Marist men’s lacrosse fell to the Binghamton Bearcats by a score of 18-11 at Tenney Stadium on Saturday afternoon. This was Binghamton’s first win against Marist in the last six tries dating back to 2011.
Faceoff control was the main issue for the Red Foxes as they lost the advantage 21-33 at the X today. The Red Foxes trailed all afternoon long, with a 7-1 Bearcats run that spanned the third and fourth quarters serving as the crushing blow for Marist after it cut the deficit to a single goal early in the second half.
“You have to give credit to the way Binghamton played today,” said Head Coach Keegan Wilkinson. “ It has been a great in-state rival for a long time, we have won every matchup since 2013. Honestly embarrassed by the performance we put out on the field.”
Binghamton’s leading scorers Gage Adams and Matthew Keegan would light up the score sheet with a game-high five goals.
Binghamton started off the scoring with four straight goals from sophomore attackman Gage Adams, senior midfielder Nicholas Imburgia, senior midfielder Quinn O’Hara, and sophomore attackman Matthew Keegan in the first quarter forcing Marist to call a timeout.
Marist needed a goal to stop the bleeding and they did just that as senior attackman Kellen Pulera and Graduate attackman Jamison Embury opened up the scoring for the Red Foxes making the score 4-2 Bearcats with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Binghamton would answer right back as Imburgia would score his second goal of the game giving the visitors their three-goal lead back, 5-2, ending the first quarter scoring.
Marist sophomore midfielder Sam Ferrell would open up the scoring in the second quarter with an extra man goal making the score 5-3 Bearcats. That two-goal lead wouldn’t last long as senior midfielder Patrick Murad would answer back making it a three-goal game.
James Lyons would pick up right where he left off last game against Rutgers where he scored three goals, with his fourth goal of the season making the lead, 6-4 Binghamton with nine minutes left in the game. This game was a back-and-forth affair as Adams would score his second goal of the game giving Binghamton the three-goal lead back with 4 minutes left in the first half.
Jojo Pirecca, who was named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list would score a much-needed Red Fox goal, off a beautiful feed from Junior Midfielder Joshua Balcarcel, shrinking the Binghamton lead to two goals, making it 7-5 going into the second half.
Marist would try out everyone at the faceoff ‘x’ today with three players getting reps. sophomore Dylan Bedell, junior John Kelly, and senior Matthew Fermo. All three guys would fall short to Binghamton’s faceoff men as the Bobcats won from the ‘x’ two-thirds of the time.
“It was an adjustment, last year against this team we played Matt and Dylan pretty predominantly just from a matchup standpoint,” said Wilkinson. “ Our hope is that one guy is going to cement himself into being that main guy. Doing it by committee is not the answer for us.”
Binghamton would open up the second half scoring with a goal twelve seconds into the game with another Keegan goal, his second of the game. Marist would be down one goal as Lyons and Pirreca would shrink the Binghamton lead to one goal with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
Every time the Red Foxes would get close, the Bearcats would find a way to stop that momentum as Adams and Keegan would score on back-to-back possessions. Faceoff man Matthew Fermo would score his first collegiate goal on the ensuing faceoff, shrinking the Bearcat lead to 10-8.
But when it mattered most, a flurry of Binghamton goals from Keegan, junior midfielder Ethan Insinga, and Adams would make this a five-goal game in favor of Binghamton ending the third quarter scoring.
In the fourth quarter, Marist eventually recovered to trade goals with the Bobcats, but the clock was not the Red Foxes’ friend. Keegan would add his fifth goal of the game, almost totaling his season high from last year with six.
The Marist defense would combine for 12 caused turnovers. Leading that statistic for Marist was Sophomore Defenseman Aidan McCaffrey in his first career start with two caused turnovers. Goalie Noble Smith made 10 saves on 28 shots.
“I thought that Noble has made some really excellent saves,” said Wilkinson. “ I am really proud of him and the way he has battled, the three goalies that we have are preparing really well. It is unfortunate that the defense isn’t giving them the opportunity that they want to see. Our defense has a lot of work to do because giving up 18 goals is not the standard of the program.”
Marist is set to travel down to the 18th-ranked team in the nation in Jacksonville next Saturday. This will be the first matchup against Jacksonville since 2013. The first faceoff is scheduled for noon.
“There are going to be a lot of adjustments made, and it starts at the top with me,” said Wilkinson. “I look around that room and think back to a lot of the things we were able to accomplish. I have to do a better job of having the team ready to play.”
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Jonathan Kinane