BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's lacrosse team (10-5, 4-1 AE) defeated America East rival Binghamton (3-11, 1-3 AE) by a score of 9-8 Sunday afternoon in its final home game at UMBC Stadium to clinch a spot in the four-team America East Championships for the second year in a row.
The Retrievers improve to 10-5 on the season, their best record after 15 games since 2002, when they were 11-4. In addition, after winning 11 games last season, UMBC has 10 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2002-03, and the Retrievers' four America East victories are their most since going 5-1 in 2006, the year they won a share of the league's regular-season title.
Binghamton scored the first two goals of the game in just over two minutes of action, but senior midfielder Amanda Pappas (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) tied it up with back-to-back goals less than six minutes later. The Bearcats scored two of the next three goals over the next 11 minutes, but the lone Retriever tally during that time was another by Pappas, completing her hat trick just 27:47 into the game.
Trailing, 4-3, with 4:45 to play in the first half, the Retrievers scored twice in the final 1:07, with senior attack Erika Braerman (Fallston, Md./Fallston) finding the back of the net with just one second remaining to send UMBC into halftime with a 5-4 lead.
The Retrievers built on their late first-half momentum to start the second stanza, as junior midfielder Alicia Krause (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron/Duquesne) won the opening draw and ran straight up the middle of the field for the score just 10 seconds into the period to give UMBC a two-goal lead.
But the Bearcats scored three of the next four goals to tie the game at 7-7 with 17 minutes remaining. Then after nearly seven and a half minutes without a goal, the teams combined to score three within a span of 1:36. Braerman put UMBC on top, 8-7, with 9:36 to go, but Binghamton midfielder Beth Moore responded just over a minute later to again knot it up.
But UMBC senior midfielder Ashley Stodter (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) found the back of the net at the 8:00 mark to break the tie and give the Retrievers a 9-8 lead, which stood for the final eight minutes. The goal also extended Stodter's point-scoring streak to 20 straight games.
Pappas led the Retrievers with three goals, while Braerman and Krause added three points on two goals and an assist. Braerman was named America East Player of the Game. Junior midfielder Madi Bell (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech/Navy) contributed four ground balls, two draw controls and three caused turnovers.
Moore and attack Ali Castiglie both notched hat tricks to lead the Bearcats.
UMBC senior goalie Natalie Rau (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) played the majority of the game between the pipes for the Retrievers and made two saves, while Binghamton keeper Lauren Scott earned her team's Player of the Game honors with 14 saves, including nine in the first half.
UMBC outshot Binghamton, 32-16, including 20-7 in the first half, and held a 17-7 advantage in ground balls, including 10-3 in the opening period. The Retrievers also edged the Bearcats, 9-8, in draw controls. Binghamton committed 17 turnovers, including 12 in the first half, and was just 8-for-17 in clearing opportunities, while UMBC was successful on 11 of 12.
The Retrievers now have nearly two weeks off before concluding the regular season at undefeated America East rival Albany on Saturday, April 30.
Notes: Before the game, the Retrievers held a Senior Day ceremony to honor seven seniors – Braerman, Pappas, Rau, Stodter and defenders C.J. Durham (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake), Meagan Linkous (Jarrettsville, Md./North Harford) and Kristen Milligan (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake)… The group combined to score six of UMBC's nine goals in the game and added seven ground balls… With three points in the game, Pappas took sole possession of 16th place all-time at UMBC with 131 career points, while Braerman's three points in the contest moved her into a tie for 17th place with 130 in her career.