Facing off against top competition, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team struggled against No. 4 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Sunday night. The Bearcats (0-2) failed to record a shot in the first half, ultimately falling 20-2 to the Orange (3-1).
“Syracuse is [a] top-five program in the nation,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “They’re incredibly athletic and fast and skilled players. For us, we’re not so much focused on battles that were lost in footraces or due to some of their skill and physicality.”
Binghamton started the game with a rough opening period, conceding three goals within the first five minutes of play. For the entirety of the first half, the Bearcats had no response to the Orange’s attack, allowing the team to take a 15-0 lead at halftime, including a goal two seconds before the buzzer. In the first 30 minutes, Binghamton did not record a shot and had 11 turnovers. Just over 19 minutes into play, the Orange scored their 10th unanswered goal to activate the running clock mercy rule for the remainder of the game.
A far less disappointing second half followed for the Bearcats, as Syracuse went to its bench and slightly eased its attack. Although the game was out of reach, Binghamton managed to concede only five goals in the half, scoring two.
Around the eighth minute of the half, junior midfielder Alyssa Sanchez scored Binghamton’s first goal, cutting the deficit to 17-1. After Syracuse responded with two more goals, freshman midfielder Jamie Golderman scored Binghamton’s second and final goal of the night on a free position shot. The name Golderman may sound familiar to Bearcats fans, who remember her older sister, former midfielder Rebecca Golderman, ‘19. Jamie Golderman now wears the same number as her sister, No. 24, for the Bearcats.
Ultimately, the night ended with a 20-2 win for the Orange at the Carrier Dome.
“Across the board we played a lot of minutes on the defensive end,” Allen said. “[Senior goalie] Taylor Passuello came out in the second half and had a more composed energy about her and was able to come up with some stops, and I think our defensive unit as a whole being able to play that many minutes down on the defensive end and not give up was something that we looked at and focused on and gave those girls kudos.”
Passuello was forced to defend against five free position shots in the first half, and stopped the first three. She also made four saves out of Syracuse’s 24 shots on goal in the game. Of the Orange’s 33 total shots, however, 24 came in the first period, and only nine were attempted in the second.
The Bearcats defense did show improvement in the second half. In comparison to the 15-0 run in the opening period, Binghamton resiliently held the Syracuse offense to a 5-2 margin. In addition to Passuello in net, junior midfielder Kelly Quinn picked up some of the defensive duty, causing two turnovers and picking up four ground balls. Junior defender Sam Fama also picked up three ground balls.
“Moving forward, I think we’re going to focus on possession and what we choose to do with those, especially winning the draw controls more,” Allen said. “It was a tough matchup for us. I think those games are important for us to understand the physicality and the mindset that’s needed, especially as we head into conference play.”
Syracuse’s only loss so far this season has come from Binghamton’s America East (AE) rivals Stony Brook, with the Seawolves (2-0) earning a thrilling 17-16 upset win at the Carrier Dome to open their season. Last weekend, the heavy AE favorites also downed Ohio State in a 20-7 blowout.
Next weekend, the Bearcats will take on Mount St. Mary’s in their second home game of the season. First draw control is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.