Twenty-eight days. Six games. Five hundred eighty-six minutes of play. To say that the Binghamton women’s soccer team’s scoring drought was lengthy would be an understatement, making Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Maine all the more sweet.
In the 38th minute, freshman midfielder Rachel Parsons, who had subbed into the game just a minute earlier, headed a corner kick past the goal line for the first tally of the match. This marked the first goal of Parsons’ collegiate career and only the third first-half tally Binghamton (5-8-2, 1-4 America East) has scored all season. Redshirt junior forward Michele Galvin was credited with the assist.
“Once we saw that ball cross the line, it was almost this moment of relief,” Galvin said. “We’ve had balls hit the crossbar like we did in the first half here. We’ve had goalkeepers make double saves on the line, balls cleared off the line, so it’s nice to finally have that one goal across and you could almost feel that sense of relief and we could breath a little bit and just play from there.”
Throughout the game, both teams had multiple chances to find the back of the net. Within the first two minutes, both the Bearcats and the the Black Bears (6-6, 2-3 AE) registered a shot on goal. This pressure did not let up on either side of the pitch during the first half. BU held a 15-8 advantage in shots while both squads recorded five shots on goal.
In the first 45, the Bearcats’ offense made it to the final third on numerous occasions and created many dangerous chances. Freshman defender Ryan Reilly made two runs down the right wing in the 28th and 33rd minutes, but was just off target, connecting with the crossbar and the side netting, respectively.
One area in which the Bearcats excelled was their set piece play. They drew more set pieces and executed them much better than they have this season. Both of BU’s goals came off corner kicks, of which they racked up 11 in the match.
“We’ve been working on corners in practice, and Taylor Schram, our assistant coach, she does a lot of work on the attacking set pieces side,” said BU head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “If you look at the Albany match, it was a very even match but it came down to a set piece. And I said don’t be surprised if the same thing happens this match.”
The teams went to the locker room ahead, 1-0. Maine’s attack came out strong in the second half, recording four shots in the first six minutes. The Black Bears, however, failed to notch any shots on goal. In the 78th minute, Maine finally netted the equalizer when sophomore defender Kate Evans chipped the ball over BU junior keeper Katie Hatziyianis, who was forced out of the goal in an attempt to fend off the attack.
It seemed as though the Bearcats were headed for overtime, but they refused to let the score faze them. Less than three minutes later, BU responded with a goal of its own. Galvin swerved a shot in from a corner kick to take the lead right back.
“We were able to march back down the field,” Bhattacharjee said. “[We’re] a team that shows they’re willing to fight; they’re willing to persevere; they want to be that last man standing. The effort was there for the complete 90 minutes even after an unfortunate moment in the back.”
Despite the win, the Bearcats still are in last place in the AE. They have three conference games remaining.
BU is scheduled to play UMass Lowell on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.