Storms test the foundations of programs building from the ground up, and the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team wasn’t spared this weekend.
On Saturday, the storm was in the shape of a Great Dane, as Albany dominated Binghamton, 22-2, in each team’s America East opener.
Binghamton (6-5, 0-1 AE) enjoying a program-best in wins, knew that No. 20 Albany (9-0, 1-0 AE) would be a stiff test on the road at John Fallon Field.
The Bearcats came out confident, holding the potent Great Danes offense scoreless through the first four minutes. Bearcats freshman midfielder Callon Williams would give Binghamton the early 1-0 lead, to get the Bearcats going.
But behind the nation’s fifth-ranked defense, and numerous draw control wins, Albany would pull away. Not allowing another Bearcats shot on net, Albany would go on a dominant 15-0 run to go into the break ahead, 15-1.
During the Albany run, Bearcats head coach Stephanie Allen tried to reassure her team, and focus on the fundamentals.
“I was just trying to get them to relax a little bit,” Allen said. “We were reverting to bad habits and allowing some things on the field that were not part of our game plan. I was trying to get them to focus in on what our system is.”
Albany would expand their lead in the second half, at one point leading 20-1 with 13:37 remaining. Williams would tally her second goal on a free-position shot with 10:57 remaining to end the Great Danes’ 20-0 run.
Binghamton struggled to get shots on net all game, getting outshot, 40-7. The Bearcats struggled in the faceoff circle as well, winning only 10 of 26.
“Unfortunately for us we were not able to get possession of the ball very often,” Allen said. “It’s hard to put a stop to a team that continues to hold onto the ball.”
Williams was the only Bearcat to find the net for the Bearcats, scoring the team’s only two goals. Freshman attack Brianne Arthur, who has a team-high 30 goals on the season, was held scoreless for the second time this season.
In net, Allen used all three goalkeepers on the roster. Sophomre Erin McNulty got the start, but saved only four, on 17 shots. Junior Kara Pafumi took over in net with 8:43 in the first half, but allowed both shots she saw to find the net. Seldom used freshman Shannon Knapp played the entire second half, saving seven on 14 shots.
The loss drops Binghamton to 0-1 in league play, but according to Allen, games like this are part of a greater process.
“We have the understanding [as a team] that we have a lot of young players out there on the field,” Allen said. “We are trying to make our stance in the America East but it’s going to take time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
The schedule for Binghamton does not get any easier, as No. 17 Stony Brook comes to town on Sunday. Binghamton has been better at home this year, going 4-1 at the Bearcats Sports Complex.
“It’s nice to actually have an entire week to prepare,” Allen said. “We are going to focus on draw controls and goaltending a little more this week.”
Opening faceoff against the Seawolves (8-2, 1-0 AE) is slated for 11 a.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex.