One week after a resounding 15-6 victory against UMass Lowell, the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team picked up its third straight America East (AE) win Saturday afternoon, defeating Vermont in overtime. After taking an early 2-0 lead, BU found themselves down 8-5 at halftime. However, Binghamton outscored Vermont 5-2 in the second half to force overtime. With the game knotted at 10, an overtime goal from junior attack Gage Adams gave BU an 11-10 win over the Catamounts.

“I was pleased with the outcome,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. “I thought our guys competed really well, especially in the second half. We competed well in the first half too, but we were a little sloppy with the ball, turning it over and giving up a couple second chance opportunities.”

Binghamton (5-5, 3-1 AE) struck first with a goal from senior midfielder Liam Ferris. Less than 30 seconds later, BU’s lead grew to 2-0 as freshman midfielder Jack Mellen found twine. Then, within a minute, at the 10:10 mark, Vermont (4-7, 2-2 AE) got on the scoreboard. The Catamounts kept the ball rolling, scoring two more goals to take a 3-2 lead going into the second quarter.

“I think sometimes we maybe could take a few less [shots] to work for some better ones,” McKeown said. “But the chemistry is getting better offensively as time goes on.”

Vermont continued where it left off from in the first quarter, opening the second quarter with two more unanswered goals as BU trailed 5-2. At the 9:35 mark in the quarter, junior attack Matthew Keegan capitalized on a man-up opportunity and soon after Ferris cut the Catamounts lead to one with BU’s second man-up goal. However, Vermont continued to put pressure on Binghamton, finding the net two more times before the half. The Bearcats and Catamounts traded goals to end the half as BU trailed 8-5 going into halftime.

“They won a couple face-offs during that stretch,” McKeown said. “They had a couple looks offensively that we adjusted to well as the game went along. I think the guys settled in and just stayed the course and kept competing.”

The third quarter opened with a five-minute scoring drought. Binghamton ended this drought with three consecutive goals, starting with Adams scoring his second goal of the game. The Bearcats continued to pepper the Vermont goal with shots, tying the game at 8-8 thanks to goals from Ferris and Keegan. BU controlled possession during their scoring run with face-off wins after each of their three goals and they continued to protect the net, forcing Vermont into a 13-minute goalless drought. Nonetheless, the Catamounts got back on the board at the 2:23 mark in the quarter to take a 9-8 lead going into the fourth quarter.

“It’s huge to have possession in our sport,” McKeown said. “I think the momentum, especially when you make a couple of big-time saves at the end of the game, that gives the team confidence and you know that we can pull this one out.”

The fourth quarter began yet again with a six-minute scoring drought as both teams maintained strong defensive performances. Vermont broke the stalemate, scoring again to take a 10-8 advantage with 8:39 left. In the next four minutes of play, Binghamton tied the game up at 10 as Ferris and freshman attack Andrew Girolamo each buried one in Vermont’s goal. The Bearcats were not able to attempt a shot in the final five minutes of regulation, but pivotal saves from junior goalie Connor Winters forced overtime.

The overtime period lasted 63 seconds, with BU winning the initial face-off. The Catamounts were nearly able to force a turnover on the first possession, but a ground ball from Ferris secured the Bearcats possession and set up a shot from Adams that bounced straight into the back of the Catamounts net, securing an 11-10 win for Binghamton.

“With three weeks left, there’s still a little less than half of conference play left,” McKeown said. “We’re kind of focused on one at a time. We know that if we take care of our business, we’ll end up where we want to be, which is the postseason.”

Winters had a season-high 18 saves, extending his streak of 10+ saves to nine-games. Two Bearcats had hat tricks in the game, with Adams scoring three and Ferris setting a career-high of four goals.

“On the defensive end, letting [Vermont] get eight goals in the first half, I think we tightened some things up in the second half,” McKeown said. “[Winters] came up huge with some really big-time saves.”

BU will continue its AE slate against UMBC on Saturday, April 13. First face-off is set for 2 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.