On a cold, blustery day at the Bearcats Sports Complex, the Binghamton University women’s lacrosse team was outshot, outscored and, ultimately, outplayed by a superior squad in No. 13 Cornell University that came in firing on all cylinders. The Bearcats fell to the Big Red 17-8 on Tuesday, extending their losing streak to eight games.
Cornell (10-4, 4-2 Ivy League) came out hot, scoring first and building its lead to 6-2 just 13 minutes into the game. Binghamton (3-12, 0-5 America East) used back-to-back goals by senior Lis Zuern and junior Kimberly McGeever to keep it close at the midway point of the first half, but the Bearcats did not score again until four minutes into the second half when McGeever netted her second goal of the game.
During the Bearcats’ 19-minute scoring drought, the Big Red had its way in nearly every aspect of the game. Cornell’s defense deterred Binghamton shooters away from the fan, and its offense kept freshman goalkeeper Kara Pafumi busy by scoring six goals during the stretch.
“I thought we played as well as we could have,” Binghamton head coach Tony Zostant said of his team’s performance. “At 6-4, we were in striking distance. But then the wheels fell off before the half. We simply were outmanned.”
The speed and pressure of Cornell, while unrelenting, also led to the Bearcats being out-hustled to a 20-6 ground ball advantage.
The Bearcats have now been held winless since March 21, when they topped Colgate University at home. During the eight-game skid, BU has eclipsed 10 goals just once and has consistently been outshot, including in Wednesday’s match, 35-16.
“That’s been a problem thus far,” Zostant said of his team’s offensive execution. “Three people doing what they usually do in Zuern, [junior Katherine] Hunsberger and McGeever scoring, and one or two others, but no midfield production. We’ve been working on that in practice, but people are passing up shots for the other three.”
Hunsberger tied a single-game Binghamton record with nine draw control wins. She also raised her season total to 46, a single-season school record while tallying two goals and an assist in the match.
“[Hunsberger] is really coming into her own,” Zostant said. “She’s done what we’ve asked of her this year and is extremely coachable.”
McGeever, who had two goals and two assists in the game, also turned in a noteworthy performance. She now sits two assists shy of the school’s single-season record of 32, set by Becky Green in 2004.
Though mathematically eliminated from a postseason berth, Binghamton is scheduled to host first-place Boston University in its regular season finale over the weekend, a match in which Zostant said he would like to play spoiler.
“At this point, we want to upset teams,” Zostant said.
The game will also celebrate senior night, where the team will honor Zuern and fellow seniors Brittany Stufano, Lauren Lukefahr and Allie Sabitus.
“We want to send our seniors out with a ‘W,’” Zostant said.
Face-off is set for noon on Saturday at the Bearcats Sports Complex.