Vestal (WBNG BINGHAMTON) The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team held off a late UMBC rally to knock off the Retrievers, 8-7, in the season finale for both teams, Saturday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Bearcats (7-9, 1-4 AE) denied a last chance effort by the Retrievers (7-9, 1-4 AE) in the closing seconds to pick up their first America East victory of the season.
The win over UMBC marked the first time Binghamton defeated the Retrievers since the series began in 2004 (1-10).
“We are still trying to teach these girls how to win,” head coach Stephanie Allen said. “It came down to keeping your composure and fighting to the last second and we did both well. I thought our defense did a good job in the second half and not allowing UMBC to get a shot off in the final seconds was a testament to how well they played today. We are happy to get a win today and want to continue to move this program in the right direction.”
Binghamton led by four with just over 20 minutes left, but UMBC held the Bearcats scoreless from that point. The Retrievers strung together three goals over the final 16 minutes and had an opportunity to send the game to overtime following a Binghamton turnover with 13 seconds left. However, an opportunistic Bearcat defense did not allow UMBC to get a shot off before the final horn. UMBC scored its final goal with 1:42 left to play and won the ensuing draw control, but an offensive foul call ended the possession for the Retrievers.
Junior Renee Kiviat led Binghamton with three goals and an assist for a game-high four points, netting her third hat trick in the last four games. Freshman Jocelyn Penteck scored a pair of goals for her first collegiate multi-goal game. Senior Angela Vespa registered a goal and an assist in her final game at Binghamton.
Binghamton received a solid day in net from senior Kara Pafumi, who made six saves including two huge stops on free position attempts late in the second half. Binghamton limited UMBC to just one free position goal in six attempts. Pafumi improved her record to 2-0 on the season in her final collegiate game.
Inspired by Senior Day, Binghamton raced out to a 6-1 halftime lead thanks to a stout defense and an efficient offense. After winning the opening draw control, the Bearcats worked through its offense for over four minutes before Vespa found a cutting Sophia Racciatti to give Binghamton a 1-0 lead at the 25:49 mark. Moments later Vespa crashed the crease and sneaked a shot past UMBC goalie Anna Barnett to hand the Bearcats a 2-0 advantage.
Kiviat aided Binghamton’s hot start as she drilled a pass from behind the goal to junior Alex Fisher who was rushing through the fan. Up 3-0, Binghamton allowed its only goal of the half on a man-down situation after a yellow card on freshman Bri Arthur. Binghamton quickly responded as freshman Callon Williams fed Penteck for her third goal of the season a minute later. After five minutes of scoreless play, Kiviat converted a free position attempt before rocketing a shot by the goalie with two seconds left in the half. The Bearcats held its largest lead of the game, 6-1, after holding UMBC scoreless over the final 10:47 of the first half.
UMBC raced out of the break embarking on a 3-0 run over the first four minutes to cut Binghamton’s lead to two. The Bearcats answered with back-to-back goals by Penteck and Kiviat less than two minutes apart. Penteck converted free position goal while Kiviat fired a running shot from 10 yards out to beat the UMBC goalie stick side and push the Bearcats’ lead back to four. Kiviat’s goal would be the difference as the Bearcats were limited offensively due to a pouring rain shower and 13 second-half turnovers.
UMBC held a slim shot advantage (22-18) and picked up two more ground balls (13-11) than Binghamton, but the Bearcats went 10-for-17 at the draw circle to control possession for much of the contest.
Binghamton honored seniors Erica Foley, Kara Pafumi and Angela Vespa prior to the game.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University)