April 2, 2011

Springer Spearheads Binghamton Comeback Win

from press release

VESTAL, N.Y. -- The Binghamton University men's lacrosse team (5-5, 1-0 AE) outscored the Vermont Catamounts (4-5, 0-1 AE) 5-0 over the final 18:01 to rally from a 7-3 deficit and post a thrilling 8-7 overtime triumph in the America East opener Saturday night from the Bearcats Sports Complex. Sophomore attackman Matt Springer netted the game-winner off the feed from senior David Raleigh with 59 seconds remaining in the sudden-death overtime period.

"The guys did a great job battling back," interim head coach Kevin McKeown said. "It was a great effort by our defense in the second half. Kraig [Heston] did a great job and our close defenders were excellent on their attack. Matt [Springer] and the rest of the guys started to find the net in the second half. We had our opportunities in the first half but we didn't finish, and we were able to finish our shots in the second half."

Trailing 7-3 entering the final frame, Springer started the comeback with a score off the assist from senior Frank Donlon at the 9:04 mark. Donlon managed a goal of his own 46 seconds later to pull the Bearcats within striking distance with 8:18 to play. Sophomore Tyler Perrelle cut the margin to 7-6 when he rifled home a score four minutes later. At about the two minute mark, Perrelle had the ball poked out of his stick and freshman Brandon Planck scooped up the loose ball in traffic and coverted the score from point blank range.

Each team committed turnovers in their potential game-winning possessions over the final 1:45 of regulation.

The Catamounts had a golden opportunity to secure the win 19 seconds into the extra session. A costly turnover by junior face-off specialist Chris Cook seconds into the overtime period led to a breakout by Vermont's Max Gradinger, who intercepted Cook's pass and outletted up the field. Geoff Worley sprinted up the field in a one-on-one situation with BU goalie Kraig Heston, who made a brilliant stop from point blank range. Worley was forced to angle his shot around Heston and couldn't register the game-winner.

Junior Ben Waldron forced a turnover by Worley with under two minutes remaining which led to a Binghamton timeout at the 1:22 mark. Raleigh operated the offense from the top of the attack zone and circled around the right side, where he found Springer on the doorstep. Falling to the ground as he released, Springer converted the score right-handed as the Vermont defense collapsed on him.

The Bearcats clamped down defensively after the break, holding the Catamounts to only two goals over the final 33:01. Senior defenseman Derrick Danieu caused a team-high three turnovers and held Vermont's leading scorer Drew Philie without a goal in a stellar defensive outing. Heston made five saves and allowed only seven goals in 63 minutes to improve to 5-2 in cage.

Seven different Bearcats made their way into the scoring column while Springer was the only player to post multiple scores.

At the face-off X, Binghamton controlled 10-of-18 draws, including 5-of-6 over the pivotal fourth quarter and overtime session. The Bearcats outshot Vermont 38-29 and held a slight advantage in ground balls, 22-19.

The Catamounts limited a potent man-up offense to a 1-of-6 conversion rate. With 3:33 to play in the third quarter, Vermont was whistled for three penalties in the same possession which gave BU a 6-on-3 man-up situation for 30 seconds. However, a stingy man-down defense by the visiting squad limited Binghamton to only one shot during that span.

Binghamton travels to Baltimore next Saturday to face UMBC at noon.

NOTE: Matt Springer and Kyle Sminkey were named the America East Players of the Game ... Binghamton improved to 3-1 at home this season and 5-5 in America East openers ... Tonight's contest marks the second overtime win over Vermont and the third time BU defeated the Catamounts by the margin of 8-7 ... Binghamton beat Vermont 8-7 in double overtime back in 2005


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