Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Visitors Penn State (4-3) scored nine goals in the first half and withstood a second-half surge from Binghamton (3-4) on Tuesday; winning 11-7 on a blistery and cold afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The 17th ranked Nittany Lions featured seven scorers, led by senior Nick Dolik’s three goal performance. For the second straight game, red shirt junior Matt Springer shined on the attack for the Bearcats; collecting four points (2g, 2a) in a losing effort Tuesday.
Down 9-3 at halftime, Binghamton climbed their way back into the game. Sophomore Brandon Planck started things off for the hosts, dodging his way between a pair of Nittany Lion defenders as he squeezed his way in front of goal. There, Planck shoveled a shot over the shoulder of Penn State goalie Austin Kaut at the 10:23 mark in the third quarter. Minutes later, Springer brought the Bearcats one goal closer. The Hamburg, NY native scored on a quick stick goal off the feed from sophomore Tucker Nelson.
Now down 9-5, Springer fed midfielder Tyler Perrelle from the top of the key. Perrelle reared back and fired a lefty rope from about 10 yards out that hugged the post and found the back of the cage. With that score, Perrelle moves into a tie for seventh place with Andy Cook at seventh place on the program career goals scored list (52). With just over a minute remaining, Nelson brought BU to within two with his diving right handed score. His goal capped off a 4-0 run in the third quarter as both teams gathered themselves for the final 15 minutes of play.
Despite winning the shooting battle in the fourth (12-6), the Bearcats were unable to climb any closer than two goals in large part to the play of Kaut. The junior goalie made five stops in the fourth, holding BU scoreless in the quarter. Tom Lacrosse’s goal at around the 11-minute mark gave the visitors some breathing room at 10-7, and their open net score with a minute and a half left shut the door on any Binghamton comeback.
“I’m pretty disappointed with our performance in the first half,” head coach Scott Nelson said Tuesday. “To give up nine goals is uncharacteristic of our defense. I thought we played about as good of a third quarter as you can hope for, but in the end they made the plays that made the difference.”
On the day, Kaut made 16 saves versus the Bearcats and allowed just six goals. PSU won the battle on the ground (25-23) and were efficient all day on clears going 16-of-17 (.941) Tuesday.
Nelson picked things up after a rough start to the game, scoring a goal and two assists against the Nittany Lions. Junior Alex Doerflein won 12-of-22 faceoffs, out-dueling Penn State’s Danny Henneghan who came into Tuesday ranked 13th in the nation in faceoff win pct.. The Bearcats saw more offensive opportunities in the second half, out shooting Penn State 26-9 in the second half and 41-31 overall.
After early back-to-back scores from Penn State in the first quarter, Binghamton was able to put themselves back in the game. Off the bench, midfielder Emmett O’Hara stopped the bleeding with his second goal of the season. Penn State responded with a goal of their own, but the Bearcats had an answer. On the man-up, junior Michael Antinozzi lined a 15 yard shot past Kaut. His 11th goal of the season pulled them to within just one, 3-2, after the first quarter.
The remaining 15 minutes belonged to the Nittany Lions. Penn State scored six straight goals in the quarter, despite going 2-of-8 on faceoffs. Dolik netted all three of his goals in the second as leading point scorer Jack Forster punctuated the quarter with an acrobatic score that put the CAA members ahead 9-2. Matt Springer’s man-up tally ended the 6-0 run as BU headed into intermission behind 9-3.
Junior goalie Max Schefler moves to 3-4 in goal this season for Binghamton with the loss. He had another double digit save mark, stopping 12 shots on the afternoon.
Binghamton continues their home stand this Saturday against Quinnipiac. The Bobcats are 3-3 on the season (all one goal losses). Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex.
(Courtesy: BU Athletics)