Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Binghamton women's soccer (5-9-1, 2-4-1 AE) scored twice in the first half and cruised past visiting Vermont (5-9-4, 3-4-1 AE) 3-0 in a key America East game Thursday night from the Bearcats Sports Complex.
The Bearcats needed a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt and put together a complete effort with 16 shots and a season-high-matching three goals. With the win, BU moved into a three-way tie for fifth place in the standings with one game remaining.
The top six teams advance to the America East tournament.
Junior forward Candice Rowland opened the scoring in the 18th minute when she took a pass from senior midfielder Mary DeWitte and beat Catamount keeper Sarah Leiby to the far post from six yards out.
Senior midfielder Taylor Kucharski began the play when she intercepted a Vermont pass and sent a chipped through ball to DeWitte on the left. DeWitte slotted a ball on the turf to the left foot of Rowland, who notched her second goal of the season.
In the 36th minute, BU doubled its lead when sophomore Conor O'Brien made an instant impact less than a minute after entering the game.
O'Brien ran to the far post and tapped in a delivery from junior forward Sarah Furminger for her first career goal.
The play developed rapidly from Binghamton's defensive half when junior midfielder Emily Pape received a throw-in, spun and fed sophomore linemate Kaitlyn Cook. Cook received the ball, avoided a pair of Vermont defenders and pushed a through ball to Furminger, who raced in the left side toward the goal.
With Leiby covering the near post, Furminger drilled a left-footer toward the far post, where O'Brien lunged and knocked it in from the doorstep.
The Bearcats closed out the scoring in the 86th minute when freshman midfielder Emily Nuss collected a loose ball outside the box on the right, dribbled toward the center and launched a 25-yard blast that rose over the keeper's head and into the top netting. It was Nuss's first career goal.