LOUDONVILLE, NY – Thursday marked the beginning of the 2021 fall season for the Binghamton University women’s soccer team.
Led by Vestal native Olivia McKnight, one of the America East’s 2021 Players to Watch, and senior goal keeper Haylee Poltorak, the Bearcats are ready to try and build off their big spring season.
Right out of the gate, B.U. is being tested though as they will face the reigning MAAC champions, Siena, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament this past spring.
However, the Bearcats had the benefit of a real preseason to properly prepare for the Saints.
Going into the match, head coach Neel Bhattacharjee believed that the competitive challenge they would get from Siena is exactly what his team needs.
“That’s who we want to play. We want to be at that level. That’s always certainly going to be an annual ambition of ours in terms of competing at that level, and hopefully being in contention for a conference title where we can get to the NCAA Tournament. So, we know they’re going to be a very high-quality side. We know a little bit about their roster. But, you know, at this point in the season, they probably won’t know much about us, and we won’t know a whole lot about them either,” he says.
Bhattacharjee went on to say that knowing less, in this case, could actually be more beneficial for his team as they can then simply focus on what they need to do to win.
Let’s find out if the theory worked when put into action.
And the answer was not really.
The Bearcats went down 1-0 in the 22nd minute when Siena’s Katrina Kurtz sent an absolute missile into the top left corner of the goal from about 40 yards out.
Poltorak got a hand on it, but couldn’t keep it out.
Same score in the 2nd half until the Saints cashed in again, this time on a header from Annie Bagnall.
Poltorak would make 3 saves in goal for B.U.
But, 8 saves from Brooke Boermeester was the difference as Siena shuts out Binghamton, 2-0.
The Bearcats will now look to bounce back in their home opener this weekend.
B.U. will host Fordham for a matinee showdown on Sunday at 1 PM.