Success in America East play has never been a constant for the Binghamton University women’s lacrosse team. So, despite posting a respectable 3-4 record in non-conference play, how BU would play in AE games was a mystery.
But even with that respectable mark, BU opened conference play in an unimpressive fashion, falling to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 16-9 on Saturday.
“It was an average performance,” head coach Tony Zostant said. “We didn’t come out with enough intensity on offense for a conference game.”
The Wildcats (2-5, 1-0 AE) offense was sparked by Jenny Simpson. The junior scored four goals and added two assists, leading the attack for a New Hampshire team that also held Binghamton (3-5, 0-1 AE) to a season low in goals scored.
Binghamton’s offense, which scored 16 goals against Colgate University last week, mustered only two in the first half against UNH. Junior Katherine Hunsberger scored the game’s first goal, and senior Lis Zuern added another to give BU an early 2-1 advantage, but the Bearcats would go the next 21 minutes of play without a goal.
“We didn’t execute in the offensive end,” Zostant said. “Our offense didn’t show up.”
Simpson tied the game with 15:44 remaining. Senior Kate Keagins would score the go-ahead goal with 14:09 remaining to take the lead away from the Bearcats, and UNH would roll for the rest of the half.
The Wildcats went into the locker room with a 7-2 halftime lead and extended the lead to 8-2 just 1:34 into the second half.
“We had to expend a lot of energy in the second half trying to get back into the game,” Zostant said. “We wanted to come out in the second half more intensely [than in the first half].”
It took Binghamton nearly 25 minutes to find the back of the net again, when a goal by Hunsberger sparked a 3-1 run to close the gap to 9-5. But New Hampshire would score the next two goals to stretch the lead back to six. BU would again get as close as four goals with 15:37 remaining, but the Wildcats would respond yet again with a 4-0 run to dispel any and all hopes of a rally.
By game’s end, Binghamton was outshot by UNH 37-24, including a 21-9 discrepancy in the first half. The Bearcats struggled in the transition game and committed 18 turnovers.
Binghamton is scheduled to host Stony Brook University on Saturday.
“It is going to be a very intense game,” Zostant said. “Stony Brook has a new coaching staff, and we are anticipating a pretty physical game. They are going to try and establish their defense and we have to understand [in practice] what they are going to try and do.”
Face-off is scheduled for noon.