Hartford vs. Binghamton
April 14, 2012
The Game Story:
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Hartford men’s lacrosse team led from start to finish on Saturday evening and earned its first victory in America East play with an 11-7 triumph over the Binghamton Bearcats under the lights of Al-Marzook Field. The Hawks improve to 4-8 overall (1-2 AE) and will have one week to prepare for their next outing, a rematch of last year’s America East title game at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Freshman Kevin O'Shea netted a hat trick to lead Hartford, which saw a nine-game drought against the Bearcats come to a halt with the win. Senior Carter Bender contributed two goals and dished out three assists, a game-best, while teammate Ryan Compitello and junior Rory Nunamacher each added a pair of scores.

The start of Saturday’s game featured a trio of runs as the Hawks used a 5-0 rally to start the game before Binghamton (3-8, 0-3 AE) scratched across four-straight goals to make it a one point game at the halftime break. Following the intermission, the Hawks strung together four unanswered scores to regain their five point edge at 9-4 with 8:09 left to play in the third. Binghamton would go on to edge Hartford, 3-2, in the final 22 minutes but would never come any closer than three goals of the Hawks.

Compitello and Bender, a pair of seniors, provided the game’s first two goals to give the Hawks the early advantage with just three minutes off of the clock. The Hawks continued to dominate in the opening quarter, a span in which they bombarded their opponents with 13 shots while allowing just one, as Nunamacher and Bender both went unassisted to close out the first and provide Hartford with the 4-0 advantage.

The Hawks’ streak continued into the second stanza as Compitello netted an unassisted score just 19 seconds in to make it a 5-0 game however the Bearcats responded with a run of their own, reeling off four unanswered goals to cut their deficit to one at the half. Tyler Perrelle started the visiting team’s run at the 9:53 mark and went on to cap the rally with his team-best second goal with 1:36 remaining in the first half.

Out of the break, Hartford regenerated its offense and cushioned its lead with four-straight goals. Junior Jared Franze the Hawks ahead at 6-4 at the 13:48 mark before sophomore Tate Klidonas reached the back of the net with 10:32 left in the third to extend his team’s lead to three goals.

Just 22 seconds later, O’Shea scored his first goal of the game out of the ensuing face-off to double Hartford’s lead at 8-4. The rookie went on to go back-to-back for the Hawks, finishing on a feed from Bender at the 8:09 mark of the third quarter to push Hartford’s lead to five goals for the second time in the game.

Paul O’Donnell stopped Hartford’s run with 3:13 left and with one minute to play in the third, Kyle Bakker cut the Bearcats’ deficit to three goals using a pass from O’Donnell. Hartford, however, put the game out of reach with 4:48 remaining in regulation using O’Shea’s third goal of the evening to ice the game at 10-6.

Senior Scott Bement enjoyed another stellar game in goal, totaling a game-best 13 saves. He needs just seven more to tie Chris LaMonica (1996-97), who is fourth in Hartford’s Division I record books in career saves.

Hartford fell behind in shots by a 45-30 margin but edged the Bearcats in ground balls, 28-27. The Hawks also finished with the slight advantage in the face-off circle, winning 11-of-21 duels, all of which were taken by rookie Ty Schuldt.