Off to its first 2-0 conference start since 2007, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team will make the trip to Vermont this Saturday with win number three on its mind.
“We’re in a great position,” BU head coach Scott Nelson said. “At this point it seems like every [conference] game is a big game.”
Binghamton (4-6, 2-0 America East) has found success this season behind the leadership of senior attack Matt Springer and junior attack Tucker Nelson. Vermont (5-5, 0-2 AE) will be looking showcase talent of its own this weekend.
Leading the pack for the Catamounts is freshman midfielder Ian McKay. The Canadian standout has shot his way to AE Rookie of the Week honors twice this season already, and is currently tied for third in the America East in points per game with 23 goals and 12 assists in 10 games.
But while McKay looks to solidify his third-place spot in the AE behind Albany’s Lyle and Miles Thompson, another conference standout will be looking to do just the same on the field.
That other player is Tucker Nelson, who has 12 goals and 23 assists in 10 games.
The two offensive standouts should make for an entertaining game.
“It’d be great to see a lot of shots,” he said. “But of course not on our [defensive] end.”
Nelson also expressed his confidence in the play of junior goalkeeper Max Schefler, who recorded 12 second-half saves last week against UMBC to secure a 13-7 win for Binghamton.
On the defensive side, the Bearcats will have their work cut out for them. While Vermont is currently the top-ranked America East team in ground balls — picking up an average of 34 per game — they struggle with ball control. The Catamounts average a staggering 18.7 turnovers per game, an AE worst, while the Bearcats average only 12.3 turnovers a game to lead the conference.
With Binghamton currently tied with Albany for first in the America East, the team looks to have come quite a ways from its 2-6 start to the season. With a win on Saturday, the Bearcats would secure an above .500 finish in conference play and be one game closer to a berth in the America East tournament.
“Hopefully we can turn the corner and become the team we know we are,” Nelson said. “[Vermont] is always a very good team, and this will be an important game for us.”
Binghamton and Vermont are scheduled to faceoff at 1:30 p.m. at Virtue Field in Burlington, Vt.