Playing its last road game of the regular season on Tuesday, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team fell, 14-5, to Colgate at Beyer-Small ’76 Field in Hamilton, New York.
Binghamton (6-9, 1-4 America East) scored the first goal of the game, but Colgate (9-5, 5-2 Patriot League) netted six straight to gain a dominant lead it wouldn’t rescind.
“To be honest, it was our focus,” Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen said. “We did a nice job of competing on the draw controls — we’ve been consistent with that all season — but we just took poor shots on the offensive end and lacked focus on finishing our plays defensively for that string of goals by Colgate.”
Though the Bearcats lagged behind the Raiders in goals and in shots, 29-17, the teams were nearly evenly matched down the rest of the stat sheet. Binghamton caused five turnovers to Colgate’s seven, secured eight draw controls to the host’s 11 and scooped up 15 ground balls to the Raiders’ 16.
“There really wasn’t a huge gap as far as the 50-50 balls out there or as far as draw controls went,” Allen said. “It was our choice-making, especially with our shots, and just some unforced errors on the offensive end resulting in good possessions by the Colgate team. They were capitalizing on their opportunities.”
Binghamton’s first goal came under two minutes in, with sophomore forward Callon Williams feeding senior midfielder Renee Kiviat for a quick score. Three minutes later, Colgate retaliated, with senior attack Megan Ark netting her 27th and 28th goals of the season in a 14-second span to take a 2-1 lead.
From there, Raider junior attack Emily Peebles added two scores and freshman midfielder Mary Coogan and junior attack Taylor Fischer netted one apiece to jump up to a 6-1 advantage.
Adding a goal to complement her assist, Williams ended the 20-minute Bearcat scoring drought with an unassisted score. Colgate added three more before Kiviat netted her second of the game with two seconds remaining in the period to send Binghamton into the half down, 9-3.
Come the second half, Binghamton followed its season form in fielding a stingier defense and a more productive offense. Whereas the Bearcats were outshot, 20-8, in the first half, both teams fired off nine in the second. The scoring margin was considerably narrower as well, though the Raiders still held the advantage, 5-2.
“We talked about playing with a bigger sense of urgency and we’ve been seeing that trend throughout the entire season, where we lack focus for a certain period of time, but manage to come back out and compete towards the end of the game,” Allen said.
Sophomore midfielder Valerie DeNapoli and freshman attack Tiffany Ryan each scored once in the second period, rounding out Binghamton’s four scorers in the game. In goal, junior Erin McNulty collected seven saves in her 60 minutes.
Through the season, Binghamton has developed a balanced offensive attack, with its five leading scorers all within four goals of each other. Kiviat leads with 23 goals on the season, Williams has recorded 21, sophomore attack Brianne Arthur has notched 20, and junior attack Sophia Racciatti and Ryan add 19 each.
“We’re in a good place as far as distributing the ball when we really stick to our game plan out there on the field,” Allen said. “Unfortunately we just haven’t had strong possessions … and so that’s what we’ve been working on this week; playing as a team, playing with chemistry because we know we have the capability to have multiple threats out there, and really pose a challenge to our opponents’ defenses.”
The Bearcats will hope to see that potential actualize today when they take on No. 18/19 Albany on Friday. In its last conference matchup of the season, Binghamton will take on its third ranked opponent of 2015. While BU lost to those two by an aggregate score of 33-7, the team looks to come out with a win in its penultimate game.
“We’re facing one of the toughest opponents in the America East, and we know it’s going to be a challenge,” Allen said. “They’re the sixth-ranked offense in the nation as far as scoring goes, and we know we’ve got a big task ahead of us. We’ve talked all week long about laying it out on the line with the nothing-to-lose type of attitude.”
First draw control is set for 6 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.