(Photo Courtesy of Binghamton Athletics)
Welcome to the Fall Snapshot series. Throughout the fall I will be taking an early look at all 75 DI men’s college lacrosse teams and giving a snapshot of where each is heading into the 2023 season.
Head Coach: Kevin McKeown (Seventh Season, 2017-Current)
Binghamton 2022 Record: 5-9 (3-3 America East)
Key Departures: Kevin Winkoff (A), Teddy Dolan (G)
Key Returners: Thomas Greenblatt (M), Matthew DeSouza (FO), Max Verch (D), Lorenzo Ramos (D), Jack Fearnley (D)
Transfer Additions: Gage Adams (A, NJIT), Anthony Carroll (D, Hofstra)
Binghamton had arguably one of the more quietly impressive seasons in college lacrosse. The Bearcats went 5-9 overall an 3-3 in America East, beating UAlbany, UMBC, and NJIT, and made the America East Tournament for the second time under Kevin McKeown. And they did all that despite having two new assistant coaches hired in the offseason and having to rebuild its entire close defense from the year prior.
The Bearcats saw their season end in the America East semifinals with a 7-6 loss to UMBC, whom they had beaten 12-8 in late March.The loss meant Binghamton ending the year on a three-game losing skid with losses to Vermont and UMass Lowell capping off the Bearcats’ regular season.
Heading into 2023, the Bearcats have to feel good about what they accomplished a year ago and also be thirsting to go further this spring. But Binghamton also has some key holes to fill both on the field and on the sideline with defensive coordinator Nick Grill exiting the program, and will have some new foes with Bryant and Merrimack entering the America East while Stony Brook has left the league. How much damage the Bearcats make will be a very interesting point to watch.
Who Replaces Teddy Dolan in Cage?
For three years, Teddy Dolan has been the man in between the pipes for the Bearcats. In his time anchoring the defense, Dolan made 389 saves with a 55% save percentage. That includes a 2022 campaign in which Dolan stopped 189 shots with a 54.3% save percentage. He ranked 15th nationally (2nd in AE) in save percentage.
Replacing Dolan is going to be a big task for this Binghamton program. And the Bearcats will have to find that answer in a goalie room that is not only immensely small, but also very young.
Sophomore Connor Winters is the only returning goalie from last year. A McQuaid Jesuit (N.Y.) product, he did not see any action last season. He posted 298 saves with a 62% save percentage during his high school career. Garrett Taylor (Friends School, Md.) comes in as a freshman following a strong high school career.
How Does The Defense Progress?
Elsewhere on the back end, Binghamton returns everybody. Max Verch (14GB/16CT) was a second-team All-Conference selection while Lorenzo Ramos (12GB/8CT) and Jack Fearnley (18GB/13CT) were named to the America East All-Rookie team. Each of those three poles is back. Verch returns for a fifth-season. LSM Drew Furlong (41GB/15CT) and SSDM Max Napoli (19GB/6CT) are also back.
That aforementioned core returns from a young defense last season that allowed 11.5 goals per game. During the back half of the season, however, the Bearcats’ defense allowed 9.75 goals per game. That number was 9.42 against America East competition.
What this unit showed last season, especially at close, was impressive. And while they have to figure out the goalie situation, this defense could very well take a step forward this spring with as much as they return. And that is especially true considering the youth and growth of this unit out in front last spring.
What Should Be Expected From The Bearcat Offense?
The 2022 Binghamton Bearcats featured, statistically, one of the best offenses of the Kevin McKeown era. Binghamton averaged 10.6 goals per game and 16.6 overall points per game. The Bearcats also ranked 33rd in offensive pacing, according to LacrosseReference. The leader of that offense: Kevin Winkoff who led the way with 37 goals and 18 assists.
Winkoff is gone, as well as attackmen Daniel MacKinney (19G/11A) and Justin Roderka (14G/2A), and midfielder Andrew Arce (12G/7A). Those losses mean midfielder Thomas Greenblatt (19G/13A) is the only returning top-five scorer from a year ago for this squad. Losing so much production presents many questions on the offensive end for this Binghamton squad heading into the 2023 season.
Midfielders Ethan Insinga (12G/4A) Quinn O’Hara (11G/3A) also join Greenblatt as returning point-getters for the Bearcats. Along with those aforementioned returnees, Binghamton has also brought in a transfer on that end with attackman Gage Adams coming from NJIT. Adams put up 25 points (15g, 10A) as the Highlanders’ second-leading scorer this past spring and was named to the America East All-Rookie team.
Potential Breakout Player
Ethan Insinga, Midfield, Junior
As a sophomore last spring, Insinga played in all 14 games and saw one start. In the at action he saw, the middie had 12 goals and four assists. With the holes need to be filled on offense, Insinga could slip into a much greater role next spring.
Binghamton brings in a nine-man freshman class with its 2022 recruiting efforts.