Albany vs. Binghamton
May 1, 2004
The Game Story:
Albany, N.Y. – Sophomore attackman Phil Cavallo scored the game-winning goal with two minutes and 49 seconds remaining, as Binghamton came from behind in the fourth quarter for a 9-8 America East Conference victory over Albany in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday, May 1 at University Field.

Binghamton (9-5, AE 6-0) wrapped up their first-ever America East regular-season title and earned the No. 1 seed for next week’s conference postseason tournament. The Bearcats will host Stony Brook in the semifinal round. Albany (8-5, AE 4-2), the No. 3 seed, will travel to UMBC, the second seed, on Wednesday, May 5. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The Great Danes, who had won or shared the previous two conference regular-season crowns, reversed a 7-6 deficit in the fourth quarter on unassisted goals by Luke Daquino and Chris Martocchia. Daquino fired a high shot under the crossbar to tie the contest, before Martocchia worked his way around the cage and scored on a low bounce shot from left of the crease.

The Bearcats got the equalizer with 3:09 to play, when freshman Nate Kerstein converted off Cavallo’s crossing pass with the man-advantage. Following the faceoff, Albany defenseman Chris Kivlen lost possession of the ball. Binghamton’s Matt McNamara, who had three assists, came up with the ground ball and fed Cavallo for the empty-net goal 20 seconds later.

Albany had taken a 6-4 lead in the third quarter, as Michael Solazzo and Matthew Green each scored his third goal of the game. However, Binghamton responded with three consecutive goals. Matt DeCirce connected on an 18-yard bounce shot with 10 seconds left in the period, before Cavallo, who had two goals and one assist, finished off a fastbreak midway through the final period to put his team ahead.

"We wanted to keep it a controlled game instead of a run-and-gun style, said Binghamton coach Ed Stephenson, whose sophomore goalkeeper Kevin McKeown made 14 saves, including eight in the first half. "Our goalkeeper saved us whenever we had breakdowns defensively."

Binghamton’s Kerstein finished with two goals and one assist, while Jeff Santucci added a pair of goals. The Bearcats have won eight of their last nine starts.

"They are scrappy, physical and very quick defensively," Albany coach Scott Marr commented. "We were sloppy in the fourth quarter, and had too many turnovers. We had a lead, didn’t increase it, and they came back on us."