In its regular-season finale, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team clinched a share of the America East (AE) regular season title for the first time in program history by toppling Bryant 20-8. After grabbing an early lead 5-2 in the first quarter, the Bearcats continued to grow their lead to secure their sixth-consecutive win going into the AE tournament.

“Across the board, we had a lot of highlights from today,” said Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen. “[Junior attack Olivia Muscolino] coming up big with nine points for us out there, we had five different players with hat tricks and [senior goalie] Sofia Salgado having 11 saves in net. [These are] all people that were a part of the equation and had to play big today in order for us to come up with this type of victory.”

Bryant (9-6, 3-3 AE) opened up scoring with a goal at the 12:33 mark. Binghamton (10-6, 5-1 AE) was quick to respond as 22 seconds later, senior attack Madison Murphy would net BU’s first goal of the match. Soon after, senior attack Gabriella Meli and Murphy netted back-to-back scores to make it 3-1. Bryant would score to get within one, but the Bearcats continued to create offensive pressure. Muscolino etched the fourth goal into the scoreboard while sophomore midfielder Emma Blloshmi netted the fifth, as BU ended the first quarter with a 5-2 lead.

“We’ve talked about it for half of the season, just how many threats we have out there on the offensive end and why we’re so hard to defend,” Allen said. “We set each other up when somebody’s not having a day, they work hard to create [options] for their teammates and it’s a lot of fun to watch when things start clicking.”

Bryant opened the second quarter with its third goal at the 12:50 mark. BU responded during a man-up opportunity when Murphy scored her third of the night and secured a hat trick. Bryant scored its fourth after forcing a turnover, but BU then scored twice with back-to-back goals from sophomore attack Carla Curth and senior midfielder Kristen Scheidel. Despite the Bulldogs managing a goal with 56 seconds left in the quarter, BU went into the half with an 8-5 lead.

“[We had] Salgado, [senior defender Zoe Congdon] down on the defensive end and [senior midfielder Emma Conroy] really hammering it home and doing what they do best,” Allen said. “It was an exciting day for them.”

The Bearcats started the second half strong, scoring four unanswered goals in the first 3:18 of play. Muscolino and Blloshmi both scored once, and Meli scored two straight goals on 2 free-position attempts. At the 9:06 mark Bryant was awarded a free position attempt, and Bryant scored its lone goal of the quarter to cut BU’s lead to six BU got on the scoreboard yet again with back-to-back goals from Blloshmi and freshman midfielder Mia Forte. Binghamton continued to find the back of the net with three more goals, as Curth scored once and Muscolino twice. Heading into the fourth quarter, BU held a commanding 17-6 lead.

“This class [of 2024] has built this winning mindset,” Allen said. “They’ve believed from the beginning and they’ve gotten others on this team to buy in with them. To see all of them that play on the offensive end get a goal in the back of the net today too was a lot of fun.”

Keeping the momentum going into the fourth, senior midfielder Hayley Weltner opened the period with a free-position score. Soon after Conroy capitalized on a free position attempt, to give the Bearcats a 19-6 lead. The Bulldogs and Bearcats then traded goals, and the scoreboard read 20-7 Binghamton heading into the final 6:04 of play. Bryant added a goal in the final minutes, but it wasn’t enough as the Bearcats finished with a resounding 20-8 win. With the win, BU also claimed a portion of the AE regular season title for the first time in program history. Binghamton also tied its single-season record for wins with 10.

“These girls have just given their all this season,” Allen said. “These players believe in what we are capable of doing and they trust in each other. I’m really proud of this team and excited for this program and what’s still ahead this season.”

No. 2 Binghamton will take on No. 3 UMBC in the AE semifinals, which will be hosted by UAlbany from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5. First draw control is scheduled for 4 p.m. at John Fallon Field in Albany, New York.