With win over Lehigh, women’s lacrosse off to program’s best start

The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team extended its historic start, beating Lehigh to open a season 2-0 for the first time in program history.

Franz Lino/Staff Photographer Freshman attack Brianne Arthur netted five goals to pave the way for the Bearcats’ second consecutive win.

With freshman attack Brianne Arthur’s five goals leading the way, the Bearcats downed the Mountain Hawks (1-1), 10-9, on Tuesday at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

But Binghamton did not dominate as it did in the season opener against Howard. The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first half, responding to BU’s initial 2-1 advantage with a 4-0 run and eventually taking a 6-3 edge. Arthur scored two goals within the final three minutes of the half, including one with nine seconds left, to narrow the margin to one goal.

Binghamton slugged it out in the second, limiting Lehigh’s offensive opportunities.

The Mountain Hawks scored only three goals in the second half, their final one coming with 10:28 remaining, granting them their final lead, 9-8. For nearly seven minutes thereafter, the teams played to a stalemate.

Then Arthur took over.

With 3:30 remaining, Arthur evened the score on a free-position shot. Two minutes later, she finished the job. With 1:34 remaining, Arthur put Binghamton up for good on an electric shot, wasting Lehigh’s strong first-half performance.

The season’s first America East Rookie of the Week has netted 10 goals through her first two collegiate games.

“We had high expectations for Brianne going into the season, but she has exceeded them,” BU head coach Stephanie Allen said. “She has been able to hold her own against Division I opponents.”

Binghamton’s balanced attack saw four players score in addition to Arthur: Junior midfielder Renee Kiviat contributed two goals, and three additional Bearcats notched one apiece. Sophomore goalie Erin McNulty played a solid game as well, saving six of 15 shots against her. Lehigh, meanwhile, saved just one.

“The team showed a lot of composure in the second half, especially against double teams late in the game,” Allen said. “We knew it would be a close game and pose as a challenge since it came down to one goal last year [against Lehigh].”

Allen said that, despite the hot start, her expectations of the team have not changed.

“We want to be competitive and make the conference tournament,” Allen said. “I want the team to improve and become more cohesive game to game.”

Part of that improvement, according to Allen, is value possessions, and to not turn over the ball against defensive pressure. Despite the win, Binghamton lost the turnover battle against Lehigh, 20-15. Lehigh also held the advantage in shots, 18-15.

The Bearcats will look to stay hot when they travel to Lafayette on Saturday. Play is set for 2:30 p.m. at Oaks Stadium in Easton, Pa.