After hitting the post twice and surrendering an early goal to the Hartford Hawks, it took a goal by sophomore midfielder Kelly Quinn to put the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team on the board. Her early success triggered a deluge of attacking power, and the Bearcats scored eight unanswered goals to end the half with a formidable 8-1 lead in what ended as a 17-5 victory on Senior Day. The Bearcats (2-12, 2-3 America East) dominated the Hawks (1-14, 0-5 AE) on Saturday, extending their winning streak to two.
“Today we came out and certainly got the ball rolling on the offensive end early; we got a lot of shots off in a short amount of time,” said BU head coach Stephanie Allen. “I think then it just came down to really dialing in and focusing on our shots and executing on both sides of the ball.”
Prior to the game, BU honored its six graduating students: graduate student attack Emily Yoo and five seniors, midfielders Ciara Gordon, Rebecca Golderman and Danielle Lulley and defenders Kaia Gallop and Lauren Cristodero. The seniors all stepped up to the task, celebrating their careers and their teammates with a strong offensive performance. Yoo led the way, earning five points with two goals and three assists. Gordon and Golderman each scored twice, and Lulley netted one.
“It was exciting to see those players step up today, and for us we just wanted the entire team to step up and play their best, but those seniors really highlighted the win today,” Allen said.
The Bearcats outplayed their opponents in both the attacking and defending spheres. The Hawks were outshot 51-14 and committed 26 turnovers to Binghamton’s 10. BU also capitalized on clearing and ground balls; they were 18-for-19 on clear attempts and controlled 34 ground balls, while the visitors went 9-for-23 on clears and picked up 15 ground balls. As Hartford’s program is in its second year of existence and it currently occupies the bottom position in the AE, this type of domination was expected of Binghamton.
However, despite their inexperience, the Hawks fielded a fit, young team composed almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores. Their lone senior, attack Billie McLaughlin, led the Hawks with seven draw controls, two goals and an assist.
“There were certainly a lot of fighters out there and some players that we knew were going to go to goal hard and have a lot of speed and athleticism,” Allen said. “So we tried to slow them down in the midfield and in between the thirties and create as many extra opportunities for ourselves as we could.”
In addition to Yoo, Gordon and Golderman, Quinn, sophomore attack Paige Volkmann, junior midfielder Alissa Franze and senior attack Olivia Batista all scored twice. Sophomore defender Natasha Rahal scored her first career goal in the second half of the game.
The Bearcats will need these players in the upcoming matchup against Stony Brook, the finest program in the AE, as the squad vies for a playoff slot. BU hopes to put its recently ended 12-game losing streak behind itself, build momentum from its previous two victories and execute in the final leg of the season. The Senior Day victory seemed to reaffirm the class’ determination to play well for each other and finish the season strong.
“It was good momentum coming off of UMass Lowell, so it’s going to give us a good confidence-booster going into Stony Brook,” Yoo said. “It was a big team effort, so honestly I give it all to my teammates … The win and the points were just a reflection of the effort out there and how well we enjoy playing together.”
The team likely needs a win on Friday to stave off playoff elimination, and Stony Brook will provide a significant challenge for the Bearcats.
“There’s a lot of season still left and a lot that we’re still fighting for,” Allen said. “We’ve kind of had that motto of ‘til the end’ all season and while today was a celebration in honor of the seniors, we do have one more home game here in this complex and then some more games on the road for them to really fight till the end for us and get us a playoff appearance.”
First draw against the Seawolves is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19 from LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, New York.