On Saturday, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team took the field against Albany for its first America East (AE) matchup of the season. After going down 4-0 early on, the Bearcats were able to cut their deficit to two goals, but ultimately fell to the Great Danes with a final score of 15-11.

“Our team really battled today,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “It was a highly competitive match, and we showed some resiliency after the initial hole that we got ourselves in. We’re looking to improve upon that next game.”

After BU (5-5, 0-1 AE) put itself into a 4-0 hole early on, the team ended the first quarter with only one goal. Albany (3-5, 1-0 AE) added another goal to its early total in the last minute of the period as the Bearcats entered the second frame trailing 5-1.

“We got off to a bit of a slow start [defensively] giving up the first four goals there,” Allen said. “But I thought we did a really nice job of adjusting and playing with more confidence from there on out … I think just taking what we faced today and executing a little bit earlier on and not getting ourselves in that hole is our strategy moving forward.”

Binghamton displayed a more competitive attitude in the second quarter, adding three goals to its total, but also conceding three goals to the Great Danes in the process. Two of the Bearcats’ goals in the period came from free position shots. BU attempted 12 free position shots on the day and converted on six of its chances.

“If we had converted on 75 percent or more of [free position shots], we would have been in a really great position,” Allen said. “But 50 percent or higher is something that we needed to hit in terms of our free position percentage today.”

The Bearcats were able to hold the Great Danes to only two free position shots of their own during the match. However, it was not enough to stop Albany from putting the ball in the net.

“Defensively, we did a really nice job of limiting those extra opportunities,” Allen said. “But it’s really critical, just like a free throw in basketball, to be scoring those when the clock is stopped.”

After the halftime break, Albany converted on a shot early in the third quarter to extend its lead to five. However, improved defensive play and an offensive spark from the Bearcats allowed them to score three unanswered goals. In the penultimate period, junior goalie Emily Manning recorded four saves to keep the Great Danes at bay, and BU ended the quarter trailing by just two goals.

“[Manning] had an outstanding game with her 12 saves,” Allen said. “We put Albany in a position to have a good [number] of turnovers and we really held our own from the second quarter on.”

Entering the final frame, Albany led Binghamton 9-7. Both teams combined for 10 goals in a competitive fourth quarter, but a three-goal Great Dane run put the Bearcats in too deep of a hole to climb out of, ultimately resulting in a BU loss.

Multiple Bearcats made a strong contribution to Binghamton’s efforts during its first AE conference matchup. Eight Bearcats found the back of the net against Albany, and three of them scored twice. BU’s two-goal scorers included freshman midfielder Abby Carroll, junior attack Kenna Newman and sophomore midfielder Madison Murphy. Manning also saved 12 of the 27 shots on goal that she faced.

“Today showed the fight that we have in us,” Allen said. “As we go into AE play, we know that every game is gonna be that much more competitive than what we’ve seen so far, in terms of it mattering that much more in overall standings.”

Binghamton’s next matchup is slated against Stony Brook on Sunday, April 3. First draw control is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.