The Binghamton men’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to three after forcing a 0-0 tie with conference rival Hartford Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.
“I thought it was a pretty even match. Fair to get a draw in the game,” BU head coach Paul Marco said. “It was a match where both teams got after each other. Both teams were relentlessly attacking, so that increased the defending side of it.”
While Hartford (8-3-3, 1-2-1 America East) held a 20-8 shot advantage in the contest, Marco said the Bearcats (3-7-4, 1-1-2 AE) had more real chances to score than the River Hawks.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t get three points,” Marco said. “I think that we had moments where we could have won the game. There were only a couple of moments in the game when I felt like, ‘Boy, we were fortunate there that we didn’t concede a goal.’ And I think that there were three or four moments for them where they thought that. I think that maybe we had one or two more dangerous attacks than they did, and they had some shots from a distance and some that were never near the target.”
Each team fired three shots on goal.
The Bearcats had a few chances to put themselves in front of the River Hawks, but just weren’t getting the right bounces and calls. In the 17th minute, junior forward Steven Celeste was knocked down by the last defender between him and the net. While the defender only received a yellow card, Marco said he thought that the call could have easily been a sterner one.
“There were a couple of moments where I think a couple of things could have gone our way a little bit more,” Marco said. “One of them, early in the game, Celeste is taken down by the last defender, and he’s only shown a yellow card. Could have given him a red, and no one would’ve been able to complain about it because he was the last guy.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi notched his fifth solo shutout of the season after stopping three Hartford shots.
“Stef had to make a few saves, he made those,” Marco said. “He made some good decisions in the game as well. And the defense has minimized good scoring opportunities. I thought our guys in one versus one defending were very good.”
Binghamton now sits in fourth place in the conference standings. With the loss, Hartford falls to fifth.
Up next for the Bearcats is a non-conference matchup with Columbia Wednesday night.
While the matchup with Columbia can’t impact BU’s playoff chances, Marco said it will be a good opportunity to see non-regulars play.
“We’ll put a team out there that we expect to perform at the level we believe our University should be represented at,” Marco said. “Now, will I play the team that’s going to play on Saturday [against UMBC] for spells of the game? No, I won’t be that foolish. I need to make sure that our team is fresh for Saturday … It’s an opportunity to see a couple of other players as we go down the stretch for these last three [conference] games.”
Kickoff against Columbia is set for 7 p.m. at Columbia Soccer Stadium.