For its final nonconference game of the season, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team faced Cornell on Wednesday. Entering this game, the Bearcats held a 0-9 record against the Big Red. However, the visitors rewrote the script and obtained their first ever victory over their in-state rivals with a 13-12 win.
“I just think it’s a really big win for the players and for the program,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “[I] felt like they came out today with the confidence they needed to secure that type of result.”
After winning the opening draw control, BU (5-4) attacked Cornell’s (5-2, 2-0 Ivy League) cage right away as sophomore midfielder Abigail Carroll scored twice in the first minute and a half of play. The Big Red eventually got on the board with an answer to bring their deficit back to one goal. The Bearcats, however, responded a few minutes later when junior midfielder Hayley Weltner made a quick move to get around her defender and score. A few minutes later, the hosts scored two straight goals to knot the game at three goals apiece. The visitors remained persistent as sophomore attack Marisa Tancredi took the lead again in the closing moments of the period to go up 4-3.
“We were able to [score early] against Marist as well,” Allen said. “We’re looking to kind of get in the same rhythm early on against Cornell, and certainly winning those first couple of draw [controls], and getting the ball on our offensive end helped.”
Binghamton struck first in the second frame as senior midfielder Isabella Meli scored her 14th goal of the season to give the visitors a two score cushion. Cornell fired back with two consecutive goals to even the score once again. The Big Red took their first lead of the game off of a free position goal. Despite falling behind, the Bearcats found an opening as Tancredi netted her second of the game. However, the hosts scored once more as BU entered halftime down 7-6.
“I think we had the composure throughout the game that we needed to not let [Cornell] go on runs,” Allen said. “Even though they kind of bested us in that same quarter, we were still in the game, and we still had the same mentality and confidence that we started with. So, just really proud of the grit and battle that our girls on both sides of the ball displayed today.”
In a similar fashion to the first half, Carroll got the scoring started in the second, completing her hat trick and tying the game at seven. Both sides traded goals until Binghamton rattled off three in a row with under five minutes in the penultimate quarter. In the closing seconds, the Big Red cut the lead to two as they entered the final frame down 12-10.
“I think it was just our communication with each other on the field and connecting and gelling,” Allen said. “We made a couple adjustments in the draw control area, and I thought our girls had a good start to the third quarter with that. And then, just across the board, making sure that when we were getting stops defensively, we were capitalizing on the offensive end and making sure that Cornell didn’t feed off of their second quarter momentum.”
The fourth period started with the Bearcats finding the back of the net first. Despite this, Cornell tallied two goals in a row to bring its deficit to one. For the remainder of the game, the hosts went on the offensive to attempt to tie the game. Binghamton remained solid on defense and held on to secure a 13-12 victory.
“It just came down to heart,” Allen said. “We didn’t make huge adjustments out there on the defensive end to prevent them from scoring. We were just making sure that we were doing all the little things well, and making sure that when we did get stops, we’re working hard to get the ball to the other end of the field and give our defensive players a break.”
BU will begin its America East conference season at home against UMBC on Saturday, March 18. First draw control is set for 12 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.