Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
On the lacrosse field, local fans are used to excellence.
Syracuse is a perennial power, and with Chenango Forks grad Matt Pratt now in their midfield they're ranked 8th this season.
Then there's Cornell and national player of the year candidate Rob Pannell.
Someday, Binghamton will join that list.
That is the stated goal of first year head coach Scott Nelson at today's media day.
Nelson hopes to add stability to a program that had it's share of ups and downs last year, with the resignation of one coach, and assistant Kevin McKeown filling in to guide the team to the post season.
Now Nelson wants to build something big here with the Bearcats, starting this season.
" I think we're trying to do that here. I think we're already pretty good. We're working to get very good, and someday great. We're trying to do that by being a little bit more aggressive offensively. We're going to try and get the ball up and down the field a little bit more."
" When he came in and presented himself it gave us a chance to like him and get to know his program well. We've worked around him and gotten much better and all around you can tell we want to be there more often."
BU was picked by league coaches to finish 5th. The top 4 make the playoffs.
The Bearcats also announced that the top returning scorer, Matt Springer, will sit out the year with an injured foot.
BU opens the season in a week and a half when they host Lafayette.
Along those same lines, the BU women's team hopes to learn and build off of last season.
They went just 4-13 last year, but lost 6 games by 3 goals or less.
And despite graduating their top 2 goal scorers and the starting goaltender, the Bearcats believe they are ready to make the next step.
" We know that we were so close. Lauren and I coming back, we are ready. We have team chemistry, we've decorated the locker, we've done everything to prepare for this moment."
" We like being the underdogs. We like that people aren't looking at us as the #1 because we really think this is the year. We've prepared the past 3 years and learned a lot and we really think we're going to do some great things this year."
BU was the unanimous league choice to finish in last place this season.
They'll try to prove some people wrong starting next weekend when they host St. Francis.