After conceding a late goal with minutes remaining in regulation time, the Binghamton men’s soccer team tied against the Bucknell Bison 1-1 on Tuesday night. The Bearcats (4-7-2, 1-3-0 America East) were unable to win back-to-back games, as they gave up their 1-0 lead in the 88th minute when Bucknell sophomore forward Patrick O’Hara tied up the game off of a corner kick. This sent the game to overtime, which resulted in a draw.
The Bearcats’ lone goal came in the 22nd minute when redshirt sophomore midfielder Lucas Arzan netted his first goal of the season off a give-and-go from freshman forward Matthew Cozetti. The Bearcats dominated the first half of the game, firing nine shots to Bucknell’s three, but Bucknell (5-5-4, 2-2-2 Patriot League) pressured Binghamton in the second half, putting up eight shots to BU’s three.
The two teams continued to have chances in the two overtime sessions. In the 108th minute, freshman midfielder Ethan Homler took a shot that went off the crossbar.
“I thought we played both halves well,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco. “I mean, we missed a penalty and conceded the tying goal with two minutes left on a corner that we should have just cleared. If anything, we are disappointed that didn’t get a result tonight, not that we didn’t play particularly well in the second half. We played really well in both halves.”
Binghamton came into the game with only freshmen and sophomores in the starting lineup. Multiple upperclassmen were resting for Saturday’s game against UMBC.
“We had a long game on Saturday, so we didn’t play [junior midfielder] Noah [Luescher] today,” Marco said. “[Graduate student defender Stephen] McKenna didn’t even make the trip, and [junior defender Chris] Stamper didn’t even make the trip. So two other guys that are normally in our team didn’t play tonight.”
While Binghamton was under pressure from the start of the second half onward, the team prevented the Bison from getting a lot of shots on net. Out of the 14 shots that BU faced, only three were on net. The Bearcats tallied five shots on net, and Marco credited his young defenders for this success.
“Look, we placed some new faces back there,” Marco said. “[Freshman] Devin [Heanue], a [defender], played. [Redshirt freshman] Carter [Beaulieu], a [defender], played. [Freshman defender Michael Bush] Bushy played. And then [defender Ryan] Pyszka is a [redshirt] sophomore. So that was our starting group. And then we bring [defender] Aidan [Sullivan] in who’s a sophomore. So the back line was freshmen and sophomores the entire game. We competed very well. I thought the two guys in front of them, [midfielder] Parker McKnight, a [redshirt] freshman, and Lucas Arzan, a [redshirt] sophomore, were outstanding.”
Binghamton had multiple chances to score the go-ahead goal. With four minutes to go in the second half, senior forward Haris Brkovic took a penalty shot, which Bucknell senior goalkeeper Emmett Witmer saved.
“I don’t know, with four to five minutes left in the game, we get a penalty the game should be put on the shelf two-nil, and we don’t,” Marco said. “Then basically we go down within two minutes get a corner and [they] score off a corner. You know, disappointing from that aspect.”
With only four games left in the season, Marco is looking for his seniors on the team to battle through the next few weeks. However, with younger team members stepping up, Marco seems comfortable with the future of the program.
“This is a really good quality group,” Marco said. “You know we have Haris and McKenna that are our two seniors. We have a lot to still play for them, but the future is extremely bright and if we keep pushing and getting better every day, then it’s only going to get brighter for us.”
Binghamton will return to conference play against UMBC on Saturday, Oct. 26 at home. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Bearcat Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.