The Binghamton men’s soccer team’s 2013 season came to a screeching halt Saturday night when Javoni Simms found the back of the net 3:20 into the first sudden-death overtime period to give Hartford a 1-0 win in an America East quarterfinal game.
Simms, a sophomore forward, beat a couple of Binghamton defenders on the dribble and found the left post from 20 yards out for his seventh goal of the season.
“It was a world-class goal,” BU head coach Paul Marco said. “Now if your season is going to end … could we have done something about it before we got to the position to shoot? Sure. Could [sophomore goalkeeper] Stefano [Frantellizzi] maybe have seen it before he went past him? Sure. It was in traffic, and he shot between players and those things happen.”
BU freshman forward Alex Varkatzas nearly netted a game-winner in the closing seconds of regulation, but Hartford freshman goalkeeper David MacKinnon got in front of the ball to end the threat.
The Bearcats (3-11-5) had another chance to extend their season in the first minute of overtime, but junior midfielder Ben Nicholson’s shot on goal was stopped by MacKinnon.
Hartford (13-3-3) outshot Binghamton, 20-11, and held the advantage in corner kicks, 5-1.
“I thought we came out and played extremely well,” Marco said. “There wasn’t really a part of the match where I thought, ‘I wish we could just a little more here or there.’ Other than, in front of goal, I thought maybe we could have been a little bit better. We created good opportunities to score some goals, but we didn’t get one. From the energy and effort that the team put into the match, it was first class.”
With the season-ending loss, senior back Robbie Hughes’ and senior forward Marts Reid-Warden’s careers in the green and white are now over. Both players transferred to Binghamton and started the past two seasons.
“They’re guys who have helped us become who we are,” Marco said. “And with the two guys who are graduating, I feel kind of incomplete. I wish we had them for another year. They transferred in. I’d like to see what they could have been another year, which would have been their senior year with me. But I’m very proud of who they’ve become, and they’re certainly ready to go take the world on. Where they are in five years from now is still to be determined. But they’ll be on top wherever they are.”
The Bearcats were plagued with injuries all season long. Sophomore midfielder Danny Carrillo, freshman back/midfielder Charlie Novoth, junior forward Pascal Trappe, junior back Jamie Forbes and senior midfielder Tommy Moon all sustained significant injuries in 2013.
“I think this has certainly been one of the years — probably the most injuries, certainly to a starting team that I’ve incurred in my 20 [plus] years in college athletics,” Marco said. “I think that the challenge that was presented to the team, but I don’t think they ever really saw it as a challenge. They saw it more as an opportunity.”
Binghamton is set to return all but the two graduating seniors as it looks to make another playoff run in 2014.
This story was updated on Nov. 12 at 1:22 a.m.