The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team needed some of Popeye’s spinach to combat what it was up against on Sunday.
In what was each team’s second conference game, No. 15 Stony Brook overwhelmed Binghamton (6-6, 0-2 America East), 16-3, behind the size and athleticism expected of a nationally ranked program.
“This was probably the quickest team that we have faced [this season],” BU head coach Stephanie Allen said.
Playing against a ranked opponent for the second consecutive game, the Bearcats hoped to improve upon their 4-1 record at the Bearcats Sports Complex. But in order to do that, they would have to contend with the nation’s best defense, which allows a stingy 4.73 goals against per game.
It was the Stony Brook offense that put Binghamton on its heels in the opening minutes, scoring five goals in the first 5:30 of the game — part of a 9-0 run that lasted most of the first half. The Seawolves (10-2, 2-0 AE) used their speed to keep Binghamton off balance on both ends of the field. Allen appeared to make the adjustment to slow the game down, and savor each possession with perimeter passing in the offensive zone.
With 2:32 remaining in the half, freshman attack Brianne Arthur tallied the Bearcats’ first goal on a free-position shot. The goal was her 31st of the season, breaking the previous 10-year program record of single-season goals scored by a freshman (30).
“Bri continues to step it up,” Allen said. “Today was more of a challenge because of the style of defense they were running. Bri did a nice job staying composed, even down to the last minute of the game, working for her opportunities and to get her teammates opportunities as well.”
Following a Bearcats turnover, SBU junior midfielder Michelle Rubino sprinted the length of the field in transition and scored with 15 seconds remaining to stretch the lead to nine going into halftime.
“We made efforts to get back in the defensive zone quicker and slow the ball in the midfield,” Allen said. “It’s tough when they outmatch you in size on the field.”
The second half was more of the same, as Stony Brook went on a 5-0 run to put the game out of reach. Freshman midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke, the team’s tallest player at 6 feet, increased her team’s lead to 16-1 when she jolted through a Binghamton triple team in the fan to tally her third goal of the game and her team-high 39th of the season.
Binghamton scored the final two goals, both courtesy of sophomore attack Sophia Racciatti, to finish the game on a high note.
“We played in spurts today,” Allen said. “We had a little bit of fire here and there. We are still working to string together a 60-minute performance.”
Stony Brook outshot Binghamton, 32-12, over the course of the game, and also won in draw controls, 12-9. Binghamton, however, did well clearing its defensive zone, going 14 for 15. Sophomore goalkeeper Erin McNulty also played a solid game, saving nine shots.
“It was nice to see our defense get some quality stops and challenge the Stony Brook offense to really work for their shots. I’m proud of our defensive unit today,” Allen said.
Next up for the Bearcats will be a road trip to Durham to take on the University of New Hampshire. Binghamton is still in search of its first conference win this season.
“We are just working to keep the dream alive,” Allen said. “Our goal is to make it to the conference tournament.”
First face-off against the Wildcats is set for noon Saturday at Memorial Field.