The Binghamton men’s lacrosse team faced top-seeded Vermont in its penultimate regular season matchup. Despite keeping it close after the first frame, the Bearcats were unable to stick with the Catamounts, falling 17-10.
“Didn’t feel like we played our best game,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “Vermont’s a really good team … We have to play an A-game to beat those guys and unfortunately we didn’t have it [Saturday].”
BU (5-7, 3-2 America East [AE]) struck first less than a minute into the game with a goal courtesy of junior midfielder Luke Rosaschi. Vermont (8-6, 5-0 AE), however, responded swiftly with three unanswered goals. Despite senior attack Kevin Winkoff scoring a goal of his own, the Catamounts tacked on two more goals. Binghamton kept within striking distance after sophomore midfielder Ethan Insinga found the back of the net with 19 seconds left in the period, bringing BU back within two goals.
Redshirt sophomore midfielder Thomas Greenblatt assisted two of BU’s first three goals. The Bearcat finished with five of BU’s seven assists on Saturday.
“[Greenblatt] does a great job of keeping his head up and seeing the field,” McKeown said. “He has a great feel for what the defense is doing and how they’re playing him, and he can see guys and throw the ball with both hands which is huge.”
In the second frame, Vermont began to pull away, starting the period on a 3-0 outpour to put Binghamton in a five-goal deficit. Winkoff helped stop the bleeding, spurring a 3-1 run and bringing BU back within three goals. However, the Catamounts pulled away once more, finding the cage twice over the final two minutes of the period as the Bearcats trailed 11-6 at the break. In the frame, the Bearcats only won two faceoffs compared to eight from Vermont.
“We had three failed clears in that quarter out of six,” McKeown said. “When you’re not doing well facing off, combining that with a 50 percent clearing percentage in the quarter, it’s just not great … And I think defensively we didn’t quite compete at the level we needed to.”
Three minutes into the second half, Winkoff scored his fourth goal to narrow BU’s deficit. Each sides’ offenses were quiet for the next five minutes before the Catamounts got past the goalie twice in under a minute. However, an unassisted goal from senior attack Daniel MacKinney at the end of the period kept BU in the contest as it trailed by five entering the final frame. Period three was evenly contested as Binghamton had only one less shot than the home team and successfully executed all six of its clears.
“If you’re gonna make a comeback, it’s gotta start on the defensive end,” McKeown said. “We knew that, we knew we had to clear the ball well which we did a better job of in the second half.”
Vermont put the game to bed in the final period, scoring four straight goals to take a 17-8 lead with four minutes to play. Graduate student attack Justin Roderka and Winkoff scored two consolation goals in the final two minutes to bring the final score to 17-10. Winkoff now leads the AE in goals per game at 2.75 and points per game with 4.17.
“[Winkoff] did a great job finishing,” McKeown said. “Five goals on 11 shots is a great day, so we just need a little more production from some of the other guys.”
The Catamounts were in control for the entire game as they only trailed for just over two minutes. BU was outshot 47-23 by the home team, allowing 33 shots on goal compared to Vermont’s 16. However, redshirt junior goalie Teddy Dolan was able to hold the home team to just 17 goals thanks to 16 saves on the day. This was the fifth game this season Dolan has tallied 15 or more saves.
“I thought [Dolan] was excellent,” McKeown said. “As a defense, we didn’t give him shots that he feels comfortable with all the time and he had to come up with some big saves … Anytime you can shut the door on an opportunity … It definitely can give you some momentum going the other way.”
Binghamton is slated to return home for its final game of the regular season on Saturday, April 30 against UMass Lowell. First faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.