On Saturday, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team lost to New Hampshire at home in a tight contest. Despite digging out of an early 5-1 deficit, the Bearcats fought back and nearly completed the comeback but eventually fell to the Wildcats 15-14.
“I think [UNH] was going on a few more runs than us,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “The game of lacrosse is a game of runs, and for us to convert on a few more of our shots in the first and second quarters instead of going on those scoring droughts would have put us in a much better position.”
The Bearcats (6-8, 1-4 America East [AE]) opened the match with a quick goal, as sophomore midfielder Madison Murphy scored off an assist from behind the goal. Despite the early goal, the Wildcats (7-7, 2-3 AE) controlled the majority of the first period, keeping Binghamton scoreless until the minute-and-a-half mark. During that span, UNH secured a four-goal lead thanks to a 5-0 run while Binghamton continued to look for openings offensively. However, the Bearcats were able to cut into their deficit and closed the lead to one goal after a three-goal run in the frame’s final two minutes.
The Wildcats remained in control in the second frame, winning five of eight draw controls. UNH opened up the second period with a 3-0 run to earn a four-goal advantage. Sophomore midfielder Jesse Barer ended the run with an unassisted goal, but the Wildcats came right back scoring two goals just over a minute apart from one another. Murphy added another goal to make it 10-6 heading into halftime.
The Bearcats found their offensive stride after the break as they outscored the visitors 4-3 in the penultimate frame. Despite New Hampshire’s draw control dominance in the previous frame, Binghamton won the majority of draw controls throughout the match. BU won 21 of 33 draw controls as senior midfielder Sofia Afkham and sophomore midfielder Kristen Scheidel won six apiece.
“You win that many draw controls, you’re usually winning the game,” Allen said. “We talked a little bit about that during the game, converting on more of those possessions. Today we had a couple of unforced errors, and if we clean that up then we put ourselves in a much better position to win the game … [Afkham] did an outstanding job and the circle players as well gave us an opportunity to compete at the end.”
In the final period, BU put up four goals, nearly completing its comeback. After the Wildcats struck first a minute into the quarter, the Bearcats responded with four goals within three minutes of one another to knot the score at 14. Three of the four goals scored in that span were from freshman midfielder Abigail Carroll. UNH stopped the run with under eight minutes remaining to regain the lead. In the final minutes, the Bearcats had two free position shots to tie it up, but both missed and the Bearcats dropped the game.
“[New Hampshire] was running a zone and they were not sliding to those specific areas,” Allen said. “I was really proud of our ability to get assists in this game as well, finding the openings and the gaps on the offensive end.”
BU was led by Carroll and Murphy who had four and three goals, respectively. Carroll exited the match with less than six minutes left in the fourth period after receiving a yellow card.
“[Carroll] is somebody who can come up with those goals for us, possessions off of the draw she’s gritty on both sides of the ball and a strong defender,” Allen said. “I think losing her definitely hurt us but we had other players step up and put us in an equally competitive spot.”
With one game remaining in its schedule, BU will look to clinch a spot in the AE playoffs when they face Vermont next weekend.
Binghamton is slated to face the Catamounts on Saturday, April 30 for its final game of the regular season. First draw control is set for 1 p.m. at Virtue Field at Archie Post Athletic Complex in Burlington, Vermont.