Behind strong first-half offensive play and airtight defense in the second half, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team earned its first win of the season on Wednesday night against Lafayette. The Bearcats (1-3) defeated the Leopards (2-1) in a 9-7 victory in Easton, Pennsylvania.

“I’m just really proud of both sides of the ball, really working together and fighting for one another,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “Our defense had such an outstanding second half and [was] really locking things down on that end when we needed some big stops to preserve the lead.”

The scoring started quickly, as junior attack Paige Volkmann netted her first of three goals 80 seconds into the game, weaving in between the defense and slotting it into the back of the net. However, Lafayette answered quickly with a goal 26 seconds later. After the Leopards took a 2-1 lead, Volkmann responded with an equalizer. Two goals by sophomore attack Sidra Morchower and a hat trick goal by Volkmann added to the Binghamton scoring line, and at the end of a furious first half, the Bearcats held an 8-5 lead.

The second half was dramatically different, with only three goals scored. In the second minute, junior midfielder Alyssa Sanchez scored Binghamton’s lone goal of the half. The Leopards responded with two goals, cutting the Bearcats’ lead to 9-7 with 23 minutes remaining in the game. From that point forward, with neither offenses flowing, Lafayette was frustrated by Binghamton’s ability to press and make big defensive stops.

“The things we needed to do to secure this win were to get them uncomfortable on their offensive end,” Allen said. “Every time we put the ball on the ground, it needed to be a Bearcat ball.”

The Bearcats outshot the Leopards 29-21, forcing 11 caused turnovers. Other goal scorers included sophomore midfielder Sofia Afkham, freshman attack Rebecca Korn and freshman midfielder Isabella Meli.

“We had six people get on the board today, which is key,” Allen said. “If we can have more than five or six people putting up shots and putting the ball in the back of the net, we’ll be in good shape.”

Leading the charge for Binghamton was Volkmann, whose hat trick raised her team-high season goal total to eight.

“I think [Volkmann] stepped up again today, and it was nice to see her rebound from Saturday’s game [against Mount St. Mary’s] where she had some good shots and looks and just wasn’t finishing to her ability,” Allen said. “I thought she worked well with the defense that she was seeing out there today and really exposing some holes. We’ll continue to look to her.”

The team relies on early nonconference contests to identify where they need to improve before beginning conference play. With a quick turnaround before their game this weekend against Marist, the Bearcats have a limited amount of time before they hit the road again.

“We’re happy to have one under our belt and to continue to get back tomorrow and get after it so we can secure a good game plan for Saturday,” Allen said.

First draw control against the Red Foxes (0-4) is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field in Poughkeepsie, New York.