Coming off a two-week hiatus, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team tallied its second victory of the season with a 20-12 win over Hartford on Saturday. The Bearcats (2-3, 2-3 America East) secured a sizable lead with their first half play, going into halftime with a 13-5 lead over the Hawks (0-6, 0-6 AE). Senior attack Paige Volkmann led the Bearcats with a career-high 10 points, setting the school record for most points in a game.
“[Volkmann] really struggled with this time period off and really wanted to get out there and prove herself this season, continuing to be a leader for us,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “We needed that spark from her and that energy, we talked about it at the end of practice yesterday. Really proud of her ability to direct and above all else, when we needed to put the ball in the back of the net or take a quality shot, she was coming up on that side for us.”
The Bearcats had a dominant offensive presence throughout the first half, scoring 13 goals on 23 attempts. Their scoring proficiency was bolstered by their draw controls where freshman midfielder Jesse Barer recorded five draws, and Binghamton secured 11 over the Hawks’ eight in the first half.
“[Barer] uses her body well and her size well,” Allen said. “She’s somebody that has basketball background as well, and she can box out, block, see a lot very well and that comes in handy in the draw circle positioning. Just looking for that grit from our freshman that were asked to step up and play bigger roles today, and really proud of how they performed.”
The Hawks found their stride in the second half, coming out of the gate with a 4-1 run to narrow the lead to within five goals.
“I think we weren’t converting on the offensive end and we talked during our timeouts — every time they scored we needed to score two,” Allen said. “We just weren’t putting the ball in the back of the net, we had 50 shots today and only came up with 20 goals. I think we need to have a higher shooting percentage for Stony Brook.”
The Bearcats regained control halfway through the second half, as Barer netted her first goal. Binghamton also began to clamp down on the defensive end and only allowed three goals for the rest of the afternoon.
“Having two weeks off, we had to show that we still had that spark in us,” Allen said. “We have a lot of season left, I was really proud of the performance today and the way they took the field in the first half. I think discipline in shooting is something that we took away and we’re trying to focus on more in the second half and being a little more patient, but really proud of the performance overall today.”
The Hawks, on their offensive end, found success in transition as Binghamton was consistently caught unprepared for Hartford’s quick passing that led to high-percentage shots.
“We weren’t slowing them down in the transition very well, and even to the last possession out there, I think that’s something Hartford does really well, they don’t give up and it’s something we talked about all week,” Allen said. “Until we saw it today come to fruition, our girls didn’t really understand the urgency they needed getting into the defensive end. So we’ll focus on that as we head into Stony Brook this week, and it starts with the midfield, slowing the ball down, we’ve got to have that priority and awareness by our midfielders.”
Volkmann’s performance was complemented by freshman midfielder Hayley Weltner, as Weltner recorded four goals for the afternoon as well as five ground balls.
“We had a lot of freshmen being expected to perform and take advantage of an opportunity today, and [Weltner is] one of those freshmen that really ran with it,” Allen said. “She’s gained confidence with the more time and experience she’s gotten out on the field. For her to put the ball in the back of the net, she sees space out there on the offensive end. We had her playing a grittier role for us, she wasn’t sitting and taking a back seat, she was expected to show up today and I’m really proud of her performance.”
Next up for the Bearcats is a game against Stony Brook on Friday, April 16. First draw is set for 3 p.m. at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, New York.