The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team hosted Albany on Saturday for senior day, hoping to clinch a share of the America East (AE) regular season title with a win. The Bearcats and Great Danes were playing a tight contest with the score tied at 7-7 with 10:52 remaining in the third period, but Albany broke the deadlock with a goal a minute later. The Great Danes would never relinquish their lead and pulled out a comfortable 16-11 win over the Bearcats.
“The outcome against Albany was frustrating and not reflective of our abilities as a program,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “It was a week of challenges for us that didn’t help the end result. We are excited to hopefully see them again in the AE tournament.”
The Bearcats (9-5, 4-1 AE) started the scoring when sophomore attack Olivia Muscolino scored off an assist from senior attack Rebecca Korn less than two minutes into the action. The Great Danes (8-6, 4-0 AE) responded two minutes later with a goal, but the Bearcats had an answer seconds later with a goal from junior midfielder Kristen Scheidel. Junior midfielder Hayley Weltner added a goal of her own off an assist from senior midfielder Isabella Meli, but Albany managed to score a goal with three seconds left in the first period to trail the hosts 3-2.
Albany started the second period on a three-goal run, giving it a 5-3 lead over the Bearcats. BU responded with a three-goal run of their own to negate the Great Danes’ stretch. However, Albany was able to tie the game at six before heading into the half.
Both Albany and Binghamton traded goals in the third period to knot the score at 7-7 before the Great Danes scored twice to make the game 9-7. Both teams would add another goal to their tallies before the end of the third period, leaving the score at 10-8 in favor of the Great Danes at the conclusion of the period.
“We had several mistakes back-to-back that Albany was able to capitalize on and gain some separation,” Allen said. “The turnovers compounded and resulted in a stretch that we couldn’t get points on the board.”
The Great Danes started off the fourth period with a three-goal run right before the game would be delayed for lightning with 9:12 remaining on the clock. Albany came out of the delay with another three-goal run to make the score 16-8. However, the Bearcats responded with a three-goal run of their own. It was too little too late for the Bearcats as time ran out, and they walked out of senior day with a 16-11 defeat to the Great Danes.
“We talked about adjustments,” Allen said. “We needed to make defensive adjustments and also take the time to finish our shots on goal. On paper we were in the game and knew that we were an equally competitive team. We just needed to stop [Albany’s] momentum. The first few possessions out of the delay didn’t go our way and that made the comeback a tough feat. I was really proud to see the surge from our team in the final few minutes … it was just too late in the game.”
With a loss against Albany, the Bearcats are now 4-1 in the AE this season and will play in the postseason regardless of their result against UMass Lowell in the regular season finale. However, with this loss the Bearcats missed out on the opportunity to be the outright AE regular season champions and to host the AE tournament. The Bearcats could still share the AE regular season title with a win against UMass Lowell and an Albany loss next weekend.
“We need to clean up our turnovers and continue to talk through game strategy and clock management,” Allen said. “We are looking forward to getting back out there and focusing on all the little things this week as we prepare for [UMass Lowell] and our final regular season contest.”
BU will close out their AE regular season with an away game on Saturday, April 22. First draw control is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Cushing Field Complex in Lowell, Massachusetts.