Binghamton redshirt-junior forward Kayla Saager fired a shot which ricocheted out off the post in the 23rd minute. Her teammate, junior midfielder Patty Loonie, buried the rebound past the frozen Stony Brook freshman goalkeeper Sofia Manner. Manner was unable to react in time because she was still on the ground after diving for the initial shot.
Loonie’s goal was the lone goal of the evening as Binghamton beat Stony Brook 1-0 at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Binghamton, New York on Thursday night. The Seawolves were not ready for the Bearcats’ size and physical play in the middle third of the pitch. Stony Brook committed several unforced turnovers and played into the Binghamton pressure.
“I give a lot of credit to Binghamton,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “Binghamton came out on the ball and moved the ball a lot better than we did.”
Binghamton registered 11 shots, including Loonie’s goal, before Stony Brook got its first shot off. The Bearcats’ high pressure scheme forced the Seawolves into long passes, which are inefficient for generating consistent offense.
“To be frank, it just wasn’t our night, the game got away from us,” Faherty said.
Manner was under constant siege, with Binghamton controlling possession for most of the first half. Stony Brook’s defense kept Binghamton from taking any quality shots, despite playing aggressively on the Seawolves side of the field. Most of the Bearcats’ shots were from outside the 18-yard box or had no chance of going in.
However, Loonie’s goal spurred the Seawolves into action.
“After the first goal we started to play the way I know we’re capable of playing,” Faherty said. “Especially that last 15 minutes of the first half—we really picked it up.”
The team did not commit any more unforced turnovers in the half and carried over the more responsible play into the second half.
They pressed higher up the field in the second half, generating the majority of the team’s scoring chances in the game. Stony Brook outshot Binghamton eight to six in the half, including multiple quality chances that could have tied the game.
One attempt came in the 73rd minute when multiple Binghamton defenders blocked freshman midfielder Kimmy Chavkin’s shot after she had gotten around the goalie.
Faherty determined it was time to go all in for a goal with 10 minutes to go. Faherty subbed senior midfielder Samantha Goodwin into the game for senior defender Sydney Vaughn. This forced the Seawolves defensive alignment to a “three in the back,” meaning that were only three defenders on the field.
Goodwin provided Stony Brook with an extra player upfield which Binghamton had to account for. She helped generate the final three shots of the match, all of which were for Stony Brook.
Junior forward Julie Johnstonbaugh represented the Seawolves’ last chance at scoring when she received a chip pass that caught Binghamton’s freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Hannah on an in-between hop. Johnstonbaugh was all alone with the keeper, but was unable to get a clean touch to take a shot, and the ball rolled into Hannah’s arms, ending the threat.
“This is a resilient group, we started off the season with a few losses and look where we are now,” Faherty said. “We have a long bus ride home tonight to think about the game, and when we wake up tomorrow it’ll be a new day.”
The Seawolves sit at 3-2 in conference play with three games to play. The team returns to action against UMBC at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium this Sunday at 1 p.m.