On a chilly Saturday afternoon, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team garnered a 12-8 victory against conference opponent UMBC. Despite the positive result, Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown said that the Bearcat win was a sloppy one.
“It was a little bit of a sloppy game,” McKeown said. “I thought all-around UMBC’s a really tough team. They fight really hard, they’re disciplined, they don’t give up clearly. We knew that, we saw that and we told our guys to expect that … I was glad to see us respond to some adversity there when they went on a run.”
Adversity struck for Binghamton (4-4, 2-0 America East [AE]) 10 minutes into the third quarter, as the hosts conceded a goal that ended their four-goal run, bringing the game to a 10-4 lead. The goal sparked a 5-0 run for UMBC (2-4, 0-1 AE) that spilled into the final frame. With every goal the Retrievers scored, the away fans grew louder, and UMBC cut down Binghamton’s lead to 10-8 with all of the momentum in its favor.
“Defensively, we could’ve covered the inside a little bit better,” McKeown said. “That gave them some opportunities … The exciting thing for us is I don’t know if we’ve put all phases together in one game. I think that’s what the goal is and that’s what we’re working toward.”
BU stopped the bleeding with just under three minutes left to play. A goal by freshman attack Matthew Keegan allowed the Bearcats to regain control of the game, and senior attack Kevin Winkoff found the net less than a minute later. The Bearcats rode out the clock to win the match.
At the start of the game, UMBC drew first blood, slotting the ball between the legs of redshirt junior goalie Teddy Dolan to take a first-quarter advantage. On the next possession, however, Binghamton found the back of the net thanks to a close-ranged shot from senior attack Daniel MacKinney. With just over nine minutes left in the first quarter, Winkoff bagged a second goal for BU and his first of the game to give the hosts a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
“Winkoff is doing a great job leading us,” McKeown said. “The guys are sharing the ball well and when we do that and get the ball moving, it makes it really tough for the defense.”
BU continued its scoring run in the second quarter, netting two more goals before UMBC found the net five minutes into the period. The Retrievers, however, garnered no momentum from their goal, as sophomore midfielder Ethan Insinga responded with two straight goals for the Bearcats. UMBC found the net once again with less than two minutes until halftime, but the visitors were down 6-3.
Although Binghamton struggled late in the game, it established a strong lead during the third quarter, scoring four more goals thanks to Winkoff, MacKinney and Keegan. Keegan tallied two goals by the game’s end, and MacKinney and Winkoff posted three and four goals, respectively. The Bearcats were able to consistently find the UMBC net despite losing 18 of 24 face-offs.
“Credit to their [faceoff], I thought he did a really good job,” McKeown said. “I’m just pleased to see us be able to win without getting those faceoffs. Sometimes we relied on that in some past games, but today we weren’t able to.”
Despite conceding five late-game goals, Dolan kept Binghamton in contention after making 10 saves, including five critical stops before halftime.
“We gave up some tough looks,” McKeown said. “I definitely don’t fault [Dolan]. Sometimes we get lucky, and he makes those types of saves, but that’s not something we’ll be talking to him about.”
Earlier in the season, UMBC beat both Utah and Drexel, which were both nationally ranked at the time. The Retrievers were handed their conference-opening loss by the Bearcats, who are now one of two teams in the AE which are yet to suffer defeat in conference play.
BU’s next opponent is No. 19 Lehigh in a nonconference matchup.
“[Lehigh is] going to be a really tough opponent, they face off incredibly well and we’ll definitely have our work cut out for us,” McKeown said. “It’ll be a great challenge to defend our home turf.”
BU is set to host the Mountain Hawks on Tuesday, March 29. Faceoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.