BU (8-3-3, 2-2 AE) took control of the game early over the Retrievers and refused to let down its momentum, leading to a 3-0 shutout for freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Hanna in her first collegiate start.
“Overall, from start to finish it was a solid performance,” said BU head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “We wanted to get off to a good start and we knew things could just kind of flow from there. We talked about being relentless from start to finish, from the first minute all the way to the 90th, and I thought we did that.”
Less than eight minutes into the first half, redshirt junior forward Kayla Saager gave the Bearcats an early lead with a left-footed goal, putting the score at 1-0. This marked her 10th goal of the season and furthered her position as leading goal scorer in the AE.
Just 10 minutes after Saager’s goal, freshman midfielder Dora Hayes netted a header off a pass from sophomore forward Ryan Reilly from 12 yards out. At the end of the first half, the score remained at 2-0, leaving the Retrievers scoreless and trailing in shots, 8-2.
During the second half, the Bearcats worked in a unified effort on both ends to control play. Binghamton allowed UMBC only one shot, compared to BU’s seven. The Bearcats were also able to lengthen their score further, courtesy of a goal from freshman forward Genna Michitti in the 56th minute. Binghamton’s success was not solely due to the offense, but rather a cumulative team effort.
“[Sophomore midfielder Carly Barnett] did a tremendous job for us in terms of ball-winning, and able to connect passes and open the game for us,” Bhattacharjee said. “Any of our freshmen, whether they’re on the front line, on the back line or Mackenzie Hanna in goal. Dora Hayes, obviously in midfield with the goal she scored. We just got a lot of contributions from a lot of different areas and different classes, so it was good to have that big collective effort from everyone tonight.”
The Bearcats are looking to continue this team-wide momentum in their upcoming AE Conference matches. Currently, at about the halfway point of its conference schedule, Binghamton is ranked fifth of the nine teams in the AE.
“For us to get to [the] postseason as one of the top six, usually the magic number is 11, so that’s obviously a goal for us,” Bhattacharjee said. “We gotta collect five points over the next four games, but this group seems to be even hungrier than that. They don’t just want to get the 11 points — they want to qualify for postseason and also host. But we’re just gonna take it game by game.”
Binghamton is set to take the field next against in-state rival Stony Brook this Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.