After a four game road trip, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team returned home to face Colgate on Wednesday for its last home matchup before conference play begins. Despite the score being tied at four over halfway through the second quarter, the Bearcats pulled away with five unanswered goals before halftime and continued to build their lead in the second half to earn a 17-9 win.
“I think it just came down to execution [on] both sides of the ball,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “We talked about that being one of our focuses and goals today, especially on the offensive end and making sure we were converting on shots today similar to our output versus Niagara. Just much better attention to detail when placing on the offensive end.”
BU (3-4) applied pressure early, getting the first two shots on goal. However, the Raiders (1-4) found the back of the net first with just over 10 minutes to play in the opening frame. BU responded a few minutes later as senior midfielder Isabella Meli scored an unassisted goal. Less than a minute after Meli, junior midfielder Hayley Weltner gave the hosts a 2-1 lead for her sixth score of the season. Despite Colgate evening the score at two apiece, the hosts retook their lead as Meli scored her second goal of the game with 13 seconds remaining to make it 3-2 after the first period.
Meli wasted no time securing her hat trick, finding the twine yet again less than a minute into the second quarter. The visitors answered with two goals in a row to knot the score at 4-4. The Bearcats broke the tie when senior attack Kenna Newman found sophomore attack Marisa Tancredi slashing toward the cage and scored. Tancredi alone scored three more times before the end of the half with sophomore attack Olivia Muscolino securing a goal of her own to extend BU’s lead to 9-4 entering the break.
“We wish we had had [offense] a little bit earlier on, but you know, definitely proud of them,” Allen said. “Our goal is to make adjustments from game to game from quarter to quarter. I thought they did a better job of their offensive movement and cohesiveness in that second quarter, and then just kind of carried it through the remainder of the game.”
Colgate came out of halftime wasting no time, finding the back of the net a minute into play. The hosts, however, did not waver as Weltner scored two more goals, one assisted by Newman, to grow the Bearcats’ cushion to six goals. Newman finished the game with six assists, which was a new program record for assists in a single game. Sophomore midfielder Abigail Carroll scored twice and Meli tallied her fourth goal as Binghamton entered the final period up 14-5.
“Thought [Newman] did a really nice job of keeping her head up,” Allen said. “She started to get those early slides to her and double teams, and you know, first couple I think caught her off guard, and then she got her head up and was really looking for that one more opportunity. To be able to come up with six assists too, it’s just a huge, really selfless effort out there.”
In the final frame, BU was outscored 4-3 by the Raiders. Despite this, the advantage that the hosts accumulated was too much to overcome as they secured a comfortable 17-9 victory. Meli, Tancredi and Weltner all earned hat tricks with five, four and three goals, respectively. Additionally, the team broke the assist record with 11 total.
“I think we had 11 assisted goals out of the 17 today, which was a new record,” Allen said. “The more that we can do that, even against a man defense, I think is pretty impressive. Obviously, when you play zone defense out there, you’re going to count on the assistant goals, but to see our team play like that today against man and really be looking for each other is just a testament to the type of unit that we have, the type of players that we have, and [we are] hoping to carry that into Saturday.”
Binghamton returns to action on Saturday, March 11 when it travels to play Marist. First draw control is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field in Poughkeepsie, New York.