If there were any loss that would have left the Binghamton University men’s lacrosse team feeling good about its heart and grit, this might have been the one.
The Bearcats, who just one week ago experienced a last-minute defeat at the hands of Manhattan College, dropped their second consecutive one-goal game, falling to Quinnipiac University after fighting from behind for the majority of the game. The 12-11 result marked Quinnipiac’s first win of the season.
The loss extended the Bearcats’ road losing streak to four games, with no away wins all season, but according to Binghamton head coach Scott Nelson, the loss wasn’t entirely negative.
“Obviously we’re extremely disappointed in the loss, but our guys did make an incredible comeback,” he said. “We’re mad at them, but we’re proud of them too. The way they never quit when we were way down early, which has kind of been a bad habit of ours. But we did make a great comeback.”
The Bearcats (2-5) went down early, as Quinnipiac (1-6) sprung out to a three-goal lead in the first five minutes of the game. By the end of the first quarter, Binghamton faced the same deficit of three with a score of 4-1.
The Bobcats quickly extended their lead to 7-2 just under four minutes into the second quarter, forcing Nelson to call a timeout. The break appeared to invigorate the Bearcats as they strung together two goals in under a minute, one of them coming from senior midfielder Ben Waldron, his second of the game.
Nelson said he looked to calm his team down during the timeout and help them feel confident about mounting a comeback.
“We just told them to take a deep breath,” he said. “We made some mistakes and we’re human and we got a lot of time to come back on this and we have a great offense that can score goals quickly. We basically just told them to take a deep breath and get their heads back in the game and get some good shots and they’re going to go in. And that’s what they did.”
Binghamton continued its rally and brought the game within two goals heading into halftime, trailing the Bobcats 9-7.
Carrying momentum from the end of the second quarter, freshman midfielder J.T. Hauck pushed the Bearcats past Quinnipiac after a 3-0 run over the course of the first 20 minutes of the second half. Hauck delivered two goals and an assist during that span, and would finish the game with a pair of goals and three assists.
“J.T. had a great game,” Nelson said. “He is one of the better freshmen around. He is a super kid and works very hard.”
The Bearcats held Quinnipiac scoreless for the majority of the second half, as the Bobcats’ first goal of the period didn’t come until just under five minutes left to play. The score tied the game at 10, and just one minute later, Quinnipiac struck again to take an 11-10 lead.
With just over a minute left in the game, freshman attack Paul O’Donnell knotted up the game at 11 off an assist from sophomore midfielder Michael Antinozzi.
After winning the next face-off, the Bobcats quickly ran down the field and found a way to get the ball in the back of the net, and killed the Bearcats’ surge.
Although Binghamton has lost each of its past two games in the final minutes, Nelson said he attributes the team’s road game woes to its slow starts.
“I think we’ve had some bad starts in road games,” he said. “Any way you look at it, our first quarters have been awful in all of our road games and that’s something we have to work on and get better at … We have to start believing we can win on the road and come out and play a better first quarter, that’s for sure.”
The Bearcats are set to begin conference play on the road against the University at Albany, another winless team.
Nelson said his squad is looking to start fresh and stay positive heading into Saturday’s matchup, scheduled for 1 p.m. at John Fallon Field.
“We’re going to be very positive with them this week,” he said. “We got a lot of season left. [America East play] starts on Saturday, so it’s a brand new season.”