After a three-game losing streak, the Binghamton women’s soccer team grabbed a decisive 2-0 victory over St. Francis Brooklyn on Senior Day.
“[The seniors] have been tremendous contributors on and off the field,” said Binghamton head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “They’ve grown and matured a lot during their time here … They bring a tremendous amount of value — great examples, great role models.”
The win came after the Bearcats (3-4-1) honored their five seniors heading into the matchup against the Terriers (1-3-3). Among the seniors, senior defender Nicole Scudero led a tight backline that kept St. Francis Brooklyn from finding the back of the net.
“Scudero and [redshirt junior defender] Gabby Piontkowski have been mainstays for us in our backline,” Bhattacharjee said. “Sometimes you don’t see the defenders’ contribution in terms of tackles, possession out of the back and work rate, but those are all things we value very highly … We know they do a tremendous job for us from those deeper areas. They were terrific today and they’ve been fabulous for us all season.”
While the Terriers struggled offensively in the first half, BU was relentless in front of the away side’s net. The Bearcats scored an early first goal after junior midfielder Victoria McKnight grounded a free kick from the right edge of the Terriers’ 18-yard box across goal. After finding the foot of junior forward Maya Anand, the Bearcat slid the ball straight to freshman forward Peyton Gilmore who tapped the ball into the net from a few yards away. The eighth-minute goal marked a career-first for Gilmore and shot BU into the lead.
After conceding the first goal, St. Francis Brooklyn continued the half with flat feet and Binghamton quickly took advantage of the Terriers’ lack of response. In the 20th minute, the Bearcats composed a counterattack after gaining possession of the ball. McKnight picked up the ball in midfield and distributed it wide on the left side to Anand. She dribbled into the box and fired a right-footed shot that soared past the goalkeeper.
While the Bearcats didn’t score for the remainder of the first 45 minutes, they tallied nine shots in the half alone.
“In the first half, I thought we were really good at just knocking the ball,” Bhattacharjee said. “There were certain moments that we did try to force it, but aside from it I thought we just tried to play.”
The game transitioned into a goalless second half. Although Binghamton dragged out the half and maintained its 2-0 lead, a few sloppy moments from the Bearcat side gave the Terriers an opportunity to jump back into the competition.
“In the second half, there were some lulls where we got a little more choppy and we showed our quality in spurts,” Bhattacharjee said. “Going forward, we want to do that for the full 90 minutes, but we’re happy with the win and happy to be enjoying ourselves today.”
By the end of the match, Binghamton accumulated a total of 16 shots with eight of them on target, dwarfing St. Francis Brooklyn’s total of only eight shots.
While BU experienced a few hiccups throughout the contest, the victory snapped its three-game losing streak and four-game winless streak, with America East conference play just around the corner.
Before beginning its conference opener against Vermont, BU is slated to face Cornell University on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Charles F. Berman Field in Ithaca, New York.