The threat of rain did nothing to stop the Bearcats from pursuing their first win of the season against Cornell this past Friday night. Unfortunately, despite the team’s best efforts, Binghamton failed to secure a victory and the Big Red took home the win, 2-0.
“[I’m] just disappointed in the way that we conducted ourselves during the match,” said BU head coach Paul Marco. “We didn’t manage the match well. We had enough seniors on the field today to show experience against a young Cornell team. So, just really disappointed in the performance that our team put forward tonight.”
Both teams were bursting with energy at kickoff, and the action began quickly as Cornell (1-0-0) put the ball in the net just under three minutes into the match. Sophomore forward Jack Muller responded quickly with a shot on goal for Binghamton (0-3-0), but the kick proved futile.
“We played pretty well before their goal and their goal comes too early,” Marco said. “It’s the first time really that they cross the halfway line with possession and they get a goal from it, and it really was our back forward not very good tonight.”
The Bearcats continued to play aggressively for the remainder of the first half. Muller contributed an additional shot, while senior midfielder Harrison Weilbacher put up two shots and sophomore midfielder Noah Luescher made an attempt on goal as well. However, their attempts were thwarted by solid goalkeeping and defense.
Just seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded, Cornell held possession of the ball near Binghamton’s goal. Unable to defend the shot or push the ball out of bounds, Big Red nabbed a goal just as the buzzer sounded, putting them up 2-0 at the half.
Despite the gut-wrenching goal, the Bearcats came into the second period levelheaded. They continued to launch shots toward junior goalkeeper Ryan Shellow, but their aggression progressively lessened. The team was successful in holding off any additional scoring from Cornell, but it was unable to put a goal on the board itself.
With just minutes before the end of the game, the Bearcats desperately attempted to get on the scoreboard, with successive shots from graduate student midfielder Florian Orth, senior forward Chris Nkoghe and freshman forward Ben Hamilton. Their efforts proved unsuccessful, and when the buzzer sounded, Cornell took home the victory, 2-0.
“Hopefully, we get a different response in the next match because the games are getting tougher and tighter,” Marco said. “When you don’t compete and you try to just play soccer, it’s Division I, the players are just too fast, they close you down too quickly and you have to battle more, and we didn’t bring a battle tonight. We just wanted to play pretty soccer and have time on the ball and that’s not going to win games.”
Marco also expressed that he hopes his players will become more committed to training effectively in order to prepare for Division I competition.
“Our guys need to keep believing in themselves, believing in their teammates, working hard together and knocking a guy over in training,” Marco said. “We need to be a little more competitive at training because we don’t see what we see in the match in training. Guys are too careful, cautious, friendly with each other and it needs to be a lot more combative than it is, just like it was tonight in the game.”
Binghamton will look to take home its first win of the season in its fourth game of 2018 this Tuesday, Sept. 4 on the road against Monmouth. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Hesse Field in West Long Branch, New Jersey.