After a slim 1-0 loss against University of Vermont in the America East (AE) conference opener, the Binghamton women’s soccer team improved its AE record as it shut out UMBC Thursday night with a 3-0 victory. The win streak continued Sunday afternoon as the Bearcats (7-4-2, 2-1 AE) overpowered the University of Maine in a close 1-0 game.
The match against UMBC (1-10-0, 0-2-0 AE) came with a few firsts. Senior midfielder Patty Loonie had her first goal of the season, heading the ball into the goal in the 31st minute, while sophomore midfielder Ivana Pjetri scored her first collegiate goal in the 82nd minute. The Bearcats also had their first road win at UMBC this season, with all of their other victories coming from home games.
The first goal of the game came from redshirt senior forward Kayla Saager just four and a half minutes into play as she blasted the ball into the top right corner of the cage. Saager also currently holds two AE top spots in the number of shots taken (68) and goals (9). Saager is also credited with half of Binghamton’s scores this season.
Saager was again a force to be reckoned with in Sunday’s game against Maine (5-5-1, 1-2 AE) as she tallied five shots and had one assist. The lone goal was scored by sophomore forward Genna Michitti. After receiving the feed by Saager, Michitti was able to tap in the ball from just two yards away.
“When you’ve got nine goals, and you’re the leading goal-scorer in the conference, [Saager] is certainly going to attract a lot of attention, but what we’ve talked about to our midfielders and to our wingers is that when that happens, it’s going to create more opportunities for you,” said BU head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “Saager drew [the defense] in, then a great decision to play [Michitti] and then it was an easy tap in for [Michitti].”
Although Michitti was the lone scorer, the Bearcats tallied 12 shots, outshooting Maine, 12-8. Seven shots were produced in the first half, while five shots were taken in the second half from Saager, Loonie, Pjetri, sophomore midfielder Dora Hayes and sophomore defender Erin Theiller.
“I thought our first half performance was very good,” Bhattacharjee said. “I think our movement was good, and we had some quality chances. Obviously, [Michitti] was able to put one away, and I thought that it was a deserved score at halftime. The second half ended up being more of a scrappy affair.”
Binghamton has yet to lose a game at home. In fact, the team has yet to be scored on in a home match, but with the team’s only win on the road coming from the UMBC game, the Bearcats are hoping to continue this trend as they face off against Stony Brook on Thursday at 7 p.m. from the Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, New York.