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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Binghamton Edges Out UAlbany Women’s Lacrosse in America East Championship Match

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ALBANY‌ — Prior ‍to⁢ Sunday, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team had a 0-25 record against UAlbany. However, the disparity between the ‍two‌ teams had been ⁢gradually diminishing.

Now,‌ the disparity ⁤is no ‌more. ⁣Binghamton (12-6), the second-seeded team, made a remarkable comeback from a 5-0 deficit in the first⁢ quarter. They managed to keep the ⁤top-seeded Great Danes scoreless for over 20 minutes, securing a‌ 12-11 ⁣victory in the America East tournament championship at John Fallon Field.

This⁢ was a repeat of last year’s America East final, where UAlbany emerged victorious with a 14-13 score. UAlbany (8-10) had also won ⁢this year’s regular-season game 15-13. This marked​ UAlbany’s ‌13th ‍consecutive America East championship appearance, making ⁣Binghamton’s first win over the Great Danes and their first ⁢NCAA Tournament appearance all the more significant.

“One ‌of my assistant coaches, Shannon Mackesey ’18, is an Albany grad and former player on this team,” said Binghamton head ⁤coach Stephanie ‍Allen.⁤ “She candidly told the defensive players that it is expected for Albany‍ to beat ‍Binghamton, and ‍that we needed to change that narrative today. ​Now‍ on our staff, she proudly wears our green⁢ and shared with the team what the ​conversation would be like with Albany and what we needed to do to ​turn⁢ the tables.”

Initially,⁤ it seemed like UAlbany‌ would not give Binghamton the opportunity to⁣ change the narrative. The Great Danes had one‍ of their most offensively⁣ efficient quarters this‌ season, leading 5-0 with 3⁣ minutes left in the first quarter. However, after Olivia Muscolino scored ‍for ‌Binghamton, the tide began to turn as UAlbany started accumulating fouls.

UAlbany was penalized​ for 32 fouls compared to Binghamton’s 16. This included 12 in the second quarter, which ⁣allowed Binghamton to close the ‌gap to 8-7‍ by ⁢halftime, thanks to two goals in the final 17.1 seconds.

“The [foul] ​differential definitely affected the game,” said UAlbany coach Katie Thomson. ⁣“They had half as ⁢many fouls.‌ … It’s not what I observed, but that’s just how it goes, ⁣it’s⁣ out of our control.”

UAlbany was stuck on eight goals from 1:38 left in the‌ second quarter to 11:35 of the fourth quarter. By that ‌time,‌ Binghamton had taken the lead with a ⁣score of 12-9.

“Lacrosse ⁢is a game of swings,” said ‍UAlbany attack Ava Poupard.⁢ “We ‍played well for the entire game, even if the outcome wasn’t what we wanted.”

UAlbany senior Megan Dineen scored⁢ her third goal ‌with‍ 10:20 left to make it 12-10. However, it was a⁢ while‍ before ⁤either team‍ scored ‍again, thanks to impressive goaltending by ‌both teams, particularly by the​ tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Sofia Salgado of Binghamton.

“We knew we were a different team from when we first saw them, and we knew it was⁢ going to be a battle, but that ⁤we were going to come ⁢out on top,” Salgado said.

Bryar Hogg found Poupard for her‌ third⁢ goal with‌ 1:44 left⁢ to make⁤ it 12-11.

Binghamton won the ensuing draw control, ‌but eventually turned the ball over, giving UAlbany the ​ball in its defensive end with 17 seconds ⁤left. ⁣Emma Torkoff split two defenders and eventually got the ⁣ball to Allie Maloney in⁢ front of‍ the goal, but⁢ as she moved from left ‌to ‌right, had the​ ball‍ checked out of her stick before she could shoot with 0.7‌ second ⁢left.

“We knew we just needed to collapse,” Salgado said. “We needed to watch their‍ cuts, but we knew ⁣they weren’t​ going to cut⁢ — they’re a very‌ strong offensive team, they trust themselves⁣ and their shooting. We‍ knew they were going to have a girl drive, and‍ our D stepped up to the plate.”

UAlbany only had two-time America​ East Midfielder of the Year and 2023 All-American Katie Pascale for the opening series before she retired to the sideline with her⁤ ongoing lower body injury. She finished her career as the ​school’s all-time leader in points (307) and assists (144).

Emma Blloshmi led Binghamton ‍with four ⁣goals. All-tournament team selection Kristen ⁢Scheidel added three.‌ For UAlbany, Grace McCauley, Poupard ​and all-tournament team selection Dineen each scored three goals.

“I’m really proud of our ‌team and how they fought⁣ for every possession, they‍ had each other’s backs,‍ they gave it ​their all, and that’s ​all we can ask for,” Thomson said. “I’m just so proud to be associated⁢ with this⁤ coaching staff, with this team,​ with‍ these seniors⁣ who’ve ‍given everything and all​ of their⁤ heart to this program, and to all of our support staff.”

Binghamton 2​ 5 4 1 – ​12

UAlbany‍ 5 3 ⁤0 3 – 11

Binghamton scoring: ‌Blloshmi 4-0, Scheidel 3-0, Muscolino 2-1, Murphy 1-1, Weltner 1-1, ‌Forte 1-0. UAlbany ‍scoring: McCauley 3-0,‌ Poupard 3-0, Dineen 3-0, Hogg 1-2, Mooney ‌0-2, Weaver 0-1. Goalies: ⁤ Binghamton, ​Salgado, 9 saves. UAlbany, Cincebox, 8 saves.

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Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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