Ahead by just one at the start of the final quarter, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team needed a spark to secure its third straight victory. That’s exactly what the Bearcats (4-1) found in a four-goal run, in which four separate players found the back of the net, to open the period against Delaware in Saturday afternoon’s 13-9 win.
“We knew [Delaware] was pretty aggressive defensively,” said BU head coach Kevin McKeown. “They took a couple fouls and we did a nice job of coming out and being composed with our man-up unit.”
After only having scored on three man-up opportunities all year, the Bearcats converted on four of five man-up opportunities against Delaware (5-3).
Composure on both ends of the field powered BU past a tireless Delaware squad on the road. The Bearcats’ coolness under pressure was a product of their effective presence in the defensive zone. To take down the Blue Hens, McKeown knew that his team had to slow down a blistering offense.
“They’re potent in pushing the ball from defense to offense,” McKeown said.
Regardless, the Blue Hens, who came in averaging slightly fewer than 12.5 goals per game, were held to their second-lowest scoring effort of the season.
“It was an effort by all seven guys,” McKeown said. “The defense has done a great job of limiting the higher percentage shots for the other team and giving [senior goalkeeper Tanner Cosens] a chance to make saves.”
Cosens recorded 10 saves in the net; he stops an average of 58.3 percent of shots.
McKeown believes the biggest defensive performance may be entirely absent from the final box score.
“[Senior defenseman Garrett Waldron] held their leading scorer, [Freshman attach Charlie Kitchen], to two goals — he did a phenomenal job.”
While the Delaware offense stalled out, the Bearcat assault plowed on, mounting 22 shots on goal and converting on most of them.
“Our offense did a great job shooting the ball,” McKeown said. “Just under 50 percent shooting — that’s huge.”
Spearheading the barrage was redshirt senior attack Tom Moore, who accounted for seven of BU’s 22 points, including four goals and three assists. This marked Moore’s second consecutive seven-point performance, and his fourth hat trick on the season. He is currently tied for 13th among NCAA Division I players with three goals per game.
“[Moore’s] a high-level player; he makes the guys around him better,” McKeown said.
Junior attack Thomas McAndrew added two goals and two assists, and sophomore attack Griffin Konen finished the day with two goals and one assist. Junior midfielder Kevin Fuchs scored his first goal of the season; he was one of eight Bearcats to score.
“[We’re] doing a great job of finishing opportunities,” McKeown said. “Chris Cooper, our offensive coach, is doing a great job of setting those guys up for what they do best.”
BU will ride its three-game win streak into America East (AE) Conference play this weekend.
“It’s really kind of like the start of a whole new season,” McKeown said. “That’s motivating enough to keep us going.”
Although they have been successful in nonconference play, the Bearcats know that there are areas of their game that need improvement, specifically at the faceoff x, where they went 9-for-25 against Delaware.
“Our wing play at the faceoff wasn’t too strong today, especially in the first half,” McKeown said.
BU is set to take the field in its first AE matchup against UMass Lowell on Saturday. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Cushing Field in Lowell, Massachusetts.