After overcoming an early defensive mistake to take a 2-1 lead over Stony Brook, the Binghamton men’s soccer team couldn’t hang on for a win, allowing an equalizing goal and settling for a 2-2 tie Wednesday night at LaValle Stadium.
In the 18th minute, the Bearcats (3-7-3, 1-1-1 America East) turned the ball over in their own territory and the Seawolves (5-6-1, 1-1-1 AE) capitalized on their opportunity. Seawolf freshman midfielder Jorge Torres ripped a shot from 35 yards out, finding the back of the open net for the first goal of his collegiate career.
“[The goal is] a difficult one to swallow because up until that point they really weren’t knocking on the door,” head coach Paul Marco said.
Following Torres’ goal, the Bearcats responded with two of their own, each of which received an assist by junior midfielder Ben Nicholson. The first came in the 37th minute off the foot of junior forward Steven Celeste. He played a ball in from midfield and took a shot from the top of the box past Seawolf senior goalkeeper Carlos Villas for Celeste’s team-leading third goal of the season.
“I expected [Celeste] to be one of the guys to replace [former Bearcat] Jake Keegan,” Marco said. “I knew we were going to have to try and find that goal-scorer from within our team … obviously Steven [Celeste] is showing that he is that guy.”
Four minutes into the second half, the Bearcats struck again. Senior back and captain Robbie Hughes gave BU the advantage with a header on a corner kick by Nicholson.
The lead was short-lived, however. Only three minutes after the Binghamton goal, Stony Brook responded with the equalizer, and ultimately the game’s final goal. Junior midfielder Keith McKenna put a shot past sophomore goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi after a cross by sophomore midfielder Martin Giordano was deflected right to him.
Both teams attempted to evade overtime, peppering each other’s goal with shots throughout the remainder of the second half. Binghamton sent six toward Villas and Stony Brook kicked nine at Frantellizzi, but neither keeper would allow a third goal.
With a minute left in the second overtime period, the Bearcats had as good of a chance to score as any, but failed to come away with a goal.
“[I’m] disappointed that we didn’t come home with three points,” Marco said. “I thought we had a couple of really good chances to get a goal late in the second half and again in both overtimes. Saying that, I think we dodged a bullet. If they had won the three points, I would have really felt that we let the game get away from us.”
Despite surrendering two goals, Frantellizzi had another impressive performance in goal to increase his saves on the season to 70. As of Oct. 13, he ranked No. 7 in the nation.
With two assists against Stony Brook, Nicholson has registered six points over Binghamton’s last four matches.
“[Nicholson] had good moments where he really got on the ball, created some havoc for them and he played his part in the game,” Marco said.
Averaging 2.5 goals over their last two contests and remaining unbeaten in that span, the Bearcats will attempt to keep their heads up on Saturday when they take on Hartford. The Hawks (8-3-2, 1-2-0 AE) dropped their last match to New Hampshire Wednesday night, allowing the Wildcats (9-3-0, 3-0 AE) to remain undefeated in conference play.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m at Al-Marzook Field in Hartford, Conn.