The Binghamton men’s lacrosse team and Hofstra have not played each other since 2005. On Tuesday night, however, the Pride hosted the Bearcats but failed to pull out a win as Binghamton downed them 12-6.
“[Hofstra] is a team that a lot of our guys are familiar with, just being from the area,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “They generally have a lot of talent … I thought we matched up pretty well with them. I was optimistic about how we would stack up and our guys came out and did a great job, brought a ton of energy.”
The Bearcats (2-3) went down 2-0 early on. Although Hofstra (3-4) continued to lead past the 10-minute mark, the defensive efforts of senior defender Drew Furlong put Binghamton back into the driver’s seat. After brushing off a sixth-minute advance by the Pride, BU regained possession and found the net with 8:35 left on the clock. After junior faceoff Matthew DeSouza won the following faceoff, the ball journeyed its way into the head of senior attack Kevin Winkoff’s stick less than a minute later and the Bearcat fired a shot into the goal. The game-tying goal was Winkoff’s 11th of the season.
“After scoring the first two [goals], I feel like we kind of settled in,” McKeown said. “It being a one-goal game, it was still a toss-up there.”
Senior attack Daniel MacKinney capped off Binghamton’s first-quarter scoring efforts, providing a third goal in the 11th minute. Hofstra, however, responded in the final minute of the period with another goal to keep the game even at 3-3 heading into the second frame.
Both teams continued to play an even game throughout the second quarter. The Bearcats scored first, but Hofstra quickly replied 10 seconds later. After less than a minute, BU tallied its second goal of the period, and the Pride was slower in its response. The Hofstra goal came late in the half, just before a final Binghamton goal allowed the visitors to establish a 6-5 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Binghamton completely pulled away. For the extent of the period, the Bearcats maintained control of the game and capitalized on their momentum to spark a 6-0 run spanning over 14 minutes. The Pride found consolation in a final goal with 42 seconds remaining on the clock, but a scoreless fourth quarter for both sides allowed BU to decisively close out the match.
“We talked about the third quarter a lot recently,” McKeown said. “[Against] Marist, we had a three-goal lead at halftime. Lafayette, we had a three- or four-goal lead at halftime. Both of those evaporated. We wanted to play better in the third quarter, and we clearly did.”
McKeown credited the efforts of DeSouza and Furlong on the defensive end. DeSouza won 19 of 22 faceoffs and combined with Furlong for a two-man tally of 18 ground balls.
“You see [DeSouza] only losing three face-offs all game, one in the second half,” McKeown said. “It takes a lot of pressure off the defense just from having to defend … [Furlong], who was on the wing for a lot of face-offs, was huge too. He picked up a ton of ground balls … They were a good tag team up there.”
Winkoff scored his second goal of the game during BU’s 6-0 run in the third quarter. Winkoff is currently averaging 2.67 goals per game, good enough for fourth among all players in the America East.
“[The offense] is getting better and better each game,” McKeown said. “We got a few goals in transition as well which gives a lot of energy and juice to the sideline.”
The win against Hofstra marks the end of Binghamton’s four-game away slate.
“We’ve had some long bus rides, and the guys have handled it well, but it’s always nice to be at home,” McKeown said. “We’ve got a big senior class, and we’ve got a lot of guys who’ve played a lot of games there, so the guys feel comfortable there. We’re looking forward to getting back on the home turf.”
The Bearcats’ upcoming home game is scheduled against Fairfield on Sunday, March 13. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.