With the ball in the offensive end and a 2-1 lead early in the second quarter, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team had all the momentum. But a quick turnover led to a pivotal fastbreak goal for Albany. The fifth-ranked Great Danes (10-2, 5-0 America East) closed out the up-and-down quarter with a two-goal lead and never looked back.
The Bearcats (9-3, 3-2 AE) were blanked in the second half, falling, 10-4. The loss marks their second straight loss following their eight-game winning streak.
“I thought the effort that our guys gave was awesome,” said BU head coach Kevin McKeown. “The difference in the game was their goalie and the faceoff play.”
The Bearcats’ offensive struggles continued, and they only managed to find the back of the net four times. After averaging 11.2 goals in its first 10 games, BU has managed just 10 goals in the last two contests combined.
Albany redshirt junior goaltender JD Colarusso was the key to the Great Danes’ defensive effort. He came up with a game-high 13 saves.
“Their goalie came up with some really big saves,” McKeown said. “I thought we did a good job offensively of generating some looks and we had some nice opportunities but [we] just weren’t able to can them.”
Redshirt senior attack Tom Moore, Binghamton’s top scorer, was shut down again in the loss. Moore notched two key goals for BU, but was stifled by Albany’s pressure all night. Albany’s defense directed most of its attention on Moore, forcing BU’s other scorers to produce. That strategy proved successful, as the Great Danes allowed a season low in goals against.
“They did a good job double-teaming some guys and we tried to dodge the double a little bit,” McKeown said. “Albany obviously is a great team and they were better than us tonight.”
The loss drops Binghamton to third in the AE standings and guarantees Albany at least a share of the regular-season conference championship.
A bright spot for the Bearcats was their play on the defensive end. Albany junior attack Connor Fields came into the game ranked first in the nation in both goals (3.73) and points per game (7.18).
BU senior defender Garrett Waldron, who was tasked with defending Fields during the game, got the better of the nation’s top scorer — holding him to only one goal, which came via an empty net and two assists.
“We watched about four or five games on [Albany] and I thought Garrett defended him better than anyone else I’ve seen,” McKeown said. “That was an All-American like effort from [Garrett].”
As a unit, the defense held the nation’s top scoring team, which averages 15.91 goals per game, to just 10 goals. It was just the second time Albany had scored 10 or fewer goals this season. Senior goaltender Tanner Cosens made seven saves, including two key saves in the second quarter to keep BU in the game.
“For as much as they had the ball, to hold them to nine goals six on six, and then we gave up the one empty net,” McKeown said. “I thought we played really well defensively.”
With only two games remaining in the season, the Bearcats will look to regroup and return to winning form. Next up for the Bearcats is No. 1 Syracuse, before they return to conference play in their season finale against Stony Brook.
Faceoff for Saturday’s game against Syracuse is scheduled for 2 p.m. from the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.