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Bearcats play to tie on Saager's AEast leading 5th goal

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EASTON, Pa. - Redshirt junior forward Kayla Saager scored her fifth goal of the season in the 71st minute and Binghamton women's soccer (4-1-2) remained unbeaten on the road with a 1-1 double overtime tie at Lafayette (2-2-1) Thursday night at Oaks Stadium.

Trailing 1-0, Saager took a ball from freshman midfielder Chloe Tracy, spun and struck a shot from 20 yards out that slipped past the Lafayette keeper into the far corner. Ten minutes earlier, the host Leopards had taken the lead when a scrum in front of the net resulted in a goal off a corner kick. 

The Bearcats took control of the game in the second half and nearly had the game winner in the closing minute. Senior defender Hannah Shankman made a tackle in the defensive third, popped up and advanced the ball before sending a long pass over the top for Saager. With the Lafayette keeper charging toward the ball, Saager chipped the ball over the keeper's head and toward the goal. The bouncing ball was cleared by a defender as it came close to crossing the line with just 39 seconds left in regulation.

The teams then played through a pair of scoreless 10-minute overtime periods. 

"It was an up and down performance," head coach Neel Bhattacharjee said. "We are still looking to play a complete 90-minute performance. Lafayette was the aggressor in the first half and we reacted. Once we went down a goal it lit a fire under us and then we played with the quickness and defensive intensity we know we have and the game turned in our favor. We were perhaps a bit unfortunate not to finish with a game-winner but we also need to put in a complete performance for the entire match duration."

Binghamton had 16 shots on goal and earned eight corner kicks. 

The best chance in the extra periods came with 3:08 left in the second, when sophomore midfielder Carly Barnett struck a 35-yard ball that just carried above the crossbar. 

Senior keeper Katie Hatziyianis made five saves - all in the first half. Two were of particular high quality. In the 21st minute, she charged out to challenge a Lafayette 1-on-1 chance on the right side and smothered a hard shot from 12 yards. Then with 2:34 remaining in the half, Hatziyianis again found herself facing a shooter from close range but made an athletic kick save on the 12-yard strike. 

Binghamton continues its run of road games (seven straight) with a match at nearby rival Cornell at noon on Sunday. 

Saager (5 goals, 4 assists) leads the America East in goals and points and ranks 10th in the country in points.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)