The Binghamton men’s soccer team was bombarded with throw-ins, corner kicks and set plays in its own box as Cornell relentlessly applied the pressure in its 2-1 victory Wednesday night at Charles F. Berman Field.
“The game itself wasn’t an enjoyable game to watch,” Binghamton head coach Paul Marco said. “There wasn’t a lot of soccer played on the ground with the ball rolling, passing and receiving, players moving and build-up play. They were playing to their strengths, they were trying to get throw-ins and corners and pressing the game and not allowing us any time on the ball. But I thought our guys handled it great.”
After 50 minutes of scoreless play, the Bearcats (2-3-1) got on the board first. Junior midfielder Ben Nicholson launched a long ball over the Cornell defense to junior forward Vlad Finn, who slipped it past the goalie for his first goal of the season.
“It was an outstanding play between a few players, in particular Ben and Vlad, and an absolutely terrific finish that Vlad played over their goalkeeper,” Marco said. “Great composure in that moment.”
Binghamton’s lead was short-lived, however, as Cornell (4-0-1) retaliated two minutes later with a goal of its own. A perfectly placed throw-in by Cornell junior defender Peter Chodas set up senior defender Jake Kirsch for the equalizer. Senior defender Patrick Slogic also received credit for an assist.
“We probably had 25 throw-ins come in to our box in the second half alone,” Marco said. “And they had a guy who could throw the ball probably over 50 yards in the air. It was a challenge. We did pretty well with the initial ball in, but sometimes we didn’t clear it far enough. It’s an area that we really need to do a better job of.”
The Big Red goal snapped a 372-minute span of scoreless soccer recorded by BU sophomore goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi and his defense.
With the score tied 1-1, senior defender Jake Rinow put himself in perfect position for the game winner. Frantellizzi stopped Slogic point-blank, but the ball ricocheted back to Rinow, who sunk it in the back of the net.
“I think we fell short in only a couple of moments, and there were many moments [Wednesday night] when we defended quite well,” Marco said. “It was disappointing a little bit that the two moments that we didn’t, they got goals.”
BU wouldn’t go down without a fight, however. Despite Cornell’s 16-9 shot advantage overall, the Bearcats outshot the Big Red 4-0 in the closing 10 minutes. Binghamton put two shots on goal in the final three minutes alone, but Cornell narrowly escaped.
“The disappointing part was why weren’t we doing that the 20 minutes prior to the last 10 minutes,” Marco said. “The last 30 minutes of the game, why weren’t we still trying to press the game and get another goal. But the last 10 minutes of the game, for sure, we tried to get forward and get a goal and tie the game. I’m proud of the effort the guys put forth in some of the moments.”
It was BU’s first game without senior midfielder Tommy Moon. Moon, who has been Binghamton’s leading shot-taker this season, suffered a broken leg last Friday against Buffalo and will miss the rest of the 2013 season.
The Bearcats will look to get back on track on Saturday when they travel to Easton, Pa. to battle Lafayette. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m at Oaks Stadium.