March 9, 2012

Binghamton Wins Back-to-Back Games

from press release

BUFFALO, N.Y. – For the first time since 2006, the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team won back-to-back games following their 11-9 victory over Canisius, Friday evening at the Demske Sports Complex. The Bearcats (2-2) won their second road game in three days and are now 2-0 on the road this season after defeating the Golden Griffins (2-2) in Buffalo. The Bearcats won at Marist on Wednesday.

“It was an exciting win against a tough team in Canisius,” said head coach Tony Zostant. “We got off to a fast start and everything was clicking on offense, which really helped get us going. Can’t say enough about the job our defense did on their primary scorers.”

Led by junior Kimberly McGeever’s three goals and four assists the Bearcats hung on for the two goal victory after being outscored (5-3) and out shot (21-6) in the second half. Binghamton’s defense held Canisius scoreless for almost 14 minutes during the second half led by freshman goalie Kara Pafumi, who made a season-high 10 saves for the Bearcats.

“Kim (McGeever) and Kara (Pafumi) did a fabulous job for us today,” Zostant continued. “Kim really orchestrated our offense well after we began using Lis (Zuern) as a decoy and Kara made some huge stops on their free position attempts.”

After maintaining their four-goal halftime lead for the first five minutes of the second half, defender Lauren Lukefahr received a precisely placed pass from McGeever to push BU’s lead to five, 9-4 at the 25:32 mark. The Golden Griffins retaliated with a goal of their own, but consecutive goals from freshman Renee Kiviat and McGeever extended the Bearcats’ lead to six, their largest of the game.

Canisius began to chip away at the Binghamton lead late in the game scoring three times in the final four minutes, but it wasn’t enough as Pafumi made several key stops on free position attempts (2-for-7) by the Griffs. After facing just 12 shots in the first half, Pafumi was fired upon 21 times in the final stanza.

In the first half the Bearcats got off to the fast start, unlike their first three games, holding an 8-4 lead at the break. Binghamton scored four goals in the first ten minutes of the game to take a 4-1 advantage at the 21:44 mark.

From the start BU put the pressure on the Golden Griffins as Kiviat netted her third goal of the season just two minutes into the contest. Less than a minute later, McGeever found the back of the net after junior midfielder Katherine Hunsberger corralled the draw control.

Canisius responded with a goal, but McGeever struck again when she maneuvered her way through the fan breaking away for the score and her second goal of the game. Wednesday’s hero, Kristen Stone, got in on the action scoring with 21:44 left in the first, handing Binghamton the aforementioned 4-1 lead.

The defending MAAC champions did not back down netting consecutive goals to cut the deficit to one midway through the half. Binghamton’s offense continued to click however, as freshman Alex Fisher found senior Allie Sabitus to push the cushion back to two. Over the next eight minutes both teams stalled offensively until Stone score her second goal of the game on a feed from McGeever. Canisius answered right back 22 seconds later to make the score 6-4 with under three minutes left in the half.

Senior Brittany Stufano netted two goals in the final minute of the half to extend Binghamton’s lead to four. Stufano’s first goal was on a free position attempt, then on the ensuing draw control McGeever scooped up the ball and hit Stufano, who found the back of the net with five seconds left on clock.

Binghamton received solid efforts from several players as six different Bearcats tallied a goal for the second straight game. Hunsberger finished the contest with three ground balls, three draw controls and an assist. Kiviat, Stone and Stufano each netted two goals apiece for BU. Junior midfielder Casey Bulman helped shut down the Canisius offense with three caused turnovers and three ground balls.

Binghamton will wrap up its three-game road trip with a visit to Lehigh on Wednesday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m. The Bearcats and the Mountain Hawks will meet for the first time since 2005.

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