On Monday, the Binghamton men’s soccer ended its season with a 4-1 defeat to Vermont after being down for the entirety of the game despite a late goal from the Bearcats. With the defeat, Binghamton failed to crack the top six in the America East (AE) standings and concluded its season on a seven-game losing streak.
“We were up for the game,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco. “We started well, then the game had all of the sudden goals in it, and we didn’t get any.”
Binghamton (7-9-1, 2-6-0 AE) was shut out until sophomore midfielder Georges Richard scored his first career goal in the 73rd minute. The Bearcat notched the goal when fellow sophomore defender Will Noecker got the ball off the rebound of a BU header and crossed toward the middle of the goalie box. A sliding Richard and Vermont (11-4-2, 6-1-1 AE) defender each reached for the ball, but the Bearcat managed to get a foot on it and slipped it past the keeper’s right side.
Binghamton played the majority of the second half with nine players on the field. Just past the 53-minute mark, junior defender Michael Bush was shown a red card followed by junior forward Dan Mansfield a minute later. By that point, Vermont had already surmounted a 3-0 lead.
“[The match] showed great character from our guys,” Marco said. “The guys responded really well, they worked really hard, but working with two players down, you have to shrink the space, play a little deeper… and we got a couple of good chances on set pieces and a good chance on a counterattack too.”
The Catamounts came out to a fast start, scoring goals in the 19th and 31st minutes of the first half. Although the Bearcats were outscored 2-0 in the first 45 minutes, they nearly matched Vermont in total shots 6-5. The away side continued to stay hot in the second half and scored two more goals in the 51st and 59th minutes.
Binghamton’s injury situation forced redshirt sophomore Ryan McGovern to fill in and play goal. Prior to this game, McGovern had not stepped in the net at any point during his collegiate career.
“[McGovern] stepped up, and I thought he was up for the game,” Marco said. “He didn’t know he was playing until 25 minutes before kickoff … but I thought he handled the moment pretty well.”
The loss to Vermont not only marked the end of Binghamton’s season but the career of graduate student Noah Luescher who spent five years at Binghamton. The Bearcat ended his career tied for second all-time in Division I Binghamton men’s soccer goals and sole second in assists and points. Luescher played the first 86 minutes before being subbed out to a standing ovation by the BU crowd.
“I’m gonna miss [Luescher]. I have a really great relationship with him, and I think the world of him,” Marco said. “It’s been a long time together with him. I’m really glad we had another year … He’s gotten guys to be better soccer players. I thought he did a really good job of inspiring guys to enjoy the game, you see it on his face all of the time … Hopefully we get to see him on the television soon.”