VESTAL, N.Y.--#3 seed Albany (10-5) jumped out to a 3-0 lead early on, led 5-2 at the half and never looked back on the way to a decisive 10-4 victory over #1 seed and host Binghamton (10-6) in the title game of the America East Championship on Saturday afternoon from the East Gym Complex.
The Great Danes scored twice in the opening five minutes of the game and added a third goal with just under a minute left in the third quarter. The Bearcats closed to within 3-2 on a pair of goals just 16 seconds apart in the second frame, but Albany answered with a man-up goal midway through the period and extended the lead to 5-2 with 2:35 left in the opening half. Binghamton held a 9-3 shot advantage in the second quarter, but was unable to take advantage of five Albany penalties in the stanza, going 1-for-5 on man-up opportunities.
Freshman attack Matt McNamara (Oswego, N.Y.) had a goal and an assist for Binghamton and was one of three Bearcats named to the all-tournament team. Sophomore midfielder Matt DeCirce (Binghamton, N.Y.), freshman attack Rob Williams (Fulton, N.Y.) and sophomore attack David Burpoe (Arlington, Va.) each scored goals for Binghamton, and freshman midfielder Chris Bernard (Beverly, Mass.) had an assist.
Senior attack Michael Solazzo and America East Rookie of the Year Merrick Thompson netted three goals apiece for the Great Danes, while junior attack Luke Daquino tallied twice. Solazzo also dished out two assists, as did sophomore attack Chris Martocchia and freshman attack Frank Resetarits.
Binghamton continued its onslaught of shots in the third quarter, taking 11 shots compared to just four for Albany. Junior goalie Kevin Rae was unfazed in the net, however, making 12 saves in the win. The Bearcats wound up with a 30-28 advantage in shots.
Albany scored the only goal of the third quarter with 6:51 left in the period, and dashed any chances of a Binghamton rally with two goals in a span of 1:22 midway through the fourth quarter. It was just the third time this season and first time in 12 games that an opponent scored at least 10 goals on a Binghamton defense that ranked first in the nation in defensive scoring average entering the postseason.
Freshman defender Tom Wilmot (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Southside) and senior midfielder Chris Healy (Freeport, N.Y.) joined McNamara on the all-tournament team. Albany junior goalie Kevin Rae was named the Most Outstanding Player, and was joined by teammate Patrick McSweeney as well as Solazzo and Daquino as all-tournament selections. Completing the all-tournament team were Jason Cappadoro and Brendan Callahan of Stony Brook and Brendan Mundorf and Brad Preisinger of UMBC.
Binghamton concludes its third season of varsity and Division I competition with a 10-6 overall record. After being picked to finish sixth in the America East in a preseason poll, the Bearcats ran the table to the tune of a 6-0 regular season conference record and carried the #1 seed into the America East Championship. The Bearcats were one of the youngest teams in the nation, with a roster made up of 95 percent underclassmen. The team's success did not go unnoticed, as the team received votes in the national rankings in each of the past two weeks.
Binghamton vs. Albany