Bearcat women's lacrosse outdone in double overtime

By wbng sports

February 28, 2013 Updated Feb 28, 2013 at 12:57 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)

The Binghamton women’s lacrosse team dropped a double-overtime heartbreaker to visiting Lehigh 11-10, Wednesday evening from the Bearcats Sports Complex. After the Bearcats (0-2) struck first in overtime, the Mountain Hawks (2-1) netted the game’s final two goals, including the game-winner with 1:53 left to play in the second overtime, erasing a four-goal first half deficit. Binghamton had an opportunity to even the contest in the final minute of the second overtime, but a free position attempt by Angela Vespa was stopped by the Lehigh goalie.

The Bearcats, who were in control most of the game, found themselves trailing 9-8 as time winded down. With Lehigh stalling throughout the final five minutes of regulation, Katherine Hunsberger forced a Lehigh turnover and scooped up the ground ball giving Binghamton possession with just over 30 seconds to go. Following an unsuccessful free position attempt by Hunsberger, the Bearcats regained possession then drew a Mountain Hawk foul with 11 seconds to play. Off the dead ball whistle, sophomore Renee Kiviat fired a one-hopper over the right shoulder of the goalie to send the game to overtime. Freshman goalie Erin McNulty made a heads up save as time expired to secure the extra session for Binghamton.

In the first overtime, Hunsberger won the opening draw control, weaved through the Lehigh defense and netted the extra session’s first goal with 2:08 to play. Lehigh corralled the ensuing draw control and sat on the ball for the final shot. Lehigh’s Julie McBrien was fouled inside the eight-meter with 26 seconds to play resulting in a free position attempt. The senior midfielder fired her shot past McNulty for her fourth tally of the day, sending the game into a second overtime.

Hunsberger led Binghamton with four goals, adding a pair of caused turnovers and ground balls. The senior captain also picked up nine draw controls tying her career-high and BU single-game record. Six other Bearcats entered the scoring column with three netting their first collegiate goals. Freshmen Allie Rodgers, Marissa Rose and Sophie Racciatti all registered their first tallies in a Bearcat uniform. McNulty made nine stops in her first career start, denying the Mountain Hawks from point blank range on several occasions.

Binghamton burst out of the gates starting the game on a 4-0 run, receiving goals from four different Bearcats. After corralling the opening draw, Hunsberger raced down the field and rocketed a shot past the Lehigh goalie to put Binghamton up 1-0, just 23 seconds into the contest. Less than two minutes later, Kimberly McGeever scored her first goal of the year on a feed from Rose. The pair hooked up again less than a minute later but this time it was Rose from McGeever to hand the Bearcats a 3-0 lead with 26:55 to play in the first half. Racciatti netted her first collegiate goal to cap the run for the Bearcats.

Lehigh did not back down however, outscoring Binghamton 5-2 in the final 25:24 of the half. After goals by Hunsberger and Rodgers split up a pair of goals by Lehigh, the Mountain Hawks closed the half on a 3-0 run to trim the deficit to one, 6-5. Binghamton used an 8-4 advantage in the draw circle to take a one-goal advantage into the locker room.

In the second half, Lehigh continued its hot play netting the first two goals of the half and taking its first lead of the game, 7-6, at the 20:32 mark. Binghamton answered with a pair of goals from Hunsberger and senior Kristen Stone to regain the lead with 15:12 to play in regulation. McBrien scored back-to-back goals for Lehigh as Binghamton relinquished the lead for the second time of the half at the 8:14 mark. However, Kiviat’s late-game heroics gave the Bearcats new life.

Lehigh held a slim shot advantage, 27-24, while Binghamton won the ground ball battle 17-15. The Beacats were also more efficient in the draw circle and in the clearing game, winning 15 of the 25 draws and going a perfect 12-for-12 in clears. BU did struggle however from the eight-meter, converting just one of seven free position attempts.

Binghamton plays its second of three straight home contests against Canisius on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m. The Bearcats knocked off the defending Metro Atlantic Athletics Conference (MAAC) champions 11-9 at the Bearcats Sports Complex last season.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)