Men's lacrosse opener against Villanova now set for Wednesday at 1 p.m.

The Binghamton men's lacrosse team, which was originally scheduled to open the season at Villanova on February 15, will now take on the Wildcats on Wednesday, February 26 at 1 p.m. The game will be played at Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Villanova's field is still unplayable following a blizzard last week. Villanova has since also had a game against Hofstra postponed. Last season, the Bearcats made the leap from club sport to Division I competition in the highly competitive America East Conference last season. Binghamton finished its inaugural season with a 1-8 record, recording its first-ever win with an 8-7 triumph at home over Boston College. Graduate student Andrew Verkey earned second team all-conference honors and was also named to the all-rookie team. Verkey now joins the coaching staff as an assistant coach.

This season, the Bearcats feature an impressive recruiting class of 24 newcomers, including five high school all-americans. The preseason has been fueled by intense competition for starting spots, and the team's defensive units have stood out as a strong point on the field.

"We are young, but I like our starting groups at every position," head coach Ed Stephenson said. "Depth will be a challenge, but staying healthy will be a top priority."

The Bearcats will look for a strong overall effort against Villanova, a team that received votes in the preseason national rankings. Last season, the Wildcats finished 6-8 overall, including a 2-4 conference record in the Colonial Athletic Association.

"We are playing a very formidable team," Stephenson said. "We are going to try to do a few things very well. We want to do all the little things well and stick to our fundamentals."

Binghamton will play its first four games on the road before opening its five-game home slate with a 1 p.m. matchup against conference foe Quinnipiac on Saturday, March 22. The Bearcats will play four of their five conference games at home this season.

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