Towson vs. Binghamton
March 4, 2006
The Game Story:
TOWSON, Md. – Junior Matt McNamara scored an extra-man goal off a pass from freshman Chris Mulheron in the first minute of the second overtime period as unranked Binghamton (1-1) upset the 11th-ranked Tigers (1-1) by a 7-6 margin at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The victory enabled Coach Ed Stephenson, a 1989 Towson graduate and a member of the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, to enjoy a successful homecoming. An All-American defenseman for the Tigers from 1986 to 1989, Stephenson is in his fifth season as the Binghamton coach.

McNamara’s goal ended a game in which the Tigers outshot the Bearcats by a 41-27 margin but struggled to put the ball in the cage.

After the Tigers rallied from a 5-1 first half deficit to tie the game twice, Binghamton controlled play in the overtime periods, outshooting the Tigers by 8-0 in the extra periods. In fact, the Tigers never had the ball across midfield in the overtime periods as they were called for three major penalties.

The Tiger defense successfully killed off the first two penalties in overtime before McNamara’s third goal of the game gave the Bearcats the win.

The Bearcats, who never trailed in the game, took a 1-0 lead with 13:21 left in the first quarter when McNamara scored off a pass by Mulheron. With 7:59 left in the period, Mulheron scored his only goal of the game for a 2-0 Bearcat lead. After sophomore Adam Hagelin scored off a pass from senior Steve Mull with 4:53 left in the period, the Tigers cut the deficit to 2-1.

However, the Bearcats responded by scoring three consecutive goals in the next 10:05. Junior Nate Kerstein’s extra man goal with 2:37 left in the first quarter gave Binghamton a 3-1 lead before sophomore Stephen Smith scored a goal just 14 seconds into the second quarter for a 4-1 Bearcat lead. When McNamara scored his second goal of the game with 7:32 left in the half, Binghamton owned a 5-1 lead.

Senior Phil Grillo started the Tigers’ comeback when he scored off a pass by junior Nick Williams with 5:48 remaining in the half. Sophomore Kyle Batton cut the Bearcats’ lead to 5-3 when he scored off a feed by senior Steve Mull with 1:29 left in the half.

Trailing by 5-3 at halftime, the Tigers dominated the third quarter as they outshot Binghamton by 13-2 and forced eight turnovers. A goal by senior Kyle Fiat off a pass from Mull cut the Tigers’ deficit to 5-4 with 7:11 left in the third quarter. Just 35 seconds later, the Tigers tied the game for the first time when Batton scored his second goal of the game.

The score remained tied at 5-5 until freshman Jake Boyce scored off a pass by Mulheron with 13:41 remaining. The goal was the Bearcats’ first score in 23:51.

With 2:26 remaining in regulation, the Tigers tied the game at 6-6 when Grillo scored an extra man goal off a pass by junior Oliver Bacon.

After winning the faceoff, the Tigers had several chances to go ahead but missed three shots. Tiger goalkeeper Charlie Paar made a save on a shot by Jeff Santucci with two seconds left in regulation and the game went to overtime.

Binghamton had an immediate advantage when the teams went to overtime as the Tigers were called for an unnecessary roughness penalty after regulation play ended. Despite three shots by the Bearcats, the Tigers killed off the one-minute penalty. But, with 2:35 left in the first overtime period, Stephenson requested for a stick-check on Tiger defenseman Ted Turnblacer. When it was determined that the pocket on Turnblacer’s stick was too deep, the Tigers were called for another one-minute penalty.

The Tigers killed off that penalty and were clearing the ball when junior Keith Obloj was called for a slashing penalty, setting the stage for McNamara’s game-winning goal with 3:40 left in the second overtime period.

McNamara and Mulheron led the Bearcats as they combined for four goals and four assists. Mulheron had four assists in addition to one goal.

Grillo and Batton each scored two goals for the Tigers while Mull had a team high four assists.

Senior goalkeeper Kevin McKeown paced the Binghamton defense with 15 saves as he faced 41 shots.

Turnblacer led the Tiger defense with six caused turnovers and six ground balls as the Tiger defense kept Towson in the game by forcing 14 turnovers.

The Tigers were hurt by the absence of senior attack Bobby Griebe, their top returning scorer from last season. Griebe, who scored 25 goals last season, missed the game with an ankle injury.