VESTAL (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Binghamton men’s lacrosse outlasted Stony Brook (5-9, 1-3 AE) in an America East conference shootout on Saturday, defeating the Seawolves 14-11 on senior day at the Bearcats Sports Complex. Binghamton (7-6, 4-0 AE) scored a season-high 14 goals, including nine goals from their senior class.
Brandon Planck netted a team-high four goals on Saturday and secured the Bearcats of a top two seed in the America East conference tournament.
“We showed a lot of fight and character in this win, and it’s especially gratifying because we were able to do it on senior day,” head coach Scott Nelson said. “Brandon (Planck) really stepped up huge for us and showed how tough a kid he is and I thought our defense, while it struggled some, made really big plays down the stretch. I couldn’t be happier for this group of seniors who have worked so hard and they certainly deserved this one.”
Binghamton started the game down 3-0 to the visitors, but were able to pull right back into the contest with a pair of man-up goals from senior Matt Springer. After a goal from SBU’s Mike Rooney, freshman standout Tyler Deluca provided a pair of highlight goals to even the score at 4-4. Deluca, a dynamic midfielder from Medford, NY, buried his first goal at the 2:01 mark in the first quarter and later sent home the equalizer just over two minutes into the second quarter.
After Deluca’s ninth goal of his rookie campaign, Stony Brook bounced back with a 3-1 run of their own that featured Brody Eastwood’s 36th goal of the season. However, with just under six minutes remaining in the half, Binghamton once again fought their way back. Springer’s third man up goal of the day brought them to within one, then Planck and senior Michael Antinozzi followed with back-to-back scores for the hosts to give them the 8-7 lead. Springer’s goal marked the 20th time he’s netted a hat trick in a BU uniform.
With under two minutes to go in the half, sophomore Mitchell Rick rifled a shot past Stony Brook’s freshman goalkeeper Hayden Johnstone. Rick’s goal made it four unanswered goals for the hosts heading into halftime.
In the second half, Binghamton continued to show their offensive prowess on Planck’s second goal of the afternoon, making it 10-7 in favor of BU. Sophomore midfielder Zachery Scaduto made the lead four just three minutes later, capping a 6-0 Binghamton run that eclipsed over 10 minutes.
Later in the third, Stony Brook showed they were not going away easily, receiving three straight Chris Hughes’ goals that brought them to within one, 11-10, with just over four minutes to go in the third. Binghamton stopped the bleeding after Tucker Nelson fed Planck for his third goal of the afternoon and sixth career hat trick. Nelson’s assist broke a school record for assists in a season (28), a record he previously held in 2013.
Leading 13-11, Binghamton allowed a quick goal in the fourth quarter to Stony Brook’s Jake Sichenzia at the 11:04 mark. After a few empty possessions for both sides midway through the quarter, Binghamton notched a much needed insurance goal from Nelson. The junior playmaker sent his defender off track after a dodge and spun around the front of the crease where he shoveled a shot past Johnstone for the two-goal lead.
With time winding down in the game, Planck netted the back-breaker, scoring the Bearcats’ season-high 14th goal of the afternoon. Planck dodged from left-to-right and snapped a wrap-around shot into the back of the net, elevating Binghamton’s win streak to four games and ended out their 2014 season with a three-game winning streak at home.
Eight different players tallied goals on what was a sunny afternoon on Vestal Saturday. In addition to Planck and Springer’s combined seven goals, seniors Kelly Donigan and Antinozzi each had a goal and an assist in a winning effort. Deluca continued his torrid offensive pace that began on Tuesday with a hat trick against Canisius; he scored a pair of goals and added two assists against the Seawolves for a 5-goal, 2-assist week.
Binghamton outshot Stony Brook by 20 (42-22) and won the ground ball battle by a count of 32-26. Freshman Dan Mazurek won 14-of-26 faceoffs and had a team-high eight ground balls. On defense, Binghamton caused seven turnovers, including a pair from senior defender Shawn Needham
With a 4-0 record in conference play, Binghamton heads to Albany for their final regular season game of 2014 next Saturday. Albany, who is tied with Binghamton atop the league standings, is currently playing at UMBC this afternoon. If Albany wins, a shot at the regular season America East crown could be on the line when the two SUNY rivals go head-to-head at 7 p.m..
(Courtesy: Binghamton University)