The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team stampeded the Hartford Hawks on the road, using overwhelming pressure to cruise to a lopsided 24-1 victory. The win over its America East (AE) opponent gives the Bearcats (6-7, 3-2 AE) their best start to conference play in program history.
“We played as a collective unit on both sides of the ball,” said BU head coach Stephanie Allen. “Our girls came out with a game plan that I thought they executed very well … Ball distribution was a big focus of ours going in on the offensive end and I thought they did a very good job.”
Binghamton’s strength in the game came once again from its ability to spread the offense, something it has been very adept at this season, as 13 different Bearcats found the back of the net at least once. Senior attack Tiffany Ryan led the way for Binghamton with four goals and two assists, while two other Bearcats, redshirt senior attack Brianne Arthur and freshman attack Paige Volkmann, netted three goals apiece.
Defensively, BU didn’t give Hartford (1-10, 0-5 AE) the slightest chance to generate scoring. The stifling defense that the Bearcats put together allowed Hartford to get off only seven shots, five of which were directed on goal. Binghamton played three goalies throughout the game, but none of them had to do very much; the three of them made only four saves collectively.
On offense, meanwhile, Binghamton buried Hartford under a barrage of shots. The Bearcats shot the ball a full 45 times, taking advantage of the open space they created. Thirty-one of the Bearcats’ shots went on goal, with 24 getting past Hartford freshman goalie Cassidy Hock.
“We were facing a zone defense,” Allen said. “A lot of times you can get sucked into just standing around, [but] us moving out there created some extra openings and gaps that we were able to find and take advantage of.”
The scoring barrage started when Arthur found the back of the net less than a minute into the game, on an assist from Ryan. Five minutes after the opening draw control, the Bearcats were ahead 4-0, and it was beginning to seem evident that the team was clicking. The team kept scoring and didn’t look back, until suddenly the first half came to an end with the Bearcats up 14-0. The Bearcats tacked on four more in the second half before Hartford scored its first and only goal of the contest, courtesy of senior midfielder Caroline Massey. At that point, though, the result of the game was a foregone conclusion.
The Bearcats dominated the Hawks in every statistical category, indicating how one-sided the match turned out to be. Binghamton doubled the Hawks up on draw controls, committed six fewer turnovers and had 10 free-position shots to Hartford’s none. All in all, it was arguably the most complete performance put forth by women’s lacrosse all season.
With 13 games in the books, the end of the season is less than two weeks away and is rapidly approaching. With the dominant win over Hartford at their backs, the team looks to use it as a tailwind to propel it to victories in its final three games of the 2018 campaign.
“Going into a big week ahead it gives us a lot of confidence and momentum,” Allen said. “We have two really important games coming up this week in Cornell and UMass Lowell. Continuing to keep the focus on us in practice and getting better each and every day is our primary goal.”
The Bearcats are set to face Cornell tomorrow. The home game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.