Vestal (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Visiting Temple struck for two goals in a 1:16 span midway through the first half and pinned a 2-0 loss on Binghamton women’s soccer in the season opener for both teams Friday night at the Bearcats Sports Complex.
The Owls opened the scoring in the 17th minute after a free kick just inside the midfield line. The long ball was headed away by a BU defender but retrieved by Temple midfielder Shannon Senour on the right side of the box. Senour spun and dribbled to the endline before crossing to the six yard box just beyond the reach of BU keeper Gaby Gold. Junior midfielder Gina Ditaranto got just enough of her upper right leg on the ball to guide it into the net from the doorstep.
Then just over a minute later, another long ball into the box spelled doom for the Bearcats. Gold charged and collected the ball momentarily, but collided with a Temple forward and the ball spilled loose. A failed clear then rolled directly to the feet of Owls forward Kelly Farrell, who set up and drilled an 18-yard shot into the vacated goal.
The two-goal flurry came shortly after Binghamton had a good chance to strike for the opening goal. Sophomore midfielder Katie O’Neill fed a beautiful through ball to junior forward Samantha Crane down the right side. Crane slowed up, cut back to the middle and slotted a pass across to junior midfielder Rebecca Raber, whose right-footed shot was headed toward the lower left corner before being saved by Temple keeper Shauni Kerkhoff.
After Raber’s chance, Gold charged hard to smother a through ball on the left side of the box.
After struggling to keep pace for the remainder of the half, BU stepped up its intensity early in the second half and had two good scoring chances off corner kicks. The Bearcats registered six shots in the second half and held a 9-8 shots margin for the game. Binghamton also earned four corner kicks in the period but couldn’t find the back of the net. Junior center back Connie Gormley just missed on a header off a Raber corner kick midway through the period and an O’Neill header off another corner kick carried over the bar in the 87th minute.
“We played a tough opponent tonight,” head coach Sarah McClellan said of the Owls, members of the American Athletic Conference, which owns a power ranking of No. 7 among all Division I conferences. “Temple got us on our heels in the first half but I was proud of how we responded in the second half. We had the ball a little more and outshot them. That’s something we can definitely build on.”
Freshman keeper Katie Hatziyianis made her collegiate debut in the second half and made four saves in 45 minutes of work. With 7:54 left in the contest, Hatziyianis made a flashy save, diving to her right to knock away a direct kick.
Binghamton travels to Bethlehem, Pa. on Sunday for an away contest at Lehigh. The game against the Patriot League member Mountain Hawks begins at 12:30 p.m. at Ulrich Sports Complex.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University)