The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team found the win column on Sunday, but put forth what was far from a winning performance.
Despite holding home-field advantage and facing a winless opponent who trailed by five goals at halftime, the Bearcats (6-3) required a late-game run by freshman attack Brianne Arthur to slip by Quinnipiac, 9-8. Binghamton has won a program-best six games this season.
Down by a goal with fewer than two minutes remaining, Arthur fired a laser past Bobcats junior goalkeeper Samantha Tilts to even the score at eight. On the following possession, Binghamton won the draw control and held for the last shot. With fewer than 10 seconds left, Arthur drove into the fan and drew a foul near the net, receiving a free-position shot. Taking advantage of the clear pathway, she fired a shot to beat Tilts low and save the day for the Bearcats.
“Bri stepped up today in a clutch moment,” BU head coach Stephanie Allen said. “But I wouldn’t necessarily consider today a win for us. I don’t think anything we did out on the field exudes a winning program.”
In an impressive opening 30 minutes, the Bearcats took an extended 6-0 run to solidify a 7-2 lead over the Bobcats (0-7) at the half. Junior goalkeeper Kara Pafumi also had a solid season debut in the cage with five saves in the first half.
But a hungry Quinnipiac squad took hold in the second half. Forcing sloppy mistakes and ineffective possessions, the Bobcats held BU scoreless for 28 minutes. On offense, they wore down their host’s defense with extended possessions, where they were able to find quality scoring chances. In stark contrast to her performance in the first half, Pafumi would only go on to record one save in net during the second half. Meanwhile, Quinnipiac’s Tilts had seven saves in the second half to force BU’s scoring drought.
Quinnipiac chipped away at its deficit behind junior attack Kyra Ochwat’s game-high five goals. In the final minutes, Ochwat netted a bounce shot that beat Pafumi to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game. The momentum shift prompted a call of urgency for BU, which Arthur would answer with six seconds to spare — a call too close for a record-setting Bearcats team.
“During our timeouts [in the second half] we talked about efficiency, and making sure we were taking good, quality shots,” Allen said. “I don’t think we came out today with our legs at full strength. We were tired and sloppy. We got complacent, and got outworked on every element of the game.”
Five Binghamton players found the back of the net, with Arthur and sophomore midfielder Allie Rodgers leading the pack with three a piece. Sophomore attack Sophia Racciatti, freshman attack Liz Hoeffner and freshman midfielder Valerie DeNapoli each tallied goals in the effort as well.
Next, the Bearcats will hope to clean things up in a road game against Marist, their final matchup before conference play begins.
“We are just trying to play a complete game right now,” Allen said. “We are struggling to put together 60 full minutes, and that’s something we need to do better going into conference play.”
Play is slated for 4 p.m. Wednesday at Tenney Stadium in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.