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Bearcats play to 1-1 tie against Stony Brook

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Sophomore midfielder Valerie McNamara scored in the 30th minute and Binghamton women's soccer went the distance with visiting Stony Brook (5-7-3, 2-2-1 AE), settling for a 1-1 double overtime tie in an America East game Thursday night at the Bearcats Sports Complex.

The Bearcats (1-11-2, 0-4-1 AE) gained a point in the conference standings in their quest to keep their postseason hopes alive. Binghamton has three regular season games remaining.

The teams combined for 47 shots in a wide-open game that featured numerous point-blank scoring opportunities.

"It was an exciting game ... a great conference battle," head coach Sarah McClellan said. "I thought our forwards and midifielders had a massive work rate, flying forward at speed and getting chances. We got some really good chances and have to feel good about our ability to create those opportunities. Defensively I thought we managed some of their really top players and kept a lot of their shots to routine saves for Katie Hatziyianis."

McNamara snapped a scoreless tie with 15:12 left in the first half with her first goal of the season. Senior midfielder Katherine Corcoran started the play with a nice run down the right sideline and sent a ball through the middle that freshman linemate Sierra Barr collected on the left edge of the box. Barr delivered a hard cross into the middle, where Corcoran settled it. The loose ball bounced to McNamara, who thighed it down and drilled a short-hop right-footed volley into the upper-90 netting from 15 yards out.

Binghamton held the lead until the 68th minute when dangerous Seawolves' striker Raven Edwards tallied her ninth of the season on a header. After a BU handball 38 yards away from goal, junior back Hannah Groth sent the free kick into the box, where a running Edwards beat Hatziyianis to the bouncing ball and flicked it into the corner.

Stony Brook held a slight 24-23 edge in shots, though BU had 18 on target, including high-quality chances by Barr, sophomore forward Michele Galvin, junior midfielder Alyssa Falinski, junior forward Leighann Bennett and sophomore forward Jacque Rice - all from inside 15 yards.

Hatziyianis made seven saves and punched away a scoring threat at the far post in the final two minutes of regulation.

"We needed the point to stay in the hunt and not be hoping for help from other teams," McClellan added. "Now we will have to build on this performance, finish our chances and put in the same amount of work rate Sunday at Maine."

In the team's final road trip of the regular season, BU makes the nine-hour trek to Orono on Saturday to prepare for Sunday's 1 p.m. encounter with Maine.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)