Visibly exhausted and frustrated after two overtime periods, the Binghamton men’s soccer team left the field with only a tie against Hartford on Saturday. The Bearcats (5-2-5, 0-0-2 America East) posted their second straight 1-1 game against an AE opponent.
Sophomore forward Nikkos Psarras put the Bearcats up early, scoring his fourth goal of the season in the eighth minute off an assist from sophomore midfielder Harrison Weilbacher.
“I thought it was a very good game, a very competitive game,” said BU head coach Paul Marco. “A fair performance from our guys. I was a little disappointed with some spells of the game, but give Hartford some credit: They were very competitive.”
In the 39th minute, the Hawks (4-5-3, 0-0-2 AE) tied the game off a corner kick from senior midfielder Udi Cohen. Senior forward Jeff Tryon headed the ball into the net for his third goal of the season.
“I thought we did enough,” Marco said. “I am a little disappointed we didn’t get a win, but obviously to come out with a point in a tight game like that was a pretty good result.”
Both teams demonstrated playoff-caliber defense, as the first half was a back-and-forth battle with constant possession changes. Hartford fired off three shots in the first half and just two in the second.
“It’s a little defeating coming out with a tie after that one because I do think we out-played them a bit,” said senior back Zach Galluzzo. “It’s not the worst outcome we could have had.”
Both the Bearcats and the Hawks hustled it out until the end. The majority of Binghamton’s shots came in the second half. Overall, the Bearcats tallied eight shots, while Hartford had only two.
Even in overtime, there were frequent possession changes and numerous scoring opportunities.
“We’re really tight as a back four,” Galluzzo said. “We have a lot of drive, we don’t want anyone to score. As much as you can say we did well with only allowing five shots we did let one in.”
This season, the AE is one of the more competitive conferences in the country. Two teams, UMass Lowell (UML) and New Hampshire, are nationally ranked. But last weekend, Stony Brook defeated New Hampshire, 2-0. Going into Saturday night’s game, Binghamton ranked 61st in the country in RPI, its highest ranking since 2008.
Binghamton was lucky enough to have an entire week off after its last-minute tie with UML. Hartford tied Albany last Saturday, but had a short two-day break before a nonconference game against Northeastern on Tuesday.
“I thought we had a great week, that’s what I’m a little disappointed in,” Marco said. “I thought tonight’s performance would have been a little better, maybe one or two levels higher than what we actually performed at.”
BU is scheduled to continue conference play on the road at UMBC on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Retriever Soccer Park, in Baltimore, Maryland.