On Friday, the Binghamton men’s soccer team ended its two-game win streak after losing 2-1 to Niagara on the road. Although the Bearcats scored a goal in the second half of the game, the Purple Eagles’ two-goal total was too steep for BU to overcome in the 2-1 defeat.
“I thought we played very poor in the first half,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco, per bubearcats.com. “We lacked the intensity, urgency and grit that we showed during the preseason. But I thought in the second half, we were terrific and created a lot of good scoring chances. We just ran out of time at the end.”
BU’s (2-1-0) only goal came in the 83rd minute. Redshirt junior midfielder Parker McKnight was fed the ball down Niagara’s (1-2-0) right flank. On a half-volley, McKnight crossed the ball into the box, where junior forward Oliver Svalander struck the ball first-time into the back of the net.
Late in the game, Binghamton took further control, but it was not enough as the waning seconds of the match ran out and the Bearcats took their first loss of the season.
A tough first half put BU off to a slow start. At the 23rd minute, Niagara was already in the lead after a shot deflected off the Binghamton woodwork was headed in by a Purple Eagle. Just over seven minutes later, the home side had scored a second goal off a free kick that was deflected into the net by a Niagara player.
In addition to the two early goals by the Purple Eagles, Binghamton struggled to keep up with Niagara’s play in the first 45 minutes. BU’s six shots in the first half were bested by Niagara’s total of 10. Two Bearcats also picked up yellow cards trying to win the ball during the half.
While junior goalkeeper Mats Roorda conceded two goals and fumbled shots from the Niagara offense, he still recorded seven saves. Of the saves, the most crucial came just past the 11-minute mark when a Niagara player took a shot from within the box. Stretching to stop the airborne strike, Roorda managed to parry away the danger and keep BU in contention.
After dropping its matchup with Niagara University, the Bearcats are scheduled to take on Siena College away from home on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Hickey Field in Loudonville, New York.