We’re back again with the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we’ll go through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Binghamton Bearcats, located in Binghamton, NY.
After going 4-9 in 2012, the Bearcats upped their record to 5-9 in 2013. There were bright moments for Binghamton and a 6-2 win over Hobart followed by a 9-8 win over Delaware early in the season gave supporters hope. At 2-2, the Bearcats went on a six game lose then win streak, and sat at 5-5 with four games left. Losses to Hartford, Vermont, UMBC, and Canisius made the end of the season a rough road.
While 2013 might not seem like a great year, it was definitely a step up from 2012. 2012’s losses were more often blowouts, and were much more sporadic, occurring all throughout the season. 2013 showed a lot more consistency, and while the win total wasn’t a lot higher, Binghamton was a much more competitive team in Scott Nelson’s second year as the head coach.
Four of Binghamton’s top five scorers return for 2014, and Springer, Nelson, Antinozzi, and Planck will provide a solid starting point for a team that only managed around 8.4 goals per game last year. They will need others to step up production to see more success, and some of the younger guys seem to have potential. Tyler Deluca, Sean Gilroy, Matt Kaser, Jesse Parker, Jay Vakiener, and a couple other first year players could all find ways to contribute. If they don’t, they provide a good base for future years. There is some talent there. I also like freshman Dan Mazurek to make an impact on face offs and push Junior starter Alex Doerflein.
Defensively, Binghamton should do ok in the possession war thanks to their solid face off crew. The backbone of their defense last year was Max Schefler in goal, and he returns for his Junior season. Schefler had a GAA of just under 10, while seeing just over 35 shots per game. He was usually making about 12 saves per game.
Surrounding Schefler down low in 2013 was the quarter of Greg Cove, Chris Bechle, Brian Needham and Garrett Augustyn. All four defenders return, and should help keep that defense improving. Some young guns on the roster have potential, and the added depth at pole should certainly help Binghamton. There is also some experience at D-mid, so the Bearcats should definitely be looking to cut down their 2013 GAA.
Overall, Binghamton returns the bulk of their 2013 team. The program took a step towards being much more competitive last year, and this year has to have higher targets set. In Coach Nelson’s third year, Binghamton is already looking up. Now they need to go our and prove that the hype is right! I like to think of Binghamton as the 2013 Air Force of 2014. Watch out!