For a team that still hasn’t won a home game, a close 10-8 loss at No. 7 Syracuse isn’t too bad.
Five years ago against the Orange (6-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team sputtered to a 13-4 loss. This season, the Bearcats (3-6, 1-0 America East) posed a serious threat to their ranked hosts, going so far as to lead 6-5 in the third quarter Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.
But four straight Orange goals to close out the quarter proved to be too much to surmount, and without being able to take advantage of their final possession, the Bearcats slipped.
“[We] played hard,” BU head coach Scott Nelson said. “We’re very proud, but we’re disappointed [in the outcome].”
Despite claiming the first goal of the game, courtesy of senior attack Matt Springer, and a strong defensive outing, the Bearcats had trouble generating shots. They were outshot 12-4 in a pivotal second quarter. They had consistency problems on face-offs as well, going 6 for 16 in the final three quarters after going 6 for 6 in the first.
The Bearcats also made their fair share of costly mistakes, including a third quarter tripping call on BU that the Orange a man-up opportunity. Syracuse capitalized to extend its lead to two.
To complete its descent in efficiency from the opening minutes of the game to the end, the Binghamton offense was held to two goals off seven shots in the fourth quarter. The visitors didn’t see the back of the net for the game’s final seven minutes after senior midfielder Michael Antinozzi’s goal.
But the news was not all bad for the Bearcats. Junior attack Tucker Nelson posted four points with a game-high three assists, boosting him to 19 helpers on the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Tanner Cosens also stepped up on Wednesday, taking the place of junior Max Schefler. In his first start for BU, Cosens allowed just 10 goals in 60 minutes against an offense that averages over 14 in victories. He also collected five saves.
The contest additionally gave Binghamton the chance to showcase its talent on a national stage. Despite a 3-6 record, Binghamton boasts a top-10 goal scorer in Springer and a top-15 assist man in Tucker Nelson.
The Bearcats are set to return home on Sunday to face its second America East opponent in UMBC. The Retrievers (5-4) are 1-0 in conference play after beating Stony Brook, 12-11, last week.
Losing 10-9 in last year’s matchup with UMBC, the Bearcats will look to knock off the 2013 conference runners up, led by senior attack and No. 5 leading scorer in all of America, Matt Gregoire. With just three opportunities remaining to capture a win at home, Binghamton has extra incentive to redeem itself of last year’s loss.
“We can play, we just have to finish. We have to play a full 60 minutes,” Nelson said.
The Bearcats and Retrievers are set to square off at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Bearcats Sports Complex.