On Monday, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team faced its toughest challenge of the season so far when it made the trip to nearby No. 2 ranked Syracuse. In a contest where BU was matched up with one of the nation’s best teams, it managed to display a solid offensive performance despite still falling short of the win, losing 17-10.

“I thought we came out and played with confidence and composure for an entire 60 minutes, just the battle in the second and third quarters,” wrote Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “Our offense really tried to manage the clock and work for the best looks on cage. Offensively, they really executed the game plan — we just couldn’t finish shots for a long stretch of time.”

The Orange (3-0) came out firing in the first quarter, scoring four early goals against the Bearcats (1-2) after just five minutes. It wasn’t too much later, though, that sophomore attack Marisa Tancredi and senior midfielder Isabella Meli responded for BU with a goal each. Syracuse extended its lead quickly after, ending the first with a 5-2 advantage.

“[Senior attack Kenna Newman] and [Meli] connected yesterday, and that’s all we are looking for on our offensive end,” Allen wrote. “Teammates gelling and having that chemistry. I was really excited to see [Meli] have a breakout performance — and against one of the best teams in the country.”

Binghamton would only find one goal in the second period when junior attack Madison Murphy snagged her second assist of the game to find junior midfielder Emma Conroy for a score. However, this happened after the Bearcats had conceded an additional five goals. A further effort by the Orange just before the half made it 11-3 at the break. BU continued to stay stagnant in the third, grabbing a few more draw controls but failing to add to its tally as the hosts brought it to 15-3.

It was the game’s final period in which Binghamton found its footing, beginning the quarter by winning its first draw control of the game through junior midfielder Kristen Scheidel, who had a team-high five. A goal from sophomore midfielder Abigail Carroll from a free position attempt got the ball rolling for BU, as it would go on to score six goals in the final eight minutes. Meli went for a double in the period to complete her hat trick, complemented by goals from sophomore attack Olivia Muscolino, Conroy, Newman and Murphy. Newman also completed her hat trick of assists in this time.

“Draw control-wise, we knew we had a tough job ahead [on Monday],” Allen wrote. “I think our draw crew is battling together better than we did week one and hunting the ball in packs. [Syracuse senior midfield Kate Mashewske] is one of the best at her job, and I felt like we worked hard to limit her self-draws and make them 50/50 balls whenever we could. It’s an area we continue to work on a lot in practice and have to make a lot of in-game adjustments with depending on what their draw taker is showing us and how the officials are calling the game. I was happy to see [senior defender Jamie Golderman] and the circle players perform well against some different draw-takers in the fourth quarter.”

The Bearcats outscored their opponents in the fourth quarter 7-2, but the late rally wasn’t enough to overcome the nation’s No. 2 ranked team as the match ended 17-10 at the final whistle.

BU will continue its road trip when it travels to Siena College on Saturday, Feb. 25. First draw control is set for 2 p.m. at Hickey Field in Loudonville, New York.