After securing its first win of the season against St. Bonaventure last weekend, the Binghamton men’s soccer team was defeated by Lafayette 2-0 on Saturday night. After a quick goal from Lafayette, play stopped less than 15 minutes in due to a thunderstorm that resulted in a one-hour and 46-minute delay, before the game finally resumed. After a stagnant first half, the Bearcats improved their play in the second half. Nevertheless, it was not enough as Lafayette scored another goal, which ultimately led to a 2-0 defeat for the Bearcats.
The Leopards (3-0-2) came out of the gates hot to begin the match, getting on the scoreboard just over a minute in to take an early 1-0 lead over Binghamton (1-4-0). Lafayette received an opportunity after taking control of possession and shooting the ball on goal right away, which was eventually saved by Binghamton’s graduate student goalkeeper Dylan McDermott. After that, Lafayette regained possession of the ball and took a shot that deflected off of a Binghamton defender and went into the back of the net.
“The field players I thought were on it to start,” said Binghamton head coach Paul Marco. “We were one and two touches. We looked great, and now we are chasing the game because you give up a soft goal.”
With Lafayette leading 1-0, less than 15 minutes into the game, a storm came through the Binghamton area, delaying the game for one hour and 46 minutes. This was the first time a lightning delay happened in a Binghamton men’s soccer game since Oct. 4, 2006. After the delay, both teams struggled to get any good scoring chances throughout the rest of the first half. Binghamton managed to get three shots off in the first half after the delay. However, none of those shots were on goal.
“Through the weather delay, I thought we were good when we came back out,” Marco said. “We just didn’t find a way to get a goal.”
The second half saw more aggressive play from the Bearcats. As a result, Binghamton received four yellow cards compared to only one on Lafayette’s side. However, Binghamton was able to get more scoring opportunities, with two shots on goal later in the half.
“We asked one of our players to get a little higher in the team,” Marco said. “We pushed one of our wide players higher in the team and then we were asking one of our central midfield players to run in behind a little bit more. So those two changes helped.”
Binghamton’s first shot on goal came in the 68th minute when freshman forward/midfielder Marcus Nahim drove the ball down the field and passed to senior midfielder Markos Touroukis, who tipped the ball toward the net, which was saved by Lafayette. The second shot on goal from Binghamton came after a series of passes that ended with junior forward Mael Lopes having the ball. After he tripped, he took a shot that went left and also ended in a diving save from the Leopards’ goalkeeper.
“There were two balls I thought should have gone in their goal,” Marco said.
In the 81st minute of the game, Lafayette took advantage of a corner kick. The ball was crossed into the box and the Leopards found a way to head it into the net, giving Lafayette a 2-0 advantage over the Bearcats with just nine minutes left in the match.
“It was a great finish [from Lafayette],” Marco said. “Good delivery and a great finish.”
Overall, Lafayette outshot Binghamton 12-7. In addition, Binghamton had three more yellow cards and three more fouls than Lafayette.
Binghamton will look to bounce back against Canisius on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, New York.