The Binghamton men’s lacrosse team played the second part of its four-game road trip on Saturday when it faced off against Lafayette for its third match of the season. The closely fought matchup concluded with an overtime thriller that ended with the Bearcats taking down the Leopards 13-12.
“It feels great, obviously, going into overtime for the first time this year,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “We fought hard and getting the first [win] is big. It’s certainly better than having to go home 0-3 tonight … We were really efficient, especially early on … The guys did a great job scrapping together a few goals in the second half. Obviously, the last one was big.”
After losing the opening faceoff, BU (1-2) allowed a quick goal only 14 seconds into the match as Lafayette (2-2) took an immediate lead. The Bearcats wasted no time in response, as junior midfielder Ryan McBeth found the back of the net less than two minutes later to even the score. Another early goal by the home team sparked the Bearcats’ offense. Binghamton gained control of the game with three unanswered points to take a 4-2 lead going into the second period.
“I thought [the offense] did a really good job,” McKeown said. “Our shooting percentage hadn’t been great coming into this game, so I thought we did a good job of taking advantage of those opportunities.”
The Leopards opened up the second quarter with the first goal. Binghamton responded once again with a string of two goals by sophomore midfielder Ethan Insinga and senior attack Kevin Winkoff. Both goals occurred within one minute of each other and gave BU a 6-3 advantage, its largest lead of the match. The two teams scored a pair of alternating goals in the remainder of the first half as Binghamton was able to maintain its lead and head into the break with a score of 8-5.
“One thing we tell the guys is that it’s a game of runs,” McKeown said. “We knew at some point there in the third they were gonna get more goals, but can we win the next faceoff? Can we make the next clear, and can we get the next possession for us?”
The third quarter saw the Bearcats lay off of the gas pedal as they surrendered four points in the period, including a three-goal run by the Leopards in the final three minutes. Sophomore defender Zak Conley was able to give BU its only goal of the quarter and allowed Binghamton to enter the final quarter tied at nine.
“It was a great team win, we’re proud of them for never giving up,” McKeown said. “Despite blowing the lead in the second half, we kept continuing to fight and it carried right over to the last play.”
After 10 minutes of play in the fourth quarter, a Lafayette score tied the game up at 11, but with two minutes remaining, Winkoff notched his third goal of the day to give the Bearcats a late lead. This advantage was short-lived, however, as the home team put its 12th goal on the board with just over one minute remaining to send the game into overtime.
McKeown credited redshirt junior goalie Teddy Dolan for keeping BU in the game. The Bearcat recorded 19 saves on the day, which tied the Binghamton record.
“[Dolan] was outstanding with 19 saves, especially in the second half,” McKeown said. “[Dolan] was huge, he made up for some defensive breakdowns, he did a good job of finding guys in the clear when he made some saves. He’s a captain for us, he’s a great leader on our team and the guys really feed off of his energy, vocally, and by making plays out there.”
Dolan was able to save 61 percent of Lafayette’s 31 shots on goal but didn’t need to stop any shots in overtime. After winning the faceoff, the Bearcats quickly lost possession to the home team. After forcing a turnover, however, McBeth was able to drive the team’s final goal past the Lafayette goalkeeper to give Binghamton its first victory of the season.
“I’m proud of them,” McKeown said. “We learn a lot, there’s a lot to learn from this one … We got the faceoff but lost it afterward and we rode it back and got the game winner in transition.”
The Bearcats’ next matchup will be at Bucknell on Saturday, March 5. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.