Binghamton has been running with a Division I lacrosse team since 2002. In the program's 13 seasons of competition, the Bearcats have finished at or above .500 just once -- in 2004, a year in which Binghamton went 10-6 and 6-0 in America East play. The Bearcats have been on the precipice of getting to the .500 threshold three times since then (the team finished with a 7-8 record in 2014, 2011, and 2006), but have not been able to duplicate the program's early foray into the glory of winning at least as much as you lose.
There's a feeling -- rightly or wrongly -- that Binghamton may have to wait at least a season to get that done after suffering some notable personnel losses due to graduation, but the opportunity still remains for the Bearcats to carry forward the momentum they created for themselves a season ago. Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
The Path to Seven
February 14: Sacred Heart; February 28: Hobart; March 28: Hartford; April 4: Massachusetts-Lowell; April 14: at Canisius; April 25: Vermont
Getting to at least seven wins isn't going to be easy for Binghamton in 2015: About 43 percent of the team's opponents in 2015 finished 2014 ranked below the Bearcats in adjusted Pythagorean win expectation or weren't in existence last season; about 57 percent of the team's opponents in 2015 finished 2014 ranked above the Bearcats in adjusted Pythagorean win expectation. Teams change from season-to-season, but the relative station of programs in the national hierarchy doesn’t change quite as rapidly.
Assuming that Binghamton's 2015 opponents stay in the same relative position as the Bearcats next spring, there look like six dates that Binghamton will mark as "Don't Forget to Win" on their calendar. If the Bearcats sweep through these opponents -- and they come at different stages in the season, none of which are "gimmie games" -- Binghamton will be in fantastic shape to approach a .500 record in the overall. Drop games against these opponents and it becomes decidedly more difficult to try and summit a mountain that has been dominated only once in just over a decade.
February 24: at Cornell; March 24: at Drexel; April 11: Albany
Binghamton will face three teams that made the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Last season the Bearcats went 0-5 against teams that took a May adventure with an average margin of defeat of over five goals. These dates have the potential to show some unsightly results.
[My Name Is]
February 21: Marist; March 21: Towson; March 24: at Drexel; April 4: Massachusetts-Lowell
The Bearcats swapped out Air Force, Colgate, Siena, and Syracuse from their 2014 slate for Marist, Towson, Drexel, and Massachusetts-Lowell. The inclusion of the River Hawks on Binghamton's schedule was necessitated due to Massachusetts-Lowell joining the America East, but the other fresh faces on the Bearcats schedule are relatively new opponents for Binghamton: The Bearcats have meet Towson only once (1-0) and have played Marist five times (5-0); the most familiar opponent to Binghamton among these four teams is Drexel, a program that the Bearcats have faced nine times but have defeated only twice. So that's something.