Katherine Scott/Pipe Dream Photographer Freshman defender Ryan Reilly recorded one of the Bearcats’ two shots in Sunday’s loss to Hartford.

Heading into its game with Hartford, the Binghamton women’s soccer team had lost three of its past four games and aimed to turn things around in the conference opener. Instead, however, the Bearcats (4-5-2, 0-1 America East) looked like a high school team playing Division I ball, as they were blown out, 5-0, by the Hawks (7-3, 1-0 AE).

“The expectation was that we were going to go in and compete,” said BU head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, but that was the expectation, and certainly is the expectation for every America East game: to compete and get opportunities to win a tight match.”

In the first half, Binghamton kept pace with Hartford, matching the Hawks’ ability to create chances. However, one-on-one battles led to more chances for Hartford than BU. The Hawks capitalized when sophomore midfielder Julia Carr successfully converted a penalty kick in the 34th minute. Eight minutes later, freshman midfielder Kaila Lozada beat BU junior goalkeeper Katie Hatziyianis in a one-on-one.

“When reviewing the first half, we still felt the game was a very competitive match,” Bhattacharjee said. “When you look at the stats, the shots and corners were very much even. The goal at the beginning of the second half was to get a quick goal to get back in the match.”

After the first half, the stats told a different story than the score did. The Bearcats were only outshot by a margin of 5-2, and they held a 3-1 corner kick advantage.

In the second half, though, the stats and the score converged. The Hawks dominated possession as the Bearcats did their best to fend off Hartford’s attack. In the 78th minute, the floodgates broke as the Hawks scored three goals in just 10 minutes. The outburst was sparked by an incredible effort from Hartford senior forward Aaliyah Ingram. She beat her defender, firing a strike from outside the box into the top right corner of the net, leaving Hatziyianis helpless.

Binghamton relied on a counterattack to create scoring opportunities, but had just two shots for the game, with zero in the second half. Only one of those shots was on goal. BU also failed to win a corner in the second half.

“We’re a team that thrives on what we do with our defensive pressure,” Bhattacharjee said. “When we were late getting pressure, or we were simply being beat one-on-one, we were under more pressure and in bad position when we got the ball.”

Despite the demoralizing outcome of the match, Bhattacharjee is hopeful the team can correct many of its issues.

“We’re certainly going to make it a point and talk about it this week — how we’re going to not have a half like [the second half] for the remainder of the season,” he said.

Binghamton is set to play New Hampshire on Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.