Our men’s and women’s soccer teams both secured the full three points in dramatic fashion on the road this weekend. For the women, the 2-1 overtime win at Colgate was a continuation of a near-perfect start to the 2016 season. And for the men, the 2-1 win at Holy Cross represented another growth step for a team that suffered heavy graduation hits after last season, but has made positive strides as the year has progressed.
Including Wednesday’s 4-0 home rout of Lafayette, Women’s Soccer is now 10-0-1 on the season. The Bison are one of only three unbeaten Division I teams in the country, joining South Carolina (11-0-1) and Stanford (10-0-1), and they have now outscored their opponents 33-4 on the season.
Kendall Ham ranks sixth nationally with 10 goals this season, the last of those coming with just 0:02 on the clock in the first overtime period yesterday in Hamilton. The Bison had to hustle to get off a last-second corner kick. Karli Cirovski’s inswinger found Kendall in the middle of the area, and as two Raiders defenders fell down nearby, she slotted home the game-winner.
What a senior year Maddie Mulford is having. She scored the opening goal in the 4th minute at Colgate, giving her seven tallies on the year. That is second-most in the Patriot League, behind only Kendall Ham. In Bucknell’s four Patriot League games, Maddie has scored five goals and handed out two assists.
The Bison are now alone at the top of the table with 12 points. The second-place team is Boston University with nine points, and the Terriers have a loss to Bucknell on their ledger. Third-place Navy has seven points and will host the Bison this Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the Bison Men’s Soccer squad followed up a draw with Boston University with a 2-1 win at Holy Cross on Saturday. Sebastiaan Blickman scored just 54 seconds into the match. Holy Cross tied it later in the first half on a free kick, but in the 76th minute the Bison netted the game-winner when Seb’s shot deflected in off the body of teammate Crispin Muessle. That was a neat moment for Crispin, a hard-working senior who did not play much during his first three seasons. He has earned himself significant minutes as an outside midfielder in recent weeks, and he was rewarded with his first career goal on Saturday.
Schedule-wise, the men are always a week behind the women, so the men have only played two Patriot League games thus far. With four points at 1-0-1, the Bison are alone in third place behind a pair of 2-0 teams: American and Loyola. We have a big mid-week home game against Lafayette on Wednesday.
The 10th-ranked Men’s Water Polo team kept rolling along, defeating Wagner (13-11) and Fordham (14-11) in New York on Saturday to get to 11-1 on the season, the program’s best start since 1980. The Bison will put their nine-game winning streak on the line at home on Saturday with league games against George Washington and Navy.
There was some high drama at Graham Field over the weekend, as the Bison Field Hockey squad took on two top-notch opponents in American and 4th-ranked Syracuse. Saturday’s game was a heartbreaker. The Bison led the Eagles 1-0 on a Marisa Morakis goal in the 53rd minute, and it was still 1-0 as the scoreboard showed 0:00. But in field hockey, if a team earns a penalty corner in the final seconds, it is allowed to take the corner even if time has expired. In this case, American earned three successive corners with no time remaining due to a couple of additional infractions, and the Eagles finally scored on the third try. Then they won it in 7v7 overtime.
Yesterday, Bucknell led defending national champion Syracuse 2-1 at the half on a pair of Nicole Rupnik goals. The Orange rallied with three straight second-half tallies before Stephanie Dressler added a late goal for the Bison to make it a 4-3 final.
We just might be the best 4-6 team in the country. The six losses have come against teams with a combined 51-15 record to date. Next up is another major challenge in 13th-ranked Boston University, at home Saturday at 11 a.m.
Women’s Cross Country had some terrific performances at the Paul Short Run, a huge race hosted by Lehigh on Saturday. The Bison rested most of their top runners but entered a team in the “Brown” race and finished second among Division I schools. Top runner Kate Scott, who did not compete at Virginia the previous week, was back in action and finished sixth out of 403 runners in the “open” race.
Hats off to the Bison Volleyball squad, which snapped an 11-match losing streak with a three-set sweep of Lafayette in Davis Gym on Saturday.
The Bucknell Football team had a much-needed week off this past week, and now they are ready to start Patriot League play this Saturday at Holy Cross at 1 p.m. The Bison have won coming out of the bye week in each of the last two seasons, and they will look to do it again Saturday in Worcester. The 2-3 Crusaders lost all-star quarterback Peter Pujols to an apparent season-ending injury two weeks ago, but it didn’t seem to hurt them last week. Sophomore Geoff Wade stepped in and went 21-for-27 with three TD passes in a 38-28 win over Lafayette.
Lots of important conference games coming up this week! Many of them — seven games, in fact — will air on the Patriot League Network, so be sure to check out the listings and tune in if you can’t make in person.