After a non-conference win over Canisius College on April 3, the Binghamton University men’s lacrosse looked to keep the momentum going as it headed into conference play. But the Bearcats hit a road block in their America East opener against powerhouse Stony Brook University on Saturday night, falling 13-5. BU is now 3-6 and 0-2 in conference play.
In the first of the two home games played this week, Binghamton defeated a 2-6 Canisius team 11-7 in a game that the Bearcats held a slim yet consistent lead throughout.
“I think we controlled the ball in the first quarter very well,” said Binghamton head coach Scott Nelson. “We won the face-offs in the beginning of the game and we capitalized on a couple of them. The game got close in the third quarter and we played smart and steady from then on in. It was a nice, complete game for us.”
The Bearcats got out to an early lead in the first and second quarter, with their biggest lead 5-2 late in the second. Canisius rallied back to pull within one goal just before halftime.
The Griffins tied the game up early in the third quarter before BU sophomore attack Brandon Planck snapped off four consecutive goals stretching into the fourth quarter. Planck, who finished with a career-high five goals, led the team to an impressive victory.
“He played well,” Nelson said. “He got some great passes from the other guys too … Brandon is a really good, tough kid, so it’s not surprising. He’s got some ability.”
Junior midfielder Tyler Perrelle and sophomore midfielder Kelly Donigan each finished with three points in the game.
The Bearcats were hoping to use this win to propel themselves into their conference matchup against Stony Brook (3-7, 2-0 AE) on Saturday, but things got off to a rocky start and never seemed to settle down.
The Seawolves jumped out to an early four-goal lead and the Bearcats just couldn’t recover.
Binghamton battled to within two goals heading into the second quarter, but Stony Brook slowly began to stretch its lead.
Nelson said Stony Brook’s defense troubled his team throughout the match.
“Probably as good of a defense that I’ve seen in a couple years out of anybody,” Nelson said. “I think their system is coming together down there, and our lack of offensive threats was a perfect storm for them to do really well against us. We didn’t challenge them in situations and they slid very well and helped each other very well.”
The Seawolves outscored Binghamton 5-1 in the third quarter and extended their lead to seven goals.
The Bearcats did not lack in shooting as they recorded 48 shots in the game, but just could not slip enough into the net.
“Some great goalie play on their part, and some poor shot selection on our part,” Nelson said. “We had a chance a couple of times to get some nice goals and we missed them. A couple of other ones we were taking some bad angle shots and that happens when you press and the goalie played that well and it got to us a little bit.”
Stony Brook stretched its lead to as much as 10 goals in the fourth quarter before ultimately winning the game 13-5.
Planck led BU in scoring with two goals and sophomore midfielder Michael Antinozzi led the team in assists with three.
Binghamton is still looking for its first road win this season, and only two regular season chances remain, each of which are America East matchups. The first of the two is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday when the Bearcats travel to the University of Hartford.
“You look at Hartford, they won the conference last year so they’ve got a ton of talent,” Nelson said. “We’re both 0-2 in the league, so this is a big game, a very big game.”