Life is tough when you're in the crab bucket. Binghamton has been dealing with that situation, but hope exists: Nine starters return to a team that improved a shade from 2012 to 2013. Making the trip to Long Island for the 2014 America East Tournament isn't out of the question.
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
The Snow Belt Bonanza
February 22: Siena; February 25: Cornell; March 1: @Hobart; March 15: Colgate; April 2: @Syracuse; April 15: Canisius; April 26: @Albany
Binghamton must have worked out a deal with the New York State Thruway Authority to waive tolls this coming spring, attaching a salt and sand hopper to the back of its bus to keep the roads in New York's Snow Belt clear for passage. It is theoretically and physically impossible for the Bearcats to have put more Snow Belt teams on its schedule for 2014: Spanning Buffalo to Albany, Binghamton looked at a map and signed up every Division I lacrosse team in between. In fact, the only teams in Upstate New York that Binghamton didn't schedule were Marist and Army, and those schools aren't regionally similar to the seven teams that are located within the Empire State's snow-heavy territory. This is a regional sociopath's dream, a slate that features nothing but programs that have their scores mentioned on the local news just after the weather report that reaffirms that same sociopath's disgust with the region that he has chosen to populate. The Bearcats essentially did this in 2013, but added the Orange -- its neighbor up I-81 -- this year to really fill out the regional-singularity of Binghamton's lacrosse existence. I love this and Scott Marr should be given a golden shovel for this undertaking.
April 19: Stony Brook; April 26: @Albany
The Bearcats just missed out on the America East Tournament in 2013, a loss to UMBC on the last day of the season preventing Binghamton from traveling to Stony Brook and getting a shot at Albany in the conference's postseason throwdown. The race in the America East -- not unlike prior seasons -- is expected to be a slog again in 2014 with only Albany looking like a lock for a position in the conference tournament. For Binghamton, the focus with its schedule is to accelerate at the end of the slate: With Stony Brook and the Great Danes serving as the Bearcats' final two regular season games in 2014, Binghamton has a chance to control its positioning on the league table and play its way to Long Island for the conference tournament. This is both an opportunity and a difficult situation, but it's one that could serve the Bearcats well if they are able to generate two wins against the combination of Hartford, UMBC, and Vermont. Binghamton wants to be in the conversation around America East permutations at the end of the year, and the way the team's slate finishes gives them that opportunity.