The Binghamton women’s soccer team drew Wagner 2-2 on a humid Sunday afternoon in Staten Island, New York. The first half of the game was filled with strong BU energy, while the momentum was tilted in favor of Wagner for most of the second half. However, neither team could pull through and break the tie as the Seahawks and Bearcats ended the match in a tie.
“We know that we could have played a little sharper, and that would have limited what we would have had to tend with when defending Wagner and would have helped us continue to create chances,” said Binghamton head coach Neel Bhattacharjee. “There are things that we are very much in control of, and if we do that to our ability, that’s where good things are going to happen.”
Binghamton (1-3-2) went back and forth in possession with the Seahawks (2-3-1) in the first half. BU totaled six shots on goal in comparison to a total of two shots in the first half for the Seahawks’ offensive. Junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams started between the pipes for the Bearcats, and faced little opposition, aside from one shot from Wagner. Each team tallied three fouls each in the first half of play, with BU freshman defender Sophia Garofalo taking a yellow card just 15 minutes in. While the Bearcats stayed in control during the first half, they were unable to put one past the Seahawks goalkeeper until the second half.
“One thing we talked about was how we could get in behind their [back line] and force their backs to be facing their own goal, and certainly we were able to do that,” Bhattacharjee said. “If we could get behind their backs and test them, then that could get more chances for us.”
The second half saw more offense for both sides. In the 49th minute, graduate student midfielder Olivia McKnight was set free by sophomore forward Lauren Clark, and McKnight was brought down in the box, giving BU a penalty kick opportunity. Shortly after, senior defender Lexi Vegoda converted the penalty kick for her second goal of the year. However, Wagner tied it with a goal six minutes later. Then, in the 81st minute, a shot from the right side of the box gave the Seahawks a 2-1 advantage.
“We knew that Wagner was going to be pretty high energy in terms of how they were going to defend and compete,” Bhattacharjee said. “It was one of those games where a mistake here or there ended up being costly.”
In the final minute, senior defender Emma Colling scored the equalizer off of a header after being assisted by a long ball from Vegoda from the left side into the box, where Colling headed it toward the goal. A Wagner defender headed it back to Colling, who volleyed the ball into the near side and past the goaltender with 39 seconds remaining in the match. Neither squad managed another score, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
“I know that this team is going to fight until the very last minute,” Bhattacharjee said. “[We] were still looking for chances to get shots off, and obviously with 39 seconds left, it led to us getting a game-tying goal. That’s good for us to know about ourselves. As long as we continue to keep fighting, there are always good things that can go our way.”
Binghamton will return home this weekend to host Maryland on Sunday, Sept. 10. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcat Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.