When the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team met Binghamton last year, the Bobcats won a 13-12 nail-bitter. The two squads were once again in a close game, but this time it was the Bearcats returning the favor on the Bobcats, with a 11-9 victory at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestel, N.Y.
Quinnipiac (3-4) has suffered four consecutive losses after starting the season 3-0 and being ranked No. 20 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Poll for the first time in program history.
However, it is the close games that have come back to be the Bobcats achilles heel of late. Quinnipiac’s four consecutive losses have only come by two goals or less, including three by just one goal.
On Saturday, the story was the same for the Bobcats. They’ll have to turn it around quickly, when they kick start Northeast Conference play on Saturday when they travel to Smithfield, R.I. to take on Bryant at 1p.m. Bryant comes into conference play just 1-7 and 0-3 at home.
Freshman attackman Billy Oppenheimer led the Bobcats with a career-high four points, on two goals and two assist. On Tuesday against Fairfield, Oppenheimer scored his first career points.
Sophomore midfielder Michael Sagl and senior attackman Brendan Wilbur each finished with two goals apiece. Senior midfield captain Basil Kostaras and sophomore midfielder Matt Diehl each added a goal and an assist, while freshman Carmen French tallied his first goal of the season.
Wilbur’s goal with 12:39 left in regulation cut the deficit to 9-8. Springer responded with his third goal of the game to push the lead to two. Kostaras countered with a goal with 4:59 to go but it was too little too late as the Bearcats hung on for the win, adding an insurance goal with just over two minutes left.
Binghamton (4-4) was led by by Matt Springer, who finished with three goals, while Brandon Planck and Kelly Donigan each collected a pair of goals in the outing for the Bearcats. Tucker Nelson added three assists and a goal.
Trailing 4-2 with just over nine minutes in the second quarter, the Bobcats fought back after goals from Sagl and French tied the game at four. Sagl ripped a shot past Binghamton goaltender Max Scheffler on a pass from Oppenheimer at the 9:32 mark. French added the tying goal four minutes later at the 5:26 mark of the second quarter.
Nelson added a goal on the man-advantage with a little over two minutes to play before halftime to take a 5-4 lead into the break.
After Binghamton added another goal. the Bobcats realized they had to make a run and that’s when Quinnipiac reeled off three consecutive goals in under three minutes taking a 7-6 lead with 11:19 left in the half. Sagl cut the Bearcat lead to one with his second goal of the game, followed by an Oppenheimer goal just 56 seconds later to tie the game up at 6-6. Wilbur scored the go-ahead goal to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game.
Donigan and Springer each answered with goals to give the Bearcats the lead again at 8-7. Donignan added another goal with just over a minute left at the 1:11 mark of the third to push the lead to two goals at 9-7 with one quarter to play.
Wilbur’s goal with 12:39 left in regulation cut the deficit to 9-8. Springer responded with his third goal of the game to push the lead to two. Kostaras countered with a goal with 4:59 to go but it was too little too late as the Bearcats hung on for the win, adding an insurance goal with just over two minutes.
Onondaga junior college transfer Gill Conners, stopped 15 shots, giving him six games with 10 or more saves. Max Schefler made 13 saves for Binghamton.
Quinnipiac won the turnover battle with a margin of +10, 18-8, with six caused turnovers. However, Binghamton controlled the draw, 17-7. The Bearcats also outshot Quinnipiac, 43-34, and corralled the edge in groundballs, 32-24.