After an exciting opening-day win, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team picked up its first loss of the year in a close match against Niagara. Even though the Bearcats (1-1) opened their match against the Purple Eagles (1-0) on Saturday afternoon with a promising 3-0 lead in the first two minutes, their quick three-goal surge was not enough to take the win as BU fell in a contested 8-7 loss.
After the first three goals were netted by redshirt senior attack Brianne Arthur and senior midfielder Jacqueline Kennedy, both squads played a game of back and forth. The Purple Eagles earned a total of three goals and the Bearcats came away with two more of their own, putting the score at 5-3 when the first half ended.
“We expect big things from [Arthur] and [Kennedy] as well as their fellow offensive players out there,” said BU head coach Stephanie Allen. “[Arthur and Kennedy] did a nice job of taking advantage of some weak defensive play, and [Kennedy] utilized her speed out there to gain some fast-break situations.”
Niagara’s slow and steady pushback during the first half of the game was enough for the Purple Eagles to find their stride in the second half. Less than four minutes into the half, Niagara netted two goals, tying up the score at 5-5.
Binghamton did not surrender its advantage easily, though, and Arthur posted another tally for the team. Within minutes, however, Niagara bounced back and scored two goals to put them up 7-6. With just seven minutes left in the game, the Purple Eagles upped their lead to 8-6. The Bearcats tried to bounce back from the deficit, and it looked possible when Kennedy converted on a shot with five minutes remaining. Binghamton ultimately fell short, and Niagara took the victory, 8-7.
“We struggled with execution [Saturday], both with our ball-handling and offensive strategy going into the game,” Allen said.
Both Arthur and Kennedy scored hat tricks, contributing to six of the team’s seven points, while the other goal was scored by freshman attack Paige Volkmann, who was named the America East Women’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week last week.
“[Volkmann] is a dynamic and creative player that gives us options,” Allen said. “We like to use her speed, and she works incredibly hard on the ride.”
Binghamton’s pair of goalies, senior Emma Jehle and sophomore Taylor Passuello, were solid in the net and saved 12 out of the 20 shots on goal. Jehle logged five saves while Passuello had seven.
“I thought we had really good play in between the pipes from both of our goalkeepers,” Allen said. “I thought that they came up with some key stops for us.”
Last season, the Bearcats edged out Niagara 11-10, but a role reversal took place on Saturday afternoon as Binghamton faced its first loss of the season and broke its eight-matchup winning streak against Niagara that dated back to 2006.
“Everything is fixable,” Allen said. “We just need to have better execution and decision-making.”
Binghamton is scheduled to return to the field on Thursday, Feb. 22 for an away game against Lafayette. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. from the Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex in Easton, Pennsylvania.