Tied 10-10 against Lafayette with 56 seconds left in the third session of sudden-death overtime, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team was tirelessly awaiting an opportunity to sweep the ball past Lafayette sophomore goalie Ryan Ness, who made 12 saves during the game. Sophomore attack Kevin Winkoff saw the opportunity, and passed the ball in the last minute to freshman midfielder Ryan McBeth, who scored the game-winning goal to give the Bearcats a thrilling 11-10 victory.
“It was so stressful going to three overtimes like that,” Winkoff said. “We had so many chances and every time we turned it over, we felt that they were going to put it away. We were definitely sitting on edge, but when the ball was on the opposite side and I caught the ball, I knew the slide was coming to me on that side, so I knew [McBeth] was open. When he scored, it was awesome.”
During the three overtime sessions, shots were rarely taken by either team, leading to an exceptionally long period of extra time.
“I think we both have two young teams — there’s some inexperience there and that could contribute to it a little bit,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “The overtimes are so short that sometimes you get under two minutes and you’re trying to hold for the last shot already.”
The Leopards (0-4) entered the game having not won in 364 days, with their last win coming on Feb. 23, 2019 against Binghamton.
After losing their first two games of this season, the Bearcats (1-2) never trailed Lafayette in Saturday’s game. The first period was dominated by Binghamton, ending the period up 4-1 after scoring the first four goals of the game. Several newcomers had to set up on offense in the absence of junior attack William Talbott-Shere, who is out for the rest of the season due to injury.
“With [Talbott-Shere] out it’s a big loss for us, so I think the biggest thing from our offense is we can’t try to fill [Talbott-Shere]’s gap,” McKeown said. “We have to keep being ourselves, doing the simple things, and I think you saw with that last goal there that when we have good ball movement, good things happen to us.”
Winkoff scored three goals on the day and assisted four. Junior attack Justin Roderka, a college transfer new to the team, and freshman midfielder Thomas Greenblatt both scored multiple goals on the day.
The Bearcats outshot Lafayette 42-29 in the game, but were only able to produce 23 shots on goal. Despite the Bearcats’ solid offense and defense, Lafayette was able to creep behind them with strong fortitude.
Redshirt freshman goalie Teddy Dolan made nine saves during the game after his 18-save game against Syracuse in the team’s last matchup. By the end of the third period, the game was tied 7-7 and the Bearcats had difficulty shaking the Leopards off their backs.
The fourth period was neck and neck and the Leopards never trailed by more than a goal. Thirty-one seconds before the period ended, Lafayette sophomore midfielder Cole Dutton scored his second goal of the day, evening the score and sending the game into overtime, where McBeth’s goal eventually won the game.
Winkoff finished the game as BU’s top scorer, with three goals and four assists. He said he is trying to be a leader during the young team’s games this season.
“We’re all kind of young, so we’re kind of in the same boat, but I’m definitely putting myself in more of a leadership role and working on that as I’m playing,” Winkoff said. “But we’re all in the same boat, working together.”
The Bearcats will look to win their second game of the season on Tuesday, Feb. 25 when they take on Bucknell University. The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m. from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.