The drought continued for the Binghamton University women’s lacrosse team on Saturday as the University of Vermont jumped out to an early lead and toppled the Bearcats 12-7, to push BU’s losing streak to seven straight games.

Vermont (9-7, 2-3 America East) scored the game’s first goal at the 13:13 mark of the opening period, and junior midfielder Casey Bulman responded quickly with a goal for the Bearcats to even the score at one. But the Catamounts then went on a 3-0 run to close the first half with a 4-1 lead.

BU head coach Tony Zostant said he was pleased with the team’s adherence to the game plan but believed its ineptitude on offense led to its demise in the first period.

“It was a hard-fought first half and we were doing what we wanted to do,” Zostant said. “[But] we came out slow offensively in the first and only scored one goal. It was 4-1 at half. So I think we did what we wanted to do in the first half, just offensively did not get on the board.”

BU junior midfielder Katherine Hunsberger opened the scoring in the second half to pull the Bearcats within two, but Vermont extended its lead to four after going on a 3-1 run.

Binghamton kept the game close, however, and trailed by three after senior Lis Zuern assisted on a goal from freshman midfielder Emma Hayes-Hurley.

With each Binghamton surge, the Catamounts responded with a sustained run to keep the Bearcats at arm’s length. Goals by sophomore Marcie Marino and senior attack Allison Pfohl gave Vermont its biggest lead of the game, 9-4. Despite a valiant effort by Zuern, who netted the last three goals for Binghamton, Vermont closed the game with two goals to secure the five-goal win.

Zuern’s hat-trick was the 20th of her career and put her in front of Ali Castiglie (109 goals) for second place on BU’s all-time goals scored list with 111. She is nine goals shy of surpassing the all-time scoring leader, Beth Moore, who sits atop the list with 119 goals. Zuern, Castiglie and Moore are the only three BU players to exceed the 100-goal mark.

The Catamounts outshot the Bearcats, 32-20, and forced them into 18 turnovers, 11 of which came in the second half. Binghamton held the advantage in the draw circle (11-of-21) but was unable to connect on three free position attempts.

Along with Zuern’s hat-trick, Hunsberger added two goals and Bulman and Hayes-Hurley had a goal apiece to pace the Binghamton offense.

Pfohl and senior Samantha Stern led the Catamounts’ attack with three and two goals, respectively.

Binghamton is scheduled to face No. 13 Cornell University today at the Bearcats Sports Complex. This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

“We are trying to get better at what we do … and focus [on Cornell],” Zostant said.

Face-off is set for 4 p.m.