Five minutes into the second half, sophomore midfielder Kelly Quinn capitalized on a free position for her fifth goal of the season, giving the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team a 6-5 lead over Ohio State. At the point, however, the tide turned as a talented Buckeyes squad began to take over the game. Although Ohio State (6-1) may have handed the Bearcats (0-6) their sixth straight loss this Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe in Columbus, the game was much closer than the 13-7 final scoreline suggests.
The Bearcats struck first in the fourth minute, with senior midfielders Rebecca Golderman and Olivia Batista recording the first two goals. The squad was poised to enter the second half with a 4-3 edge when the Buckeyes swooped in to tie it with one second remaining.
Ohio State’s junior goalie, Jill Rizzo, anchored her squad with 15 saves, as Binghamton was able to generate significant offense for most of the match, outshooting the Buckeyes 29-24. First-half goals from sophomore attacker Paige Volkmann and junior midfielder Alissa Franze kept the score close. Golderman, who scored a hat trick in the previous match against Marist, found the back of Rizzo’s net again in the second, and Quinn and sophomore midfielder Alyssa Sanchez were able to capitalize on free positions. However, after Sanchez converted with 18 minutes left to play, the BU offense went silent, and the defensive floodgates opened. Ohio State scored five unanswered goals in the final eight minutes, transforming its slim 8-7 advantage into a decisive 13-7 victory. Three of these late goals were netted by Ohio State’s senior midfielder Baley Parrott, who scored five times over the course of the match.
“Their goalie played really well today, but I definitely think we put ourselves in better positions to get looks on cage,” said BU head coach Stephanie Allen.
The disappointing conclusion to Saturday’s matchup is beginning to fit a familiar pattern for the squad. In their preceding match against the Red Foxes, the Bearcats entered the second half down by just one goal and were able to pull ahead 6-5. However, Marist scored an uninterrupted string of six late goals, and BU was unable to recover. Similarly, Dartmouth held the Bearcats to just two goals in the second half and went on to net seven more, and BU fell in close games to Colgate and Niagara by allowing its opponents to capitalize on late opportunities. This breakdown in the closing minutes, coupled with issues in maintaining and taking advantage of offensive possessions, has been Binghamton’s Achilles’ heel thus far this season.
“I thought we played a really strong game for three-quarters of it, but we just need to work on closing out matches and finishing our chances,” Allen said.
However, by most accounts aside from the final score, the Bearcats and the Buckeyes were evenly matched. Both teams committed 15 turnovers, and nine of Ohio State’s were caused by BU’s tough defensive play all over the field, disrupting the home team’s offensive possessions. Binghamton edged out its opponent on draw controls, earning 12 to Ohio State’s nine, and went 8-for-13 on clear attempts while OSU went 15-for-20. Although the squad generated a slight advantage (22-18) in terms of looks on cage, the Buckeyes dominated in terms of saves and conversions on free position. Binghamton’s junior goalie, Taylor Passuello, tallied five saves to Rizzo’s 15, and the Bearcats took nine free position shots and scored just twice, while their opponents converted on all but one of their five free position opportunities. Overall, it was a close game despite the final score, and BU hopes to focus on the positive strides made in the matchup and remain vigilant in the final stages of future games.
“We’re just trying to get better and work on improving every game as a program,” Allen said.
Allen, a Columbus native, returned to her hometown to coach in this game. Binghamton has played against Ohio State in each of the last five seasons, including hosting the Buckeyes last season.
Since last Wednesday’s matchup was postponed due to frigid temperatures, the Bearcats will face off against Lafayette College this Wednesday, March 13. The first draw control against the Leopards is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.