VESTAL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The Binghamton University Women’s team is set to begin their season on Saturday.

The Bearcats come in off of a season in which they lost by just 1 goal in the conference semi-final to Vermont.

This year, Binghamton is back with their sights set high as they aim to chase down a conference championship.

The Bearcats were ranked fifth in the preseason poll, but Head Coach Stephanie Allen spoke about how that just adds to the team’s motivation.

“I think last season gave us a taste of what it feels like to be in the tournament and our only goal is to make it to that championship game, nothing less this season,” Allen said. “Being picked fifth, I think it gave our team and our coaching staff a little fuel and fire to prove everybody wrong.”

The goal of reaching the America East championship game is one that is clear from this team, given how close they were to reaching the final last season.

“As a team we’re all excited to kinda get done unfinished business we had last year and get back to the tournament and the finals and go from there,” Senior Golderman said.

The team’s level of experience is something the Bearcats feel can aid them in accomplishing their goals this season.

“We have a lot of experience coming back which is always helpful,” Senior Emily Manning said. “Just going out there and getting better every day at practice, learning from our mistakes and just trying to be better every day.”

That quest for the America East crown begins with non-conference play on Saturday when the Bearcats visit Drexel with a 12 p.m. start.

They open at home 1 week from Thursday against Pitt at 1 p.m. and begin America East play on March 18th when they host UMBC.