The weather is cooling down here in Binghamton, but on the soccer field, the BU men’s soccer team is looking to heat up and earn a spot in the America East (AE) Tournament. However, with a 1-0 loss to conference competitors UMBC on Saturday, the Bearcats’ stakes are reaching their peak to secure a victory.

The Bearcats (3-10-2, 2-3-0 AE) came out onto the field hot on Saturday night, putting up two shots, courtesy of sophomore midfielder Noah Luescher, within the first 16 minutes of play. Both shots were saved by the Retrievers’ freshman goalkeeper Quantrell Jones.

In response, UMBC (8-4-2, 3-2-0 AE) recorded a shot of its own that found the back of the net just minutes later. This proved to be the lone goal of the match.

“I thought that we started the game pretty well,” said BU head coach Paul Marco. “We let them in behind us one time down our left side, and they get a cross in the box and they’re crossing and finishing and they take the chance well. They get the goal. And prior to that, we had a couple of really good chances. And then after that, we had a lot of good chances, and I’m just disappointed that I felt like we ran out of time.”

Binghamton continued its offensive aggression for the remainder of the half, forcing Jones to make two more critical saves. UMBC also fired off shots, but none were near enough to the goal to prompt a save from redshirt junior goalkeeper Chris Shutler.

Coming out of the locker room in the second half, BU appeared determined to log a goal, and put in the work offensively to secure one. However, just as before, Jones was able to block each shot. The Retrievers attempted another goal as well, but their shots were either blocked or went wide, and did not require Shutler to step in.

The match concluded in a 1-0 loss for the Bearcats, who were unable to get past Jones. Shutler recorded zero saves during the match, as UMBC had only shot one goal, which managed to slip past Shutler and earn it the victory.

“I think that when a team is on a streak like we are right now, it’s really easy to just throw your hands up, and I don’t feel like our guys have done that,” Marco said. “I feel like our guys are still trying to find a way to win a game.”

Leading the team offensively, sophomore forward Jack Muller posted four shots and one shot on net. Unfortunately for the Bearcats, none of these chances translated to a goal.

“I thought that [Muller] was pretty lively, as usual,” Marco said. “He won a lot of balls for us. He put the ball in a lot of great positions to get goals. He had a couple of good strikes himself that just went right at the goalkeeper.”

As the team looks ahead, Marco seemed aware that another conference loss would affect his squad’s chances at qualifying for the postseason.

“We know that we’re still playing for playoffs, we know that that’ll go through to the last day, as it usually does,” Marco said.

Up next, Binghamton will have its final scheduled home game of the season against the University of Vermont. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.