In spite of adverse weather conditions on Tuesday afternoon, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team returned to the Bearcats Sports Complex to take on No. 6 Stony Brook. The Seawolves are undefeated in conference play and continued their winning streak after handing BU an 18-3 defeat.
“We knew going into today’s competition that it was going to be a tough match,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “For us, it’s important to have that type of game where we get uncomfortable, we get challenged and hopefully we take something away from it.”
Stony Brook (11-2, 4-0 America East [AE]) has only lost two games this season, both coming at the hands of top-five teams early in the season. In conference play alone, the Seawolves have the most goals, shots and points per game, and have yet to give up more than six goals in any of their AE matchups. Although Stony Brook is ineligible to compete in the conference playoffs, it remains at the top of the standings while Binghamton (6-7, 1-3 AE) sits in fifth.
Despite the early efforts of junior goalie Emily Manning to keep Stony Brook off of the board, the Seawolves were proficient at finding the net in the first quarter. SBU peppered 17 shots at Manning and scored on six of them. The Bearcats only mustered one shot in the first quarter after struggling to get the ball out of their half of the field.
Following two more Stony Brook goals in the second quarter, BU scored its first goal of the match. The goal came courtesy of junior attack Kenna Newman, who snuck the ball past the SBU goalkeeper with just under seven minutes remaining in the period. BU scored a second six minutes later but conceded another two goals to the visitors in the process. At halftime, the Seawolves were up 10-2.
Binghamton posted another scoreless quarter in the third period. Although Stony Brook only took six shots compared to BU’s three, the Seawolves capitalized on four of them to bring their total to 14 to conclude the third quarter.
“The confidence piece, moving our feet and limiting turnovers on [the offensive] end,” Allen said. “[Stony Brook] pressure and do a really nice job on the defensive end, putting teams in tough positions. [We turned] the ball over under our own regard a couple times and I just thought that if we kept our head up, kept our feet moving we could’ve converted on a few more assists and potential looks on cage.”
The Bearcats’ final goal came in the last 30 seconds of the game. The late-game efforts of junior midfielder Annabelle Conover allowed her to find the net and earn Binghamton a consolation goal. Although Stony Brook had already won the game with an 18-point tally as the final minutes of the clock waned, the BU bench erupted with excitement following Conover’s last-minute goal. It was her first goal of the season.
Although Manning gave up 18 goals to the visitors, the Bearcat also tallied 13 saves. Eleven of those saves were made in the first half.
“Effort was something I thought was there,” Allen said. “Our play at the draw, our play between the pipes with Manning were both really solid. Now it comes down to offensively converting on those possessions we get off of the draw and taking some better looks on cage, being a little bit more confident on the offensive end.”
Stony Brook outperformed Binghamton in almost every facet of the game. The Seawolves tallied 42 shots while the Bearcats only posted 10. SBU was also watertight on the defensive end, not allowing Binghamton opportunities to shoot and only turning over the ball eight times compared to BU’s 20. Manning’s 13-save game was the only key area in which the hosts outperformed their rivals.
“[The Seawolves] do all of the little things really well,” Allen said. “They’re very purposeful on both the offensive and defensive end. For them, it’s just smart lacrosse. Good IQs out there, and [they’re] really disciplined in the little things that come down to creating bigger opportunities for them.”
The Bearcats are scheduled to continue their home slate this weekend against New Hampshire on Saturday, April 23. First draw control is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.