The Binghamton men’s soccer team suffered its first home defeat of the season in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to New Hampshire on Saturday.
Just three nights after losing to Albany with six seconds left, New Hampshire (10-4, 2-2 America East) came back from a 1-0 deficit to take down the Bearcats (6-3-5, 1-1-2 AE). The Wildcats found the back of the net in the 90th minute and again two minutes into overtime.
Controversy surrounded the game-tying goal after a questionable high-boot call on Binghamton redshirt junior back Charlie Novoth set up a New Hampshire free kick just a few feet outside of the penalty box. Despite Binghamton’s protest, the call stood and UNH took advantage of the opportunity.
“I was really disappointed in the call that was made,” said BU head coach Paul Marco. “Fair to the referee, he had an opportunity to make a call and he made it.”
The call turned the game around as New Hampshire senior midfielder William Picoux smashed the ensuing free kick into the back of the net to force overtime. Before two minutes had passed in the extra period, New Hampshire sophomore forward Chris Arling scored off of a counterattack. Almost as soon as the game had been tied, it was over.
“We just felt sorry for ourselves in overtime, and that showed in the outcome because we lost the game shortly after overtime started,” Marco said. “We should have at least got a point from that game and we didn’t. It is disappointing because I thought that was one of our best performances of the year.”
For the first 89 minutes of play, fans had reason for celebration as Binghamton’s play was disciplined and clinical.
After withstanding a few promising New Hampshire attacks in the first few minutes of the game, BU dominated possession and held the edge in shots. An acrobatic save off of the post by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alejandro Cubillo at the end of the first half kept the score even. The Bearcats continued pressing forward until a Wildcats’ foul just outside their own box gave Binghamton a free kick from 20 yards out in the 61st minute.
After skying a free kick over the net in the first half, Novoth wouldn’t be denied again, slotting a perfect shot over UNH’s wall and past redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Pesci. It was Novoth’s second goal of the season. His first tally also came off a free kick. Despite the foul at the end of the game, Novoth flourished both offensively and defensively from the right back position.
“I’ll say this: The guys came in the next day and got treatment from the medical staff, and they’ve already started looking forward to getting better this week,” Marco said. “I don’t think any of them are dwelling on what happened Saturday night.”
BU is scheduled to host Vermont on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.