Release: March 1, 2008
Contact: Anthony Naglieri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Men's lacrosse drops season opener to No. 15/17 Drexel, 3-2
VESTAL, N.Y.-- Senior attack Andrew Chapman scored with 4:39 left to play in the third quarter breaking a 1-1 tie and leading No. 15/17 Drexel past Binghamton, 3-2, in a defensive battle Saturday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex.
The five total goals marked the fewest ever recorded in a game in the seven-year history of the Binghamton lacrosse program. The previous record was set in last year's meeting between the two programs, a 4-2 Drexel win on March 6, 2007 in Philadelphia.
"It was a great defensive battle," head coach Ed Stephenson said. "It was a tough loss for us at home. We had some good looks in close, but we just didn't finish them. I was a bit disappointed in our shooting today. Any time you have opportunities that close, you need to finish."
Drexel's sophomore midfielder Greg Casey opened the game's scoring on a wrap-around eight minutes into the game.
The Bearcats had a number of quality chances in the first half, including sophomore Andy Cook's (Vestal, N.Y.) shot that rang off the post on BU's first possession.
The score held until the 11:02 mark of the second when sophomore Steve Carlson (Penn Yan, N.Y.) broke the Binghamton scoring drought. Carlson, a first-team All-America East midfielder and the 2007 league rookie of the year, took a feed from junior attacker Jake Boyce (Pittsford, N.Y.) and found the net from 10 yards out.
The Bearcats outshot the visiting Dragons 17-10 over the first 30 minutes, but were unable to sneak more than one past Drexel goalie Bruce Bickford. Bickford, one of three Dragons named to the Tewaaraton Award Preseason Watch List, had 11 saves in net for the Dragons.
Drexel dictated the play in the third period, recording eight shots on goal to the Bearcats' one. Chapman's goal to break the 1-1 deadlock accounted for the period's only scoring thanks much in part to the strong play of junior goalie Larry Kline (Beverly, Mass.). The Bearcats' 5-6 netminder turned away seven Drexel efforts in the third quarter alone and finished with 13 saves for the game. He also added a career-high six ground balls.
Drexel's Joe Wojciechowski added an unassisted tally with 11:15 in the final period to stake the Dragons to a 3-1 lead.
Boyce scored off a dodge to bring Binghamton within one goal with 1:19 remaining in the contest, but the Bearcats failed to get another opportunity at the Drexel goal after winning the ensuing face-off. BU again had a number of chances in the final 15 minutes, registering 15 shots and hitting their second post of the afternoon.
Bickford, however, proved to be the difference in net making a number of key stops down the stretch to preserve the win. He also tied Chapman for the team-lead with six ground balls.
"Both goalies played some of the best lacrosse I have seen," Stephenson said. "Those were two all-american performances today."
The game was as close on the field as it looked on the final scoresheet. The two teams were even in the face-off circle with four wins apiece. Drexel held a 21-17 advantage in ground balls and put 16 shots on goal to BU's 13. Neither team managed to convert any of their extra-man opportunities. Binghamton finished 0-4, while Drexel was 0-3.
The Bearcats are back in action on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m. when they visit Marist. The Bearcats lead the all-time series with the Red Foxes, 1-0.
Notes: Drexel leads the all-time series, 5-2...The Dragons won last year's meeting, 4-2, on March 6 in Philadelphia. The six total goals marked the then fewest in a game in Binghamton history. That game was tied 2-2 at halftime...The loss snapped a five-game home winning streak for Binghamton. Its last loss at home came on April 22, 2006 against Stony Brook...The game was also the first men's lacrosse regular season game to be played at the new Bearcat Sports Complex. A total of 328 fans braved temperatures in the high 20s and persistent winds to watch the Bearcat opener...BU has now opened the season against a ranked opponent in three straight seasons. Its last season-opening win came in 2004 when they topped Lafayette 11-4.
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