On a partly cloudy Saturday afternoon, the Binghamton men’s soccer team hosted Canisius College for its sixth game of the season. Despite outshooting the Golden Griffins by a 21-2 margin, the Bearcats left with a 0-0 draw to extend their winless streak to 14 games.
“I don’t really know what I could be critical of other than the outcome of the game,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco. “Just disappointed we didn’t do better in front of the goal.”
Out of their 21 shots, the Bearcats (0-4-2) managed to put seven of them on the net. This was the highest total of shots on goal for BU this season.
The front of Canisius’ (1-2-3) net is where the teams spent the majority of the match. However, much of the Bearcats’ scoring opportunities resulted in missed and blocked shots. Binghamton registered 12 corner kicks on the day, which made way for some of its scoring opportunities. In one of BU’s best scoring opportunities, at the 73rd minute, one of BU’s corner kicks soared to the middle of the penalty box and found graduate student forward Ethan Homler. Homler, who scored four game-winning goals last season, leaped into the air to attempt a header. The graduate student made solid contact with the ball but his attempt just missed the left post and ended up out-of-bounds.
Senior goalkeeper Mats Roorda recorded his only save earlier in the match. Roorda faced the first Golden Griffin during the second minute shortly after the opening kickoff. This was the senior’s first start since Sept. 2 against Colgate, as redshirt senior goalkeeper P. J. Parker has gotten the start in net since then. There has been an open competition between the two for the starting job for each game.
“The competition is still alive and thriving,” Marco said. “It’s wonderful to have two really good goalkeepers.”
Although Canisius only managed two shots on the day, the away side attempted to take advantage of mistakes by the Bearcats to launch its counter-attack. The Golden Griffins had an opportunity that came late in the first half when a Binghamton turnover led to a 3-on-2 break for them. The forwards blitzed down the field. Despite the advantage in numbers, Canisius was unable to find any lanes for high-chance shots. Instead, they were forced into a deep, outside-the-box shot that was deflected by BU. Senior back Michael Bush also made a defensive impact. The 6’ 5” defenseman made his presence known by winning 50-50s and using his height to head airborne balls out of the defensive zone.
“We got the clean sheet today, which is what we’ve been working on,” Bush said. “I’m proud of the boys but disappointed to not get a result.”
While a tie wasn’t the outcome Bush and the Bearcats had hoped for, this shutout was their first of the season. The team added three freshmen and three transfers over the offseason. While the transfer players are responsible for all of Binghamton’s goals so far this season, Marco acknowledged that it will take time for the whole team to be able to mesh together.
“I didn’t realize it was going to take us so long to bring in the new faces, possibly because we got a lot of transfers,” Marco said. “It’s just taken us a little bit more time than it normally does, [but] the group is starting to trust each other a little bit more on the field. They’re starting to work for each other [and] they’re starting to feel like they let each other down.”
BU will continue its home stand on Tuesday, Sept 20 against Hofstra. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.