On Saturday, the Binghamton lacrosse team hosted UMass Lowell for its regular-season finale. The Bearcats struggled to keep up with the River Hawks’ defensive efforts, falling 9-7 on Senior Day.

“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t go out on a positive note for [the seniors] on the home field,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “But credit to [UMass Lowell], they outplayed us and they did a good job.”

BU (5-8, 3-3 America East [AE]) failed to open the game’s scoring after the River Hawks (2-11, 2-4 AE) scored first three minutes in. The away side’s defense held Binghamton out of the net for its first eight shot attempts. With less than three minutes remaining in the first period, senior attack Kevin Winkoff wound up and buried the ball into the net to tie the game. Each team was kept out of the cage for the rest of the frame. BU lost all three faceoffs in the period with junior faceoff Matthew Desouza missing his second consecutive game.

“We got to get creative with some things and look to improve that a little bit as we head into the playoffs,” McKeown said.

The second quarter started with BU turning the ball over in the first minute followed by the River Hawks taking four shots in rapid succession. UMass Lowell capitalized, scoring twice in less than a minute to put Binghamton in a two-goal deficit. Five minutes later, River Hawks took advantage of redshirt junior goalie Teddy Dolan falling on a save and scored on an open net. UMass Lowell made it a 5-0 run before junior midfielder Quinn O’Hara stopped the bleeding with less than thirty seconds, as the Bearcats went into the half down four.

“I just didn’t feel like we had that the compete level that we needed to,” McKeown said. “And that we had in the second half that sense of urgency that we need for 60 minutes.”

The Bearcats came out of the break aggressive, putting up two shots before Winkoff found the back of the net on the third attempt to cut Lowell’s lead to three. Each team was kept out of the net before the River Hawks made it 7-3 with under five minutes left in the penultimate period. Two minutes later, Binghamton responded with back-to-back goals just over a minute apart. That momentum was short-lived, however, and with 16 seconds on the clock, the River Hawks cleared the ball and went coast-to-coast, scoring an unassisted goal to make it a three-goal game once more.

“The end of the third quarter really took a little bit out of us,” McKeown said. “Obviously we would have been a little closer at the end if that didn’t go, but again I thought they outplayed us for 60 minutes.”

The final frame began quietly for both teams until graduate student attack Justin Roderka scored a closeup goal off of a freshman attack Matthew Keegan feed. BU had several opportunities to close the lead to one, but two missed shots and a turnover gave the River Hawks a chance to score an insurance goal to make it 9-6. The Bearcats were able to find the net with 47 seconds to go, but it was too late as Binghamton dropped its second consecutive game.

“[UMass Lowell’s] zone was good and we struggled with that,” McKeown said. “Their goalie played really well, especially in the second half, he came up with a lot of saves when we were starting to put more pressure on them.”

Binghamton will head to Vermont for the first round of the AE semifinals. The Bearcats will be the No. 2 seed and take on No. 3 UMBC. The last time they played each other, BU won 12-8.

“[UMBC’s] definitely a team we’re familiar with and gonna be a tough challenge all across the board as it always is in the playoffs,” McKeown said. “We’re looking forward to it and hopefully have a good showing.”

Round one of the AE Championships is scheduled for Thursday, May 5. Faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Virtue Field at Archie Post Athletic Complex in Burlington, Vermont.