In its 2020 season opener, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team was defeated by a wide margin. The Bearcats (0-1) faltered against the Bucknell Bison (2-0) 16-9.

Bucknell was able to maintain possession for a majority of the match, as the Bearcats’ possessions often amounted to a saved shot or a turnover.

“I thought Bucknell brought great tempo and energy to the beginning of the game,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “They have another game under their belt and the ability to get out some of those jitters, that first time against outside competition. That’s something we lacked in the first half today, especially that composure piece and ball handling.”

The Bearcats opened the second half with an early resurgence, scoring four goals to begin the period. Sophomore attack Emily Masera and junior attack Paige Volkmann led Binghamton’s revival with two goals apiece. The Bearcats’ offense found much of its production coming from dodges from behind the goal, where Volkmann and Masera continued to maneuver their way into threatening positions in front of the net.

“We really just talked about playing every minute individually, going out there and winning minute by minute,” Allen said. “For us it was some adjustments on both ends of the fields, offensively and defensively, that were able to create more opportunities for us, but I think it was plain smaller increments and not looking at a whole half that we had to tackle.”

Bucknell’s first half featured a high volume of shots on its part, with 22 shots and 15 shots on goal, while it slowed down in the second with just eight shots on goal. Binghamton, on the other hand, saw more production in the second, putting 11 shots on goal as opposed to seven in the first.

The Bison put up a large volume of shots against senior goalie Taylor Passuello and freshman goalie Emily Manning, who had seven saves combined, all by Passuello. The Bearcats’ defensive line had trouble avoiding the whistle, as Bucknell had six free positions and converted on four of them.

The Bison were able to stifle the Bearcats’ run with their first goal of the second half coming at the 17-minute mark; the match was a back-and-forth affair following that Bucknell goal. Passuello made several key saves to halt a potential run by the Bison.

Still, Bucknell slowly regained control as Binghamton’s offense became stagnant and possession was controlled by the Bison.

Bucknell junior attack Eve Calabria led all players in points with six points, three goals and three assists. The Bison finished the match with eight assists, as they often found openings in the Binghamton defense.

The Bearcats showed glimpses of a comeback once again with nearly four minutes left in the match as they scored two quick goals in transition against the Bison defense. As the game progressed into the final minutes, however, Bucknell was more dominant on the draw controls, led by freshman defender Ella Payer.

The Bearcats’ defense had key contributors, with junior defender Brianna Distler collecting three ground balls and senior defender Alexa Franze collecting four ground balls and adding three caused turnovers.

“I thought [Volkmann] did an outstanding job on the offensive end,” Allen said. “She had four goals. She was a strong finisher for us today and somebody that regrouped after the first few possessions that she maybe didn’t find success in. Additionally, [Distler] had a number of ground balls out there today along with [Franze], that had some caused turnovers and ground balls. Those two on the defensive end really came out strong for us.”

The Bearcats will look to improve with a challenging matchup against top competition on Sunday, Feb. 16 against Syracuse. First draw control is set for 8 p.m. from the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.