Despite near-freezing temperatures and slick field conditions, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team stayed hot this weekend. The Bearcats (8-1, 2-0 America East) extended their win streak to seven games with a 14-8 win over Lafayette on Saturday.
“It’s upstate New York weather,” said junior midfielder Stephen Petrelli. “We just keep playing our game.”
The Bearcats revved up their offense early, scoring five goals in the first quarter while allowing just one goal against.
With 11 minutes and 27 seconds remaining in the first quarter, redshirt senior attack Tom Moore assisted a goal by Petrelli. Moore’s assist, his 46th point of the year, tied Michael Antinozzi’s 2012 single-season point record. He broke the record early in the second quarter with an unassisted goal. Moore finished the day with six goals off four goals and two assists — his seventh hat trick of the season.
Petrelli and sophomore midfielder Joe Licata each contributed two goals and an assist. Junior attack Thomas McAndrew posted one goal and one assist, while senior attack Matt Kaser added two goals.
Junior midfielder Austin Macchi had a successful day going 14-for-26 from the faceoff x. BU head coach Kevin McKeown was pleased with his team’s consistency in faceoff situations and its ability to maximize scoring opportunities.
BU’s effectiveness in the offensive zone was punctuated by the defense’s dominance against the Leopards’ attack.
“It starts with [senior goaltender Tanner Cosens] calling cutters and talking to us,” said senior defender Garrett Waldron. “It’s a team game, so if we can play together, then that’s when we come up on top.”
Binghamton’s defensive limited Lafayette (1-8, 1-4 Patriot League) to just 19 shots, while BU tallied 35. The Bearcats also converted 16 of their 17 opportunities, which secured their dominance on the offensive side of the field.
When BU dialed up the intensity on both ends of the field, Lafayette resorted to a more aggressive style of play.
Toward the end of the first quarter, junior midfielder Liam Reaume received a pass near the Lafayette net and took a shot that missed the mark. Seconds later, senior Leopard midfielder Keegan Hickey swept in, sending the defenseless Reaume tumbling to the ground. Hickey was charged a penalty for unnecessary roughness; the Bearcats converted on the ensuing man-up opportunity.
“You just don’t retaliate,” Waldron said. “[The referees] always catch the second guy, so you have to deal with it — we’re used to it — and play physical yourself.”
Despite the chippiness of their opponent, the Bearcats stuck to their game plan.
“We’ve done a good job at practice of preparing our guys for different situations,” McKeown said. “I think we were okay at handling ourselves.”
Composure has been a vital asset to the Bearcats on their seven-game win streak. BU hopes to remain composed during the remainder of its schedule, which includes four conference matchups.
“We just want to get a one-game win streak every weekend,” Petrelli said. “It doesn’t matter who does what; we just want to win.”
The Bearcats are currently tied for first place in the AE. They have not made the conference playoffs since 2014.
As the wins keep rolling in, BU has to deal with added attention from national lacrosse pundits. The Bearcats are currently receiving votes in the two major NCAA polls.
“You can’t just ignore it,” Waldron said. “We’re not focused on what everyone else is saying. We care about what we’re doing.”
The Bearcats are set to return to conference play on Saturday against Hartford. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.