The Binghamton men’s lacrosse team traveled to Smithfield, Rhode Island to take on Bryant on Saturday afternoon in its penultimate America East (AE) matchup of the year. Coming into the game, the Bearcats and Bulldogs were tied for second place in the conference standings. Despite an early two-goal lead for BU, a lengthy seven-goal run for Bryant propelled the Bulldogs to a 14-10 win.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “We had a chance to separate ourselves in the standings there. I thought we played hard. We probably could have finished some warmer opportunities on the offensive end. Defensively, we let them go on a roll there in the second quarter, and I thought a lot of that was the result of some stuff between the lines.”
In the first quarter, the scoring started immediately after the faceoff when junior midfielder Ethan Insinga picked up a ground ball near Bryant’s (9-3, 5-1 AE) goal, converting on a shot and giving BU (8-4, 4-2 AE) a 1-0 lead just fifteen seconds into the game. Insinga scored another goal a few minutes later, extending Binghamton’s early lead. However, starting a little more than halfway through the quarter, Bryant went on a four-goal run to end the frame with a 4-2 lead.
The second quarter began with BU and Bryant trading the first three goals of the period. Both of BU’s goals came from senior midfielder Nicholas Imburgia, the second goal on an assist from redshirt junior midfielder Thomas Greenblatt. Greenblatt’s assist tied Binghamton’s single-season assist record at 30. After the even scoring at the beginning of the quarter, Bryant went on a run that consisted of five unanswered goals. The half ended with Bryant, in the middle of their run, holding a 10-4 lead over BU.
“They just got momentum in the middle of the field,” McKeown said. “The second two [goals in Bryant’s run] were right off the faceoff. We knew [Bryant] were dangerous in terms of scoring off the faceoff going in, and I thought we could have done a little better job at getting those transition opportunities.”
After Bryant added two more goals at the beginning of the third quarter, the momentum shifted toward Binghamton throughout the rest of the period. The Bearcats went on a three-goal run of their own, with goals from Greenblatt, and senior midfielders Patrick Murad and Dylan Braddock. By the end of the third quarter, Binghamton managed to cut into Bryant’s lead, however, the Bulldogs still led 12-7.
There was very little action from both offenses to begin the fourth quarter until Bryant scored and extended its lead. Less than a minute after, sophomore attack Matthew Keegan scored on an assist from Greenblatt to break Binghamton’s single-season assist record. After that, Binghamton scored another goal to make it 13-9. Both teams traded goals after that, but at the end of the frame, Binghamton ultimately fell 14-10.
“Defensively I felt like we needed to slide a bit more,” McKeown said. “And I thought we shored that up a bit in the second half, you know. We only gave up four goals. One of them was at the end when we pulled our goalie and doubled the ball. So, I thought we improved defensively in the second half and just overall.”
With a loss against Bryant, Binghamton has moved to third place in the AE standings. With this loss, BU will need to beat Albany at home next week in its regular season finale to keep its current spot in the AE standings. If the Bearcats win next week, they will face Bryant again in the conference semifinal.
Binghamton will conclude AE conference play at home game against Albany on Saturday, April 29. First faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.