fall to Villanova 13-4 in season opener
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.--In a game that seemed like it might not be played at all, the visiting Bearcats (0-1) lost to host Villanova (1-0) 13-4 Wednesday afternoon at Franklin Field. The game was played on the University of Pennsylvania campus after winter weather over the past two weeks rendered the Villanova field unplayable. The game was rescheduled several times before being played.
Playing against a team that received votes in the preseason national rankings, the Bearcats held their own early on, and trailed just 4-2 at halftime. The Wildcats overpowered Binghamton in the second half, picking up nine goals in the final 30 minutes of the game.
"Villanova beat us in three areas today," head coach Ed Stephenson said. "They had more groundballs, they pressured us defensively, and they attacked our short-stick defenders. I thought we could have handled their defensive pressure better than we did, but that is something we will have to work on in practice. I thought our long-sticks played excellent 1-on-1 defense."
Binghamton displayed quick results of a strong offseason recruiting campaign, as all five Bearcats that made it into the scoring column were freshman. Midfielder Brian Morgan (Littleton, Col./Heritage) had two goals, while midfielder Charlie Cook (Liverpool, N.Y.) and attacker Phil Cavallo (Cedarhurst, N.Y./Lawrence) netted one goal apiece. Attackers John Gaudet (Binghamton, N.Y.) and Brian Chaapel (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) each had one assist.
"We played very hard for our first outing," Stephenson said. "Our goal is to get smarter in every game we play. We know that the effort and intensity will always be there, and our main focus will be to learn from each game."
Weather permitting, the Bearcats will travel to Easton, Pa. on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup with the Leopards. Lafayette returns 25 letterwinners from a team that went 4-10 last season, including 1-5 in the Patriot League.
"Lafayette is a strong Patriot League team," Stephenson said. They have a lot of returning players, and with a new coach they are in the same boat as us in terms of learning a new offense. We are looking forward to an early-season matchup of the America East and Patriot League."
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