The Binghamton men’s lacrosse team opened conference play on Saturday afternoon with a decisive 18-10 victory over Albany. The Great Danes were picked third in the America East (AE) preseason coaches’ poll and were handed an eight-point defeat by the Bearcats, who were picked fifth.
“To have won that as a program, we haven’t gotten that in a while, certainly a long while on the road against [Albany],” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “It couldn’t be a better way to start off conference play.”
Binghamton (3-4, 1-0 AE) seized control of the game early in the first quarter. The Bearcats drove three goals past the Great Danes (1-5, 0-1 AE) before they mustered a response, tallying their first goal in the eighth minute. Despite breaking BU’s scoring streak, Binghamton relinquished no momentum in the first period, as senior attack Daniel MacKinney scored a fourth goal for the visitors less than a minute later. Binghamton soon scored a fifth and ended the quarter with five different Bearcats on the board.
“[The offense] did a great job at sharing the ball,” McKeown said. “We gave the offense a lot of opportunities and [they] took full advantage of it. It was a program record for goals.”
Although the Bearcats scored two more goals in the second quarter, the Albany offense began to stage an early comeback against the away side. The Great Danes’ initial four-point deficit was cut down to just two as the hosts tallied four goals to outscore BU. The scoreboard read 7-5 at halftime.
After opening up the scoring in the third quarter, Binghamton regained full control of the game, tallying six more goals by the end of the frame. MacKinney added another two goals to his tally in the third-period offensive push. Although Albany outshot the Bearcats 11-10, the Great Danes only mustered two goals as redshirt junior goalie Teddy Dolan made four saves when the hosts put shots on goal.
MacKinney brought his goal tally up to five in the final frame as Binghamton went on a 5-3 run to close out the contest. Senior attack Vincent Basile also completed his hat trick three minutes into the quarter. Albany had no response to the BU offense after getting outshot 14-8 during the period and struggling to overcome an already steep six-point deficit after the third quarter.
Senior attack Kevin Winkoff contributed to the team’s offensive efforts, scoring two goals of his own and adding on four assists. Winkoff currently has 18 goals this season and is tied for first in the AE in goals per game with 2.63.
The Bearcats are slated to host UMBC next weekend. The Retrievers have beaten both nationally ranked Drexel and Utah during their nonconference season and were picked fourth in the AE preseason coaches’ poll right behind Albany.
“We’ve been continuing to get better in practice every week,” McKeown said. “The teams that you end up playing in the playoffs are the ones that get better throughout the years. We’re taking it one week at a time. We have a really good team coming to our place next week.”
The matchup against UMBC is scheduled for Saturday, March 26. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.