In the penultimate conference game of the season, the Binghamton men’s soccer team fell to the Hartford Hawks by a final score of 1-0, snapping the Bearcats’ four-game unbeaten streak. However, because of other results from around the America East conference, Binghamton still managed to secure a berth in the AE tournament over the weekend.
The Bearcats (5-8-3, 2-4-0 AE) either had to win against the Hawks (9-4-4, 3-2-1 AE), or Stony Brook had to lose against UMass Lowell for BU to clinch a playoff spot. Stony Brook’s 2-1 loss against UMass Lowell secured the Bearcats’ first berth to the AE tournament since 2016.
In the matchup against Hartford, the first and only goal of the game came in the 44th minute when the Hawks’ junior forward Nyrik Antoine’s shot hit the post and went in for Hartford. The goal was Antoine’s first of the season and served as the game-winner.
“I think that we give up way too many opportunities to the opponent, at the start of or at the end of the half, and its come back to bite us a little bit,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco. “We’ve given up too many goals in the last five minutes. I mean it’s another goal in the last minute, so it’s hard to say that it’s desire, that it’s effort. For some moments for sure that’s what it is, but it’s more about an attitude, a frame of mind … For the next five minutes, we’re locking this game down. ”
In the second half, the Bearcats worked to attempt to tie the game, recording 10 shots during the second half to Hartford’s two. On top of that, Binghamton had six shots on net while Hartford failed to register a shot on net in the final 45 minutes. Throughout the entire game, Binghamton registered 18 shots, 11 of which were on net.
The offensive leader for BU in the game was freshman defender Oliver Svalander, who recorded eight shots throughout the game, with four of them on goal.
Hartford senior goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton made 11 saves on the night, opposed to Binghamton’s sophomore goalkeeper P.J. Parker’s one save. The Bearcats also had eight corner kick opportunities to try to capitalize on but couldn’t get anything past Slayton.
“It’s disappointing ‘cause in particular their player only had one shot and one goal, and we end up having 18 shots and I think 11 or 12 were on goal,” Marco said. “This was one-way traffic in the second half only at their goal, really. They didn’t really have any attacks that led to anything in the second half.”
The closest opportunity that Binghamton had was in the final minute of the game when Svalander’s shot went off the post. The horn sounded with the score remaining at 1-0. Svalander’s eight shots with half on goal throughout the contest were the highest on the team and the most in a game this season. Svalander is also third in the AE conference in shots on goal.
Binghamton’s next match will be its regular season finale, a home contest against Albany. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.