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Bearcats Men's Lacrosse uses big 2nd half to beat UMBC 13-7

Vestal, N.Y.— Binghamton (4-6, 2-0 AE) outscored visiting UMBC (5-5, 1-1 AE) by eight goals in the final two quarters, capturing a 13-7 conference victory on Sunday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex.

Junior Tucker Nelson had an outstanding day, compiling two goals and a season-high tying four assists versus the Retrievers, and senior goalie Max Schefler made 12 saves in the second half to push Binghamton to 2-0 in America East play this season.

“It was terrific to get a win in front of our home fans,” head coach Scott Nelson said afterwards. “The guys really stepped it up in the second half, especially both Max (Schefler) and Dan (Mazurek) who made some keys plays down the stretch. We challenged some of the guys at halftime and they responded in a big way.”

Trailing 6-4 heading into the second half, Binghamton’s offense was jump-started by the play of Schefler. The two-year starter from East Meadow, NY made six saves in the quarter and held the conference’s third-leading offense to just one goal in the second half.

The Bearcats went on to notch five goals in the third, including a pair from seniors Michael Antinozzi and Matt Springer.
Antinozzi got things started with his goal just over three minutes into the second half with a low shot that snuck past UMBC goalkeeper Connor Gordon. The large crown of just under 500 at the Bearcats Sports Complex didn’t have to wait long for the next goal as Springer evened things up at six with a scooped up ground ball that was followed up by a behind-the-back score from just outside the crease.

Paul O’Donnell provided the go-ahead score at the 9:10 mark in third, looping around his defender and firing a running lefty shot that rippled the net. Just a few minutes later, Springer elevated the lead to two off the feed from Nelson; their fourth unanswered goal of the quarter.

After UMBC pulled within one on Jack Gannon’s 15th goal of the season, Antinozzi provided a response. The program’s second leading goal scorer once again fired low and beat Gordon to close out the quarter with a two-goal advantage.

In the fourth, Binghamton dominated possession and once again received timely saves from Schefler. Nelson was the first Binghamton player to tack on the lead, scoring off the dodge from behind cage. With under 10 minutes to go, Kelly Donigan gave the hosts a four-goal lead with his long range shot from over 10 yards out.

Nelson and Springer closed out the scoring in Sunday’s contest as Binghamton picked up their first home victory of the 2014 season. Nine different players scored for the Bearcats, resulting in their best offensive output of the season. Springer had three goals, marking the 18th time he’s recorded a hat trick in 52 games played.

Antinozzi imporoved his point-scoring streak to 41 straight games with a two-goal effort and Nelson’s six points are a new career-high for the junior attackman.

“We had confidence our offense would deliver if we had the chances,” Nelson said. “Dan (Mazurek) did a terrific job winning faceoffs in the second half and we stuck to the game plan in their defensive third. It’s huge to pick up wins in our first two conference games and hopefully we can build off this heading to Saturday against Vermont.”

Faceoff specialist Dan Mazurek won 9-of-19 faceoffs overall, including 4-of-5 in the final period. On defense, Greg Cove, Shawn Needham and George Deignan all recorded two caused turnovers as Binghamton forced eight UMBC turnovers in total on Sunday.
The first half was a story of runs as BU jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first. Garrett Augustyn, a senior LSM, tallied his first career goal with a long range strike and sophomore Zachery Scaduto made it 2-0 with his first goal of the 2014 season.

In the ensuing 10 minutes that stretched between the end of the first and start of the second quarters, UMBC went on a 4-0 run that was capped off by Max Maxwell’s 10th goal of the season.
Binghamton then tied things up at four with just over five minutes remaining in the half on Brandon Planck’s third score of the season.

UMBC finished the half on a 2-0 run, but managed just one more goal in the final 30 minutes, dropping to 5-5 overall and 1-1 in America East play.

The Retreivers were led by Pat Young and Matt Gregoire who both scored two goals apiece. Maxwell had a goal and an assist and freshman goalie Connor Gordon made 11 saves in the loss.

(Courtesy: Binghamton Bearcats Athletic Website)

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