On Saturday afternoon, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team hosted St. John’s as it looked to bounce back after a loss in its home opener. Both teams went on multiple runs throughout the game, but the Bearcats scored two goals late, propelling them to a 13-12 victory.
“I thought [the game] was up and down,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “I was proud of the way we held our composure. I don’t think we got too high or too low.”
BU (3-1) struck first against St. John’s (0-5) with a goal from redshirt junior midfielder Thomas Greenblatt halfway through the first quarter. The game remained low scoring throughout the opening period until the Red Storm answered back, going on a three-goal run, two of which in the final minute.
The second quarter started unlike the first when the Bearcats gave St. John’s a flurry of goals of their own. Two minutes into the second frame, senior midfielder Nicholas Imburgia scored a goal to make the score 3-2. Following that score, Binghamton added four more unanswered, each of them coming from a different Bearcat.
“We got a lot in transition there,” McKeown said. “We were attacking, that was part of our game plan. A lot of the time [consecutive goals] come in spurts, it’s not going to be a consistent thing.”
After BU scored five goals in a row, the Red Storm responded with three more, leveling up the game at six with approximately four minutes remaining in the half. Nevertheless, junior midfielder Aaron Tebo scored the last goal of the half, which would also be his first goal of the season, with just over a minute left to play, giving the Bearcats a slim 7-6 lead going into the second half.
“I was a little disappointed with how we played 6-on-6 defensively in [the second] quarter,” McKeown said. “I felt like we could have had a little bit of a bigger cushion going into the half.”
The third quarter began with a quick goal from St. John’s to tie the game at seven. Less than a minute after the visitors’ score, Binghamton regained the lead with a goal from senior midfielder Quinn O’Hara and added to that advantage with another score from the Bearcats’ leading scorer, sophomore attack Matthew Keegan. After those two goals, the Red Storm went on another run, giving them the lead heading into the fourth.
“I thought they got after us in transition a little bit,” McKeown said. “We struggled [in the] third quarter clearing the ball at times.”
St. John’s started off the fourth much like how it started the third, with a quick goal to extend its lead 11-9. The Bearcats were quick to return, with a goal from junior midfielder Ethan Insinga. The rest of the quarter was without scoring, until, with under five minutes left, Binghamton tied the match. However, the visitors answered back, making the score 12-11 with two minutes and 36 seconds left. Binghamton came alive in the contest’s final minutes, adding a goal from O’Hara to tie the game, along with a late score from Greenblatt with just 40 seconds remaining to give Binghamton a 13-12 lead, and ultimately, the win. In addition to a clutch goal in the final minute of the game, Greenblatt scored two other goals, earning himself a hat trick.
“I felt a lot of confidence in our group in the fourth quarter, so I wasn’t shocked when we stayed the course and were able to pull it out,” McKeown said. “I thought [Greenblatt] did a really good job. He does a great job of letting the game come to him. He gets everybody involved on the offense, and it was good to see him step up and score three today.”
Binghamton will go back on the road to face Lehigh on Tuesday, March 7. First face-off will be at 6 p.m. at the Frank Banko Field at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.