binghamton senior midfields Casey Bulman and Katherine Hunsberger, and senior attack Kimberly McGeever.
Albany opened the second half with a pair of goals, and Hunsberger responded with two more of her own, sandwiching Albany’s third goal of the half and earning the 11th hat trick of her career. But the senior would be the only Bearcat to score in the second half, as Albany scored six times in the game’s final 20 minutes while holding Binghamton scoreless en route to the 22-6 victory.
The Great Danes prevented BU from recording a single ground ball in the second half as they controlled possession.
Albany senior attack Jess Antelmi led the way with six goals, while senior attack and AE Offensive Player of the Week Rachael Burek broke Albany’s school record with 11 points in the match. Burek tallied seven assists and four goals in the victory. Sophomore midfield Nichole Eamer chipped in with four goals of her own.
On the Binghamton side, all six goals came from seniors, with McGeever adding a pair to Hunsberger’s three and Bulman’s game-opening shot. Senior midfield Kristen Stone and junior attack Angela Vespa each contributed with an assist.
With their postseason picture complicated by Saturday’s loss, the Bearcats are scheduled to take on a pair of ranked opponents in their remaining two matches of the regular season. Binghamton is set to play No. 20 Cornell in a non-conference contest today before facing off against No. 10 Stony Brook in the America East regular season finale this weekend. The Seawolves, who are undefeated in conference play, clinched the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament with a win over Boston University on Sunday.
With Stony Brook and Albany locked in at the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, the final two spots in the conference championship await filling.
Although the Bearcats sit alone at the bottom of the America East standings, they still hold a chance of making the tournament heading into the final weekend of regular season play, with Boston banned from participating in this year’s championship.
UMBC, Vermont and New Hampshire all stand one game ahead of the Bearcats in the standings with a 2-3 record. With UMBC and UNH slated to play each other this weekend, Binghamton would need a win over Stony Brook and a loss by Vermont to keep its postseason hopes alive. The Bearcats would then be locked in a three-way tie for fourth place, and determining the fourth seed would come down to points scored against in conference play.
But first, Binghamton is scheduled to play its final nonconference matchup today against the Big Red. Action is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field.