The Binghamton men’s soccer team shrugged off consecutive defeats to start its 2013 campaign with back-to-back positive results this past weekend.
BU fell to Virginia Tech and James Madison in its opening matches before ousting American 1-0 on Friday and earning a point in a 0-0 tie of George Mason Sunday.
An eighth-minute goal by Virginia Tech doomed the Bearcats in their season opener on Aug. 30 when the two squared off at the James Madison Tournament.
With junior midfielder Andre Thomas assisting, Virginia Tech redshirt freshman Alessandro Mion put one past BU sophomore goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi to give the Hokies (2-1) the 1-0 lead they would preserve through the final whistle.
After allowing the goal, Frantellizzi added three saves, but Binghamton (1-2-1) couldn’t find its offensive rhythm. Senior midfielder Tommy Moon had two shots on goal, but Virginia Tech senior goalkeeper Kyle Renfro saved both en route to the shutout. Renfro was credited with three saves on the day.
The Hokies out-shot the Bearcats 17-6, but the teams were tied with four shots on goal.
BU then fell to tournament host James Madison on Sept. 1 in the final round.
The Bearcats allowed the Dukes (2-1) to take a 1-0 lead off a 19th-minute penalty kick. Another penalty kick gave James Madison a 2-0 advantage in the 56th minute, and JMU sophomore forward Tyler Durbin effectively put the game out of reach with a 78th-minute goal.
BU freshman back/midfielder Charlie Novoth registered three shots, while senior midfielder Tommy Moon, senior back Robbie Hughes and junior midfielder Ben Nicholson tallied two. Just two of those shots were on goal.
Despite Binghamton’s lack of team success, both Novoth and Moon were named to the JMU All-Tournament team.
“I think last weekend we were a little nervous,” Binghamton head coach Paul Marco said. “We didn’t play particularly well in the first game and I thought we played pretty well against James Madison but we conceded two penalty kicks, which made it difficult for us. So I think this past weekend, we came back, we worked hard at training and the guys did a very good job on Friday and same [on Sunday].
On Friday, Moon scored in the 25th minute to provide all the offense the Bearcats would need to beat American, 1-0, and secure their first victory of the season in the first round of a tournament hosted by George Mason.
Moon grabbed possession of a loose ball inside the box and fired a 15-yard shot into the net to give Binghamton its lead.
While American (1-2-1) outshot Binghamton, 24-9, the teams both had five shots on goal.
Frantelizzi saved all five shots that came his way en route to a shutout.
The Bearcats tried to ride their momentum into the final round of the tournament against host George Mason (3-0-1), but after a red card with six minutes left in the first half, BU escaped with a scoreless tie.
“I thought our guys were terrific,” Marco said. “Played very well in the first half, created a lot of scoring opportunities and then once we got the red card the guys stuck to the game plan and executed well. We still created a few opportunities on the counter attack. And we did well enough to secure a point. Great team effort.”
The Bearcats will look to keep things going against Buffalo Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m at the Bearcats Sports Complex.