The Binghamton University men’s lacrosse team’s fast start in its second game didn’t keep the team from suffering the same fate as it did in its season opener. The Bearcats fell to 0-2 on the season with a 12-6 loss at Lafayette College on Saturday.
Unlike their first game against Penn State, the Bearcats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first minutes of the game, getting early goals from freshman midfielder Jordan Tripp and sophomore attack Matt Springer. But after a fast-paced, back-and-forth first quarter that saw four goals from each side and four total extra-man opportunities, the game become one-sided as the Leopards scored seven unanswered goals over the course of the second and third quarters to put away the Bearcats. Although the Bearcats outshot the opposition 34-31, it was one of those games in which the score did not seem to accurately reflect the performance of the team.
“We were getting some real good scoring opportunities, but with our young guys we have to do the fundamentals better, and were making some fundamental errors out there that’s hurting us on offense,” said Binghamton head coach Ed Stephenson.
Once again pacing the way offensively for the Bearcats was Springer, who accounted for half the team’s output in recording his second hat trick of the season and sixth of his short career. He has recorded at least a point in all 16 games of his collegiate career to this point.
“Matt’s a high-percentage shooter … because he places the ball extremely well,” Stephenson said. “He’s not our fastest shooter, but he just knows where to shoot and is very accurate with his shots.”
But in order for the team to start scoring more goals, Stephenson needs guys other than Springer to start hitting their shots.
“We’re just not shooting high percentage. Matt [Springer] is shooting 60 percent, but the rest of the offense combined is shooting 10 percent,” Stephenson said. “Offensively, we’re just not playing well together. I also think we need to give [senior midfielder] Frank Donlon more shots. And that’s also up to his teammates to help him out and shake him loose.”
Besides the uneven effort by the offense, the difference in the game was the performance of the two opposing goaltenders. BU’s Jordan Marra faced 18 on-target Lafayette shots, turning away only six of them. For comparison’s sake, Lafayette goalie Andrijko Andrusko turned away 17 of Binghamton’s 23 shots on goal, a remarkable save percentage rate for the sport. While it is the goalie’s ultimate responsibility to stop the ball from hitting the twine, it’s the men in front of him that must stop the opposition from getting into prime scoring positions to attack the goal. Thus, according to the coach, it’s hard to rest all the blame of the low save percentage on Marra alone.
“I thought the defense in front of him didn’t play great, and we were giving up some shots that we didn’t want to give up,” Stephenson said. “So you can’t just look at the stats, there are a lot of factors that go into it. In our game, it’s who’s shooting and where these shots are coming from when talking about goalie saves. But I thought as a whole, from our goalie through our defensive midfield, our defense was a little flat.”
Even though the overall team effort left some things to be desired, Stephenson still whistles an optimistic tune.
“We gotta be more disciplined, stay out of foul trouble, get some good offensive possessions and support each other on defense to be successful,” Stephenson said.
The Bearcats are scheduled to host the No. 6 Cornell Big Red in their home opener 3:30 p.m. today at the Bearcats Sports Complex.