The Binghamton women’s soccer team’s usually tight back line faltered in the first half against Stony Brook on Sunday. This shortcoming, coupled with the Bearcats’ usual inability to capitalize on scoring chances, led to a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Seawolves (4-7-2, 1-1-0 America East). The loss was BU’s fifth straight.
Attempting to win their first game in two weeks, the Bearcats (4-7-2, 0-3 AE) faltered early on. The Seawolves started strong, taking the lead in the 12th minute on senior midfielder Amy Thompson’s header. Down, 1-0, BU increased offensive pressure, playing a faster-paced game.
The increased attacking pressure proved futile as Stony Brook doubled its lead in the 26th minute. The Seawolves’ junior defender Sydney Vaughn sent a pass to senior forward Raven Edwards, who went in on a breakaway. Edwards then scored her fourth goal of the season to put Stony Brook ahead, 2-0.
Despite a shaky first half, Binghamton came out energized in the second, outshooting Stony Brook, 9-2. Redshirt junior forward Michele Galvin and senior forward Leighann Bennett each put up three shots. The Bearcats had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the match but failed to capitalize on any of them.
BU head coach Neel Bhattacharjee believes improving his team’s effort and performance in the first half is key if they want to get back on track this season.
“Although we came out stronger in the second half, the first half is where we need to make a statement,” he said. “Our defense is usually very poised and ready, but that was not the case today. We need to get in a better habit of pressuring the other team earlier, in order to get more opportunities on offense. This will give us a better chance of scoring, and not wither down our defense.”
In the 58th minute, Thompson netted the Seawolves’ last score of the game — her second of the day — to seal the deal for Stony Brook.
Prior to Sept. 15, when the Bearcats lost their first of five consecutive games, the team looked like it was making serious progress compared to that of last season. This year’s squad already had more wins than the 2015 team, and has scored only one goal fewer in the first half of the season this year than all of last year.
The Bearcats’ past five games, however, have been anything but promising. Binghamton hasn’t found the back of the net since its 3-1 win over Temple on Sept. 11.
“The girls, both upper and lower classmen, worked so well together during the first stretch of the season, executing and sharing the ball efficiently,” Bhattacharjee said. “But since then, we have not played with the same of style and urgency that makes us so good. We need to press more, and ultimately put the ball in the net if want a chance to win against upcoming opponents. Our defense can’t do it by themselves.”
Binghamton is scheduled to play against Albany on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.