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Bearcats blank UMBC on Thursday

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Freshman forward Genna Michitti had a goal and an assist and redshirt junior forward Kayla Saager notched her league-leading 10th goal of the season as Binghamton women's soccer (8-3-3, 2-2 America East) rolled over visiting UMBC (2-7-3, 0-3 AE) 3-0 Thursday night at the Bearcats Sports Complex.

Binghamton scored twice in the game's first 18 minutes and outshot the Retrievers 15-3 to gain three important points in the America East standings as the team hit the halfway point in the conference schedule. 

A sound full-field performance made it a stress-free shutout for freshman keeper Mackenzie Hanna, who made three saves in her first collegiate start. Hanna was playing in place of injured senior keeper Katie Hatziyianis. 

Saager, who entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in goals and points, opened the scoring 7:57 into the game. On a well-constructed build up, freshman back Erin Theiller won a ball on the back line and found junior midfielder Patty Loonie, who sent a ball wide on the left to Michitti. The first-year forward cut inside around a defender and slotted a perfect through ball to Saager, whose left foot found the far corner for a 1-0 lead.

Ten minutes later, freshman midfielder Dora Hayes scored a beautiful goal on a 12-yard header. Sophomore forward Ryan Reilly took a ball from Saager on the right, dribbled and sent a sharp cross into the box, where Hayes struck her header in stride into the far corner for her second goal of the season.

Up 2-0 at half, BU finished off the scoring in the 57th minute. Sophomore back Sam O'Malley sent a free kick toward the far post and the UMBC keeper leaped and deflected it straight down, where Michitti tapped it home for her second collegiate goal.

"It was a good, classy performance," head coach Neel Bhattacharjee said. "We had strong, collective individual efforts. Having that early goal helped ... we fed off that energy. I'm really pleased with what we did on the attacking end and defending." 

Binghamton is off for a week before hosting Stony Brook next Thursday.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)