Facing a top program from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team fell to No. 5 Syracuse on Saturday afternoon, losing 17-4. Even without one of their best players, All-American redshirt senior defender Nick Mellen, the Orange (2-0) got out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back as they blew past the Bearcats, outshooting them 55-21 and winning 21 out of 25 faceoffs.
“This is definitely a challenge for the younger guys,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “They are a top-five team, so this gives them the chance to see lacrosse at its highest level right now and there are a lot of things that we can learn from them.”
After conceding the first four goals of the game in the first quarter, the Bearcats (0-2) scored two consecutive goals at the end of the opening quarter to cut the deficit in half. The first one was scored by junior midfielder Jackson Rieger off a feed from junior attack William Talbott-Shere and the second was scored shortly after by sophomore attack Daniel MacKinney. The Orange responded by taking an 8-2 lead into the locker room at halftime, outscoring BU 4-0 in the second frame.
The two teams traded a goal each to start the third quarter before Syracuse found the back of the net three times in a row to take a 12-3 lead into the fourth quarter, where the Orange outscored Binghamton 5-1 to secure the lopsided 17-4 victory. Binghamton’s two second-half goals were scored by junior attack Justin Roderka. Roderka, a junior college transfer new to the Bearcats in 2020, is currently the team’s leading scorer early on in the new season.
For the Orange, sophomore attack Griffin Cook and junior midfielder Brendan Curry led the team with three goals each. Overall, 11 players found the back of the net for the Orange, as opposed to just three for the Bearcats.
Facing a barrage of shots, sophomore goalie Teddy Dolan put forth a strong performance for BU, registering 18 saves on 35 shots on goal.
“None of us are surprised by this,‘’ McKeown said. “We believe in [Dolan]. He has done a great job in both of our games. He has seen a lot of shots in both games and has done a great job holding steady and saving over 50 percent of his shots in both games.”
Dolan is currently fifth in the country with 17 saves per game in this young season. On the other end, Syracuse’s senior goalie Drake Porter left the game in the fourth quarter with 11 saves and a .733 save percentage.
McKeown thinks the team showed improvement after its 12-4 loss to Marist in the season opener.
“We definitely played better today, even though it does not show on the scoreboard,” McKeown said. “We cleared the ball better at times, and I think overall in 6-on-6 both offensively and defensively we were sharper.”
Moving forward, the Bearcats will take on a similar opponent next weekend, as they welcome Lafayette to Binghamton for their home opener.
“We still have a lot to work on,” McKeown said. “It is a long season, but we have a very young team and we have the ability to develop and get better pretty quick.”
Face-off is set for noon on Saturday, Feb. 22 from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.