The Binghamton men’s lacrosse team continued its impressive play over the weekend, this time against conference opponent UMass Lowell. The Bearcats’ 15-8 defeat of the River Hawks on Saturday marked their third straight road victory and their fourth consecutive win overall.
“We were treating these as business trips,” said BU head coach Kevin McKeown. “The guys did a great job responding and buying in to what we were telling them.”
Against UML (2-6, 0-1 America East), BU came out with guns blazing, scoring five unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead going into the second period. The Bearcats (5-1, 1-0 AE) maintained a comfortable advantage over the River Hawks until they blew things open in the fourth period, outscoring their opponent, 5-2. Their 15-goal effort marks a new season-high for an offense that has averaged 11.5 points per game.
With five goals and three assists, redshirt senior attack Tom Moore led the charge. Moore has proven to be an unrelenting fixture of BU’s offense; he leads the team in scoring with 34 points off 21 goals and 13 assists. With success though, comes attention, and Moore faced extra pressure from UMass Lowell’s defense in the first half.
“I think it’s the first time we saw a defense do something out of their [ordinary play] to try and stop [Moore],” McKeown said. “He didn’t try to do too much and he didn’t get frustrated.”
By focusing on Moore, the River Hawks allowed BU to exploit mismatches elsewhere in their defense. Junior attack Thomas McAndrew led all other scorers with four goals and an assist. From the midfield, senior Tyler DeLuca, junior Liam Reaume and sophomore Joe Licata each added two goals.
The Bearcats’ offensive production can be largely credited to their dominance at the face-off x. Junior midfielder Austin Macchi won 18 of 25, aided by junior midfielder Joe Grossi, who scooped up eight ground balls.
“It makes it easier for you to score and get in the rhythm offensively, so it’s nice to get that advantage on the faceoff,” McKeown said.
This is massive improvement for a Bearcat squad that has struggled from the dot this season. BU also did a solid job transitioning from defense to offense.
“The guys have done a great job buying into what we want to do on the clear, and [we’ve been] using all seven guys to clear the ball,” McKeown said.
The Bearcats also successfully cleared 15 of their 16 clearing attempts. BU’s opportunities to clear are a result of the defense’s ability to sustain pressure on a UMass Lowell team which had 16 turnovers, four of which were forced.
Otherwise, the Bearcats did a good job of suffocating UMass Lowell’s high-percentage scoring opportunities, keeping the River Hawks from converting on both of their man-up situations.
“Hats off to [Coach Kyle Turri],” McKeown said. “He did a good job of getting our guys to recognize their personnel and who’s a threat at certain spots on the field.”
Senior goalkeeper Tanner Cosens had six saves in the win, while redshirt freshman Kevin Carbone made three saves in his first career appearance for BU.
Despite being on a four-game win streak and getting the victory in their AE Conference opener, McKeown stresses the importance of the five remaining league games.
“With there only being six conference games, every one is huge,” McKeown said. “We’re just hoping we can carry the momentum into next week.”
The Bearcats are set to return home this Saturday for their second AE matchup against Vermont. Faceoff is scheduled for noon at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.