After dominating possession and taking six shots on goal in the first half against New Hampshire, the Binghamton women’s soccer team was looking for a breakthrough. In the 59th minute, the Bearcats got just that, as freshman defender Emma Colling played a 30-yard through ball over the Wildcats’ backline. Junior forward Stefania Piantadosi made a diagonal run onto the through ball, took a touch inside the 18-yard box and tucked the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, giving the Bearcats a 1-0 lead that held for the rest of the game.
“It was a really good, really good goal,” said Binghamton head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “For a ball to be played by one of our freshmen in Colling and then for a quality finish by [Piantadosi] to put it away. You know it was a really good finish, and very pleased with the shutout.”
Piantadosi’s goal for BU (2-1, 2-1 AE) came after long spells of possession and a barrage of shots on the New Hampshire (5-2, 2-2 AE) keeper in the first half. The Bearcats’ dominance continued into the second half, finishing with 62 percent of the game’s possession and a 10-3 shot-on-goal advantage on the Wildcats.
“I thought we were good enough on the day to get a second goal,” Bhattacharjee said. “It didn’t quite work out that way, so we have to give New Hampshire a lot of credit in regards to that, their goalkeeper especially. I thought our possession was good, the way we defended, the intensity, the energy on the bench. It really showed.”
In the second half, the Wildcats made some adjustments that challenged the Bearcats, but the Bearcats were able to adapt and finish the game with their first clean sheet of the season.
“I give New Hampshire credit, they made a smart tactical move in the second half which is something that then we then had to adjust to,” Bhattacharjee said. “It took us a few minutes to do that, and once we did I felt like we had good control. New Hampshire has got some good attacking players so we knew it was going to be a challenge for us to get a shutout, but to put up that goose egg for the first time this year feels good, and a lot of credit to our backs … and [junior goalkeeper] Haylee [Poltorak] in goal to make that shutout stand.”
In the first half of the game, the Bearcats were able to dominate the middle third of the field, as their midfielders calmly kept possession of the ball and switched the point of attack with ease. The starting midfielders helped spread the field and draw out the New Hampshire defense, giving the Bearcats space in the final third.
“That was a big thing that we spoke about this week,” Bhattacharjee said. “How we want to make the ball work. One thing that we wanted to do was to work on our spacing in the midfield. And what we did in training I think really showed today. So it helped in terms of our possession, but it also helped in terms of how we defended. I give a lot of credit to how we played through the middle of the park, and I think that’s such a strength for us. I think we have one of the strongest, if not, the strongest, midfield components in the America East this year.”
After the 1-0 win against New Hampshire, the Bearcats have played half of their schedule and are 2-1 at the season’s midpoint.
“It’s a hard-earned win,” Bhattacharjee said. “New Hampshire has got a great program so for us to get a result today is something to carry us far. It’s one to build on, enjoy it and get ready for a busy week coming up.”
Up next, the Bearcats will take on Vermont on Thursday, April 1. Kickoff is set for noon at Virtue Field in Burlington, Vermont.