Marist’s hot start, strong finish downs women’s lacrosse

The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team dug itself a hole that it could not get out of on Wednesday where it fell to Marist, 12-7.

Franz Lino/Staff Photographer Senior attack Angela Vespa scored one goal in Binghamton’s loss to Marist.

Both teams came into the game riding two-game win streaks, but Marist (6-2) appeared the more ready team from the opening face-off, scoring early and often on a barrage of first-half shots. After allowing five goals in nine minutes, BU head coach Stephanie Allen pulled junior starting goalkeeper Kara Pafumi in favor of sophomore Erin McNulty.

The change in net did not slow down Marist, which held a 7-3 advantage going into halftime behind 19 shots, compared to BU’s six attempts.

Binghamton (6-4) allowed the first two goals after the break, but then went on a 3-0 run over the course of 15 minutes to cut the deficit to three goals with just more than 10 minutes remaining.

“We made the adjustment to get the ball off the draw control more,” Allen said about the team’s comeback. “The defense did a nice job stepping up in the second half, putting the ball on the ground and creating turnovers.”

Sophomore attack Allison Gionta would take momentum back to the Marist side 40 seconds later, scoring her game-high fourth goal to end the Bearcats’ run. Marist would go on to score two more unanswered goals, en route to its sixth victory of the season.

“I think we got ourselves in a little bit of a hole at the beginning,” Allen said. “Our girls showed a lot of fight in coming back and making it as close and competitive as it was.”

Binghamton outshot Marist, 18-10, in the second period, and picked up twice as many ground balls in the half, 12-6.

The Bearcats’ scoring was spread between five players. Freshman attack Brianne Arthur and freshman midfielder Valerie DeNapoli each tallied two goals. Junior midfielder Renee Kiviat, freshman midfielder Callon Williams and senior attack Angela Vespa each scored one.

Arthur now has 30 goals on the season, tying the Binghamton scoring record for a freshman set by Becky Green in 2004.

In net, McNulty returned to her dominant form seen earlier in the season. Adjusting quickly to the Marist pressure, she gave the team a boost defensively, saving 10 of 17 shots in the game.

The Bearcats now set their sights on the upcoming conference schedule when they travel to Albany. The Great Danes are undefeated through eight games and are currently ranked 20th in the IWLCA Coaches Poll.

“Conference competition is a clean slate, and non-conference records don’t matter in the conference season,” Allen said. “We are looking at Albany as being 0-0 in the conference just as we are, and looking forward to having a competitive game with them.”

The Bearcats will travel to Albany’s John Fallon Field on Saturday, where the Great Danes will be honoring their six senior players prior to the opening draw.

Opening face-off is set for 1 p.m.