Behind five goals from junior attack Sophia Racciatti, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team captured its home opener, 10-7, over Lafayette on Wednesday. In the winning effort, Binghamton improved to 2-1 on the season while Lafayette fell to 1-5.
Racciatti peppered the Lafayette goal through the 60 minutes, converting five of her seven shots in the game. The 5-foot-10 junior netted three goals in the first half, including the first score of the game just six minutes in, and added another two in the second to keep Binghamton ahead of the competition.
“We’re continuing to work with Sophia on the little things out there,” Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen said, according to a press release on bubearcats.com. “Certainly today we found a weakness in the Lafayette defense where we could continue attack down low. She’s been seeing that space very well, and is finishing very strongly now.”
Also contributing goals for Binghamton were senior attack Alex Fisher, sophomore midfielder Valerie DeNapoli, sophomore attack Samantha Karner and freshman attack Tiffany Ryan. Each netted one goal, while Karner also added an assist.
Despite the Bearcats’ scoring advantage, Lafayette actually pieced together more looks than its hosts. It was sophomore goalie Erin McNulty and the Bearcat backline that ultimately secured Binghamton’s victory, as they collected 10 saves through the two periods. Lafayette held a 24-21 shot advantage through the game, including 17-12 shots on goal.
Especially important for Binghamton was to contain Lafayette sophomore midfielder Kirsten Wilhelmsen, the Leopards’ leading scorer. Through six games this season, Wilhelmsen has already accrued 15 goals on 32 shots at a 47 percent conversion rate. The 5-foot-8 sophomore put up five shots at the Bearcats Sports Complex on Wednesday, but only saw one of them reach the back of the net. Also effective for Lafayette was sophomore midfielder Charlotte Rath, who matched Racciatti with seven shots on the night, though she converted just two into goals.
“I think our defensive unit as a whole just played good team defense, which we’ve been trying to do lately,” Allen said, according to bubearcats.com. “We’re well aware of Wilhelmsen and played tactically to limit her touches on the ball today, and that was pretty successful for us. I thought our players that were positioned in a matchup against her did an exceptional job.”
Lafayette was especially productive in the second half, through which the team put 15 shots on the Bearcat defense. Despite their increased offensive efforts, the Leopards only scored four goals in the second half, although they took a brief lead seven minutes into the second with back-to-back goals from Lafayette sophomore midfielder Amanda Case.
With Lafayette up, 5-4, Binghamton then scored five straight over a 15-minute span to reinstate its lead, 9-5.
Through the game, Binghamton won the ground ball and draw control battles, besting Lafayette, 14-12 and 10-9, respectively.
Up next for the Bearcats is a Saturday road match against Sacred Heart. Play is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Campus Field in Fairfield, Connecticut.