After the cancellation of its matchup against St. Bonaventure over the weekend due to inclement weather, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team hit the road to take on No. 20 Princeton on Tuesday evening. The Tigers, whose next game is scheduled against No. 1 Maryland, downed Binghamton in a 22-9 result as the Bearcats conceded 14 goals in the first half of play.
“We hadn’t seen [Princeton] play last year so [they] were a little bit of a new-look team having not seen them play since 2020,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “Defensively, they really challenged us to beat them and earn any slides that you want to get. On offense, they move the ball really well, attack the field really well.”
Binghamton (0-2) only found the net once in the opening quarter. After Princeton (2-0) drove five unanswered points past BU, senior midfielder Andrew Arce put a point on the board for the Bearcats with 46 seconds left in the period. However, Princeton snuck one more goal into the Binghamton net just before the quarter ended, giving the Tigers a 6-1 advantage as the buzzer rang.
“Arce, he’s coming back from injury and I thought he did a nice job,” McKeown said. “He’s a calming presence out there. He’s got really good skills … We’ve got some bright spots, but we have to be able to put a full 60 minutes together.”
At the start of the second quarter, the Bearcats were the ones to begin the scoring, quickly bagging two goals within seven seconds of each other in just the first minute of play.
“Early on we had to make some changes defensively, we left [redshirt junior goalie Teddy Dolan] out to dry a few times,” McKeown said. “We hit that point where we scored a couple in a row, we won some faceoffs … We were right in the game.”
Although BU managed to dent Princeton’s first-quarter lead, the Tigers scored eight straight goals after the first two minutes, including another last-second goal just as the half was about to conclude. The scoreboard read 14-3 and Binghamton had dug itself an 11-point deficit.
Despite Princeton’s lead, Binghamton played competitively in the third quarter. Offensively, the Bearcats managed to post three goals, two of which having been produced by graduate student attack Justin Roderka in the first five minutes. On the defensive end, Binghamton still looked shaky, allowing 18 shots to the Tigers compared to the six it registered during the period. However, thanks to a five-save contribution by Dolan in the third, the Bearcats kept Princeton to four points.
The final frame became BU’s most consistent quarter of the matchup. Both teams went even on shots and shots on goal, with each tallying 10 and six, respectively. Binghamton also kept Princeton to just four points for the second-straight quarter as it produced another three goals of its own. For each of the Tigers’ first two goals of the half, the Bearcats found a response within the following two minutes. However, Princeton’s 14-point performance from the first half kept BU from ever staging a comeback, and the Bearcats officially recorded their second loss of the season at the final buzzer.
Arce and Roderka were the only two Bearcats to register more than one goal on the night. The two-goal performance from each of the Binghamton athletes accounted for nearly half of BU’s overall goal tally.
Lafayette is the next team on Binghamton’s nonconference slate. The last meetup between both schools ended with a Bearcat win in triple overtime.
“We’re still really young, and it’s early in the season,” McKeown said. “We missed a scrimmage, and we missed a game last weekend, so we should’ve had a couple more goes under our belt that we weren’t able to have at this point.”
The matchup against the Leopards is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26. Faceoff is set for 6 p.m. at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pennsylvania.