For the second consecutive game to open its conference season, the Binghamton women’s soccer team held its opponents scoreless through 90 minutes of regulation. While the Bearcats forced a tie in their last match, Thursday night saw a last-minute goal in the second sudden-death overtime period that gave UMBC a 1-0 victory at the Bearcats Sports Complex.
In the 106th minute, sophomore back Alexa Quaranta was positioned perfectly to take possession of a shot by UMBC that ricocheted toward her. She then maneuvered past the defense and snuck the ball just inside the right post for her third goal of the season.
“I thought it was a really tough battle,” BU head coach Sarah McClellan said. “I thought our team really worked hard in the second half and it started to pay off with our passes … you hate to say the word ‘unlucky’ but that’s sometimes soccer. We need to just use this to gain mental toughness and put away our chances earlier in the game and not let opponents stay in the game.”
After an even first half in which each team took three shots and recorded two saves, the Bearcats (5-4-2, 0-1-1 America East) were the aggressors in the second half. BU fired eight shots in the stanza, while UMBC (6-4-2, 1-1-0 AE) managed only two.
“Our team worked really well,” junior back Connie Gormley said. “We kept fighting until the last minute, until they happened to score … It’s sad that we lost but at least our work rate was there the whole time.”
The Bearcats outshot the Retrievers 15-7 in the match, but UMBC matched Binghamton’s five shots on goal.
In the net, senior keeper Carrie Martin grabbed two saves in a scoreless first half, while junior Gaby Gold recorded two of her own through the second half and overtime periods before allowing the game-ending goal.
Before the Bearcats surrendered Quaranta’s goal, they had held the opposition scoreless for over 300 minutes.
“I think our defense is playing really strong,” McClellan said. “The goalkeepers are doing a great job and … I feel good about our back line. We’re limiting teams, and we’re just coming up a little bit short on the other end.”
Binghamton entered the match fresh off a 0-0 tie with New Hampshire that opened the team’s conference season.
“Every conference game is like a must-win and every team goes in that way, and that’s why we saw such a close game [on Thursday night],” McClellan said. “Every single game is an opportunity to position yourself and get yourself sitting well come playoff time. We’re early in conference, and we’ve got a lot of games left that we’ve got to take care of.”
The Bearcats are next set to travel to Albany for an Oct. 10 showdown with the Great Danes. McClellan said the week-long break may be just what her team needs after a frustrating loss.
“We have a bye this weekend, and that’s going to help us recover and get technically sharp and ready to play next Thursday,” she said.
Kickoff against the Great Danes is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bob Ford Field in Albany, N.Y.