Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New Hampshire’s Jenny Simpson scored the game-winning goal as time expired to lead the Wildcats to a 13-12 comeback victory over the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team, Saturday afternoon in a thrilling America East matchup. The Bearcats (2-8, 1-2 AE) led 11-7 with 15:12 remaining, but the Wildcats (4-7, 1-2 AE) closed the game on a 6-1 run to collect their first conference victory.
After New Hampshire evened the game at 11 with 4:26 to go, Binghamton had a golden opportunity to regain the lead on a free position attempt by Kristen Stone with 2:10 left to play. But Stone received a yellow card for an aggressive follow-thru on her shot attempt, giving New Hampshire a man-up opportunity. Freshman goalie Erin McNulty made a big save down the stretch, but Binghamton turned the ball over while attempting to clear.
New Hampshire capitalized on the Binghamton error scoring the go-ahead goal with 1:14 remaining to take a 12-11 lead. On the ensuing draw control, Katherine Hunsberger secured the 50-50 ball and raced past the New Hampshire defense and fired a shot to beat the goalie 17 seconds later. Binghamton won its second straight draw control and had an opportunity to hold for the final shot but Kimberly McGeever’s attempt was saved by UNH goalie Taylor Hurwitz with 16 ticks on the clock. Hurwitz took over for starting goalie Kathleen O’Keefe following halftime.
Hurwitz, at first looked as if she was going to settle for overtime, but then fired a pass downfield to a streaking New Hampshire player at midfield. Hannah Wohltmann received the relay pass from Rachel Nock and then found Simpson inside the fan, who beat McNulty low as time expired for the last-second victory.
Despite being outshot by New Hampshire 34-19, Binghamton’s 12 goals was its largest scoring output of the season. McGeever led Binghamton with three goals and an assist for her eighth career hat trick. Sophomore Alex Fisher recorded her first career hat trick, netting three goals for the Bearcats. Hunsberger, who tied her own BU single-game record for draw controls with nine, added a pair of goals.
McNulty had a stellar game in cage making a season-high 16 saves, while picking up a team-high four ground balls. New Hampshire’s 34 shot attempts were the most the freshman standout has faced this season.
Down 8-6 at the half, New Hampshire scored just 41 seconds into the final 30 minutes to pull within one. However, Binghamton embarked on a 3-0 run over the next 15 minutes to take its largest lead of the game midway through the second half. Sophomore Alex Fisher scored two of her goals during the run which was capped by freshman Marissa Rose’s third goal of the season. New Hampshire did not go away quietly methodically chipping away at the four-goal deficit and eventually tying the game with a 4-0 run to pull even at 11.
In a first half that witnessed four ties and a pair of lead changes neither team built a lead greater than two. Binghamton opened the scoring just three minutes into the game as Stone found freshman Allie Rodgers following a New Hampshire foul to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead. After the Wildcats evened the game at one, McGeever scored her first goal of the game on a scoring dodge from behind the net handing the Bearcats a 2-1 lead with 25:38 left in the first half.
New Hampshire netted back-to-back goals just thirty seconds apart to take its first and only lead of the half at the 19:18 mark. The second of the two goals was a man-up score following a yellow card on Hunsberger. The Bearcats responded however with a 3-0 run to regain the lead, 5-3, with 16:15 left in the first half.
Stone started the run with a free position goal from the right side of the fan. McGeever capitalized on the momentum swing with back-to-back goals sending a pair of low liners past the New Hampshire goalie. The Wildcats did not go away scoring a pair of goals to even the game at five with 8:14 remaining in the half. However, Binghamton closed the half on a 3-1 run, receiving goals from Rodgers, Fisher and Hunsberger to take an 8-6 lead into the break.
Binghamton committed 16 costly turnovers, while losing the ground ball battle 21-10. The Bearcats were efficient in the clearing game going 10-for-11 as they converted three of their five free position attempts. Both teams did well in the draw circle as New Hampshire held a slim 14-12 advantage.
Binghamton has the week off before traveling to Boston University next Saturday, April 13 for a 1 p.m. matchup with the Terriers. The Bearcats pushed the eight-time America East champions to brink last April falling 18-16 on Senior Day.