The Binghamton women’s soccer team entered Sunday’s match at Maine with a 4-1-1 America East (AE) conference record, and tied with the Black Bears for the first-place spot. After 90 minutes of action, neither the Bearcats nor the home team obtained a lead despite their combined 29-shot attempts. Both squads exited the weekend with a 0-0 draw and remain tied atop the AE standings.

“Today was a pretty good, competitive game,” said Binghamton head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “Two very talented America East sides and both teams were tied for first on points coming into this. The match itself didn’t disappoint. Even though the score ended up 0-0, there were some chances for both teams.”

Up until this weekend, Binghamton (7-5-3, 4-1-1 AE) had avoided any draws within conference play after five AE matchups. Maine (7-2-5, 3-0-4 AE), on the other hand, earned its fourth conference tie after Sunday’s match and has yet to lose a conference game this season. The last time the two teams met was a year ago when they had another 0-0 draw that went into double overtime.

“Maine is a tough place to play,” Bhattacharjee said. “It’s a tough field and the turf is just a little bit more narrow. Maine does very well on their home field too. They know how to use that environment well. We had some chances and just unfortunately couldn’t tuck it away at the end.”

BU had not had a scoreless game this season since the first of September, during nonconference play. Sunday’s match marks just the third time it has happened this season. The game started off slow, as the first shot of the match didn’t come until a Black Bear header attempt in the seventh minute. The Bearcats attempted their first shot nine minutes later, when senior midfielder Olivia McKnight sent a shot wide past the Maine net.

“I thought our backs did well,” Bhattacharjee said. “A couple times [Maine] did have some buildup play, but our backs were there to defend them overall. In the later stages of the game, Maine put some heavier pressure on us, and our backs did well in terms of standing up to them and not giving them clean looks at the net.”

Binghamton failed to find the back of the net with its final three shots of the half, while the Black Bears ended the period with a 6-4 shot advantage. Sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams saved three shots in the first half and ended the match with nine total saves. BU’s final scoring opportunity of the half came in the 43rd minute, when junior forward Davia Rossi put an attempt on net that was saved by the Black Bear keeper.

“[Williams] did very well in terms of her decision-making,” Bhattacharjee said. “She knew when to come off her line, [and] when she could come out for through balls. It was more of a challenging game for her in terms of decision-making rather than sheer shot-stopping. She did really well in that regard and helped us with the shutout.”

The second half showed a more offensive focus from both sides, as the two teams each exceeded their first-half shot attempts. Binghamton attempted six shots in the latter half while Maine peppered the Bearcats’ net with 13 second-half attempts. Although BU was outshot by the home squad in the second half, the visitors made good use of their opportunities, with all six of their attempts being shots on goal.

Despite the scoreless showing from both sides, Binghamton earned itself a few final opportunities to take the lead at the end of the match. Sophomore forward Peyton Gilmore gave the Bearcats life in the 90th minute. The sophomore forced Maine’s goalkeeper to make two game-saving blocks 50 seconds apart just before time expired, solidifying the draw.

“There were a couple of things we wanted to do toward the end,” Bhattacharjee said. “We knew Maine was sending numbers forward, so we needed to break that initial line of pressure.”

BU will continue conference play next weekend, returning home on Sunday, Oct. 23 to take on UMass Lowell for the first time this season. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.