In a blowout loss to Colgate University last week, the Binghamton University men’s lacrosse team found one way to lose. On Saturday, it discovered another.
Binghamton was beaten in the final seconds by host Manhattan College, 11-10, and fell to 2-4 on the season with no wins on the road.
Thanks to a pair of last-second saves from Manhattan (3-4) goalie Rich Akapnitis, another back-and-forth game ultimately did not end in Binghamton’s favor.
“I thought Manhattan played a great game,” BU head coach Scott Nelson said. “We did a lot of things well, but not enough good things to win. We didn’t play very good defense and we turned the ball over in key situations.”
The game started off in the right direction for Binghamton as sophomore midfielder Michael Antinozzi got his team on the board with a quick goal. But Manhattan responded with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead, ushering in the eventual back-and-forth nature of the game.
Just when it looked like Manhattan had captured control early in the second quarter with a 5-2 lead, the Bearcats clawed their way back with a 4-0 run over a five-minute span, though the Jaspers once again snatched the lead from Binghamton and went into halftime ahead 7-6.
“We’ve got to play better defense,” Nelson said. “Giving up seven goals in [the first] half, you just can’t do that.”
The Bearcats played better defense in the second half as they only allowed four goals, but it turned out to be one too many.
After Binghamton tied the game at seven early in the third quarter, the Bearcats and Jaspers went goal-for-goal until the final seconds when Akapnitis saved the final shot with only five seconds remaining, solidifying Manhattan’s victory.
“10 goals in a Division I game and you expect to win,” Nelson said. “I don’t think our shot selection was that bad, but [Akapnitis] did make some good saves. We shot good shots poorly a couple of times, but he played well. He’s a very, very big kid and takes up a lot of room in goal.”
Despite the loss, there were a few encouraging signs for BU, a lot of them coming from midfielders.
Junior Tyler Perrelle recorded a pair of goals and two assists in Binghamton’s effort and now has four goals and five assists over the past two games. Freshman J.T. Hauck also contributed a goal, and added two assists to bring his season total to nine.
Antinozzi continued his hot streak with four goals in the contest, extending his school record to a hat-trick or better in each of Binghamton’s first six games. Antinozzi is now tied for third in the nation in scoring with 23 goals.
“We ask a lot of Mike [Antonozzi] and Tyler [Perrelle], an awful lot,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to get them to play perfect and that’s tough … So both of those guys are two very, very good midfielders and I think they are two of the better midfielders around in the whole country. They’ve just got to continue to improve and those two guys are going to have to continue to carry us on offense. And of course J.T. Hauck is playing very well so all three of those middies are playing very, very well.”
On another positive note, senior goalie Jordan Marra made 10 saves after missing three straight games with an undisclosed injury. Freshman Colin Nesdale had performed well as his replacement, averaging just south of 14 saves per game.
On Saturday, Binghamton will be looking to get its first road win of the season against a Quinnipiac University team still searching for its first win at 0-6. Nelson said that his team still needs to fight hard to come away on top.
“Obviously it’s a game we need,” Nelson said. “It’s the last game before league play starts so we’d like to get a win. It’s a game we’re going to have to play well to win. Their record is awful, but looking at them, they’re getting better. They’re starting to score some goals, so we’re going to have go over there, and it’s always tough to play at someone else’s place.”
The match at Quinnipiac is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.