Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 4:21:52 AM

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BU comes up just short against Vermont

Vestal, NYBinghamton (5-8, 1-3 AE) came up just short Saturday afternoon, dropping an 8-7 America East conference game to visiting Vermont (4-9, 1-3 AE) at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Catamounts used a 4-2 first quarter and never trailed as they secured their first conference win of the season. Junior Brandon Planck netted three goals for the Bearcats who fell to 1-3 in conference play.

In the first half, the visitors jumped out to a sparkling start on the offensive side of the ball. After both teams traded goals to begin the game, Vermont reeled off three unanswered. Senior Drew Philie buried his 29th goal of the season at the 9:02 mark and Tim Yager made it 4-1 with one of his two goals on the afternoon.

Still in the first quarter, and down 4-1, junior goalie Max Schefler made a excellent stop for Binghamton and heaved an outlet to senior midfielder Shane Warner who raced up the field on the counter attack. Warner split two defenders with a great feed to a wide open Tucker Nelson who calmly found the back of the net for his ninth goal of the year.

The Bearcats started to get things rolling in the second as they climbed out of a two-goal hole. After a UVM turnover, the aforementioned Planck scooped up the ground ball and headed towards the goal mouth where he dove and lined a low lefty shot into the cage for the score. Just over a minute later, fellow junior Michael Antinozzi evened the score at four with his goal at the 9:43 mark in the second. Antinozzi weaved between two defenders and spun to his left where he fired a shot that snuck past Vermont goalie Justin Rosenberg . However, Vermont entered the half with a narrow 5-4 lead after Patrick Clarks goal with two minutes remaining.

The Catamounts raced out to a 7-4 lead in the third after back-to-back goals from leading goal scorers Drew Philie and Graham Horvath. Much like in the first half, BU was able to respond closing out the quarter on a 2-0 run. Planck maneuvered his way in front of the cage and laced a side arm shot that was shoveled past Rosenberg, bringing the Bearcats to within two. Fast forward to 51 seconds left in the quarter, it was Antinozzi who found the back of the net as Binghamton charged to the fourth quarter down just one, 7-6.

Now in the fourth, Vermonts Tim Yager put the visitors up 8-6 with his 12th goal of the season at the 12:58 mark. Both teams went back-and-forth in the highly contested quarter until BU finally got an open look for their leading goal scorer Matt Springer. Antinozzi found a cutting Springer who rifled a shot from his shoe laces that bounced past Rosenberg, putting BU down just one with a little over three minutes remaining.

After a lengthy Vermont possession and the subsequent pulling of Schefler out of goal to force a double team, Graham Horvath tried to score the open net goal but was denied by the standout BU goalie who quickly spun the ball out on the attack. After a missed shot attempt from Binghamton, the Bearcats turned the ball over on a controversial no-call as the visitors ran out the clock for their first conference win of the season.

Three players recorded a pair of goals for the Catamounts, including Philie who now has 30 goals on the season. Rosenberg was phenomenal in goal for the visitors, making 15 stops on the afternoon as they held BU to just 2-of-6 on the man-up.

Planck netted the hat trick Saturday, his fifth of his career in the loss. Antinozzi scored two goals and added an assist, increasing his career point tally to 89. Both Nelson and Springer scored on attack for the Bearcats as they again won the shot battle 38-32 on the afternoon. With Springers goal, he ties the single season goals record of 32 set just last season by teammate Michael Antinozzi.

Both teams split faceoff wins Saturday (9-of-18), headlined by a career-best 7-of-14 from freshman Joey Dalfo. Freshman Chris Bechle had his best game in a BU uniform, causing three turnovers and scooping up three ground balls on the back line. Schefler made 13 saves on the afternoon as the Bearcats fell to 3-4 playing at the Bearcats Sports Complex this season.

The game was a home sendoff for four BU players as the Binghamton faithful said goodbye to seniors Matt Moynihan, Tyler Perrelle, Shane Warner and Kraig Heston. Three of the four players played in Saturdays game, with goalie Heston sitting out with an injury. Warner tallied an assist in his final home game and Perrelle earned his final start at home in a prolific career that has seen him sit atop nearly every offensive category in the BU record books.

The Bearcats return to action next Saturday in Baltimore as they travel to play the UMBC Retrievers in their regular season finale. UMBC recently fell on the road to Albany on Friday, 16-10, as they sit with a 2-2 conference standing and 5-7 record overall. BU defeated the Retrievers last season in their regular season finale by the score of 15-8.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)

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