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Racciati's five goals lead BU past Lafayette

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VESTAL, N.Y.—Sophia Racciatti got hot, Erin McNulty remained stingy, and the Binghamton women's lacrosse team won their home opener 10-7 against Lafayette (1-5).

"I think our girls played with some resiliency, fought back in a tight situation in the second half, and really displayed some team unity," reflected head coach Stephanie Allen.

Binghamton (2-1) was not sure if they would even get the game in today because of inclement weather. Coach Allen stated that a number of people worked tirelessly to get the field ready to play: "A huge thank you to our staff and fellow coaches that came out (this morning). Men's soccer was out on the field as well, and I don't know if we would have gotten in the game without them today."

With the game still on, Binghamton used a solid start to take the lead going into the half.

Racciatti got the team going, beating her defender and shooting low past the Lafayette goalkeeper to make it 1-0 six minutes into the game. Alex Fisher made it 2-0 when she caught a pass from Samantha Karner and fired it home, catching Lafayette out of position. Racciatti's second goal made it 3-1, and her third gave the Bearcats four going into the half.

In the second half, Lafayette responded by scoring two goals to take a brief lead, but Tiffany Ryan scored fifteen seconds later to tie the game at five. Binghamton would score the next four goals, with Racciatti's fourth making it 9-5 with just over eight minutes left.

By the time she scored her fifth—a no-look, behind the back shot—Binghamton was up 10-6 and only surrendered one more goal for the rest of the game. For Racciatti, it was her second straight multi-goal game.

"We're continuing to work with Sophia on the little things out there," admitted Allen. "Certainly today we found a weakness in the Layfayette defense where we could continue attack down low. She's been seeing that space very well, and is finishing very strongly right now."

Erin McNulty and the Binghamton defense turned in another solid game as well. McNulty stopped 10 of 17 shots on goal, to pick up her second win of the season.

Part of the defense's success, Allen admitted, was stopping Lafayette's high-powered scorer, Kirsten Wilhelmsen. "I think our defensive unit as a whole just played good team defense, which we've been trying to do lately. We're well aware of Whilhelmsen and played tactically to limit her touches on the ball today, and that was pretty successful for us. I thought our players that were positioned in a matchup against her did an exceptional job."

The win gives Binghamton a 2-1 start for the second straight season. They return to action on Saturday, March 7, when they travel to Sacred Heart.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)