Binghamton’s Nate Kerstein scored the third of his three goals with 3:33 remaining in the fourth quarter and the first-place Bearcats held on for a hard-fought 8-7 win over Vermont in America East men’s lacrosse action Saturday at UVM’s Centennial Field.
Vermont, 5-8 overall and 2-3 in America East play, hosts crosstown rival Saint Michael’s Tuesday at 3:30pm at Centennial Field and then host UMBC Saturday at 1:00pm in the final home game of the 2004 season.
The Catamounts are still alive for the final playoff spot, but must win against UMBC. A Vermont win would make the Catamounts the #4 seed in the America East tournament.
Binghamton, 5-0 in America East and 7-5 overall, broke open a 1-1 game after the first quarter with three second-quarter goals, by Matt McNamara, Phil Cavallo and, with one second left in the quarter, Brian Chaapel, to take a 4-2 lead at the half.
The Bearcats then outscored Vermont 3-1 in the third quarter, with Kerstein scoring twice and David Burpoe also tallying, offsetting Vermont’s lone goal by Mark Prior (Syracuse, N.Y.).
The Catamounts got the offense in gear in the fourth, scoring four straight goals to tie the game at 7-7. R.J. Harrison (Columbus, Ohio) started the string at 10:45, and Mike Maher (Huntington Station, N.Y.), Prior and Branden Moore (Beverly Hills, Mich.) also finding the net, with Moore’s goal with 7:50 remaining tying the score at 7-7.
Binghamton then got the game-winner, a bouncer from the left side from Kerstein, with 3:33 remaining and got some key saves down the stretch from Kevin McKeown to ice the win. Prior led the way for Vermont with two goals, with Moore, Maher, Harrison, Austin Humprhies (Salem, Va.) and Dan Zwirko (Longmeadow, Mass.) also scoring.
Kerstein was one of the offensive standouts for Binghamton, scoring three times. McNamara added two goals and three assists. In net, Vermont’s Mike Gabel had nine saves, while McKeown finished with 12, including seven in the fourth quarter.