Each year, as the leaves begin to turn in mid-October, attention also begins to turn toward the conference standings as teams jockey for position for the postseason. Let’s take a look at where each fall team stands, along with a few additional notes.
- FOOTBALL: Tough loss for the Bison on Saturday against Colgate, but the football title race is actually still in its early stages. Lehigh (2-0) and Fordham (1-0) are the lone Patriot League unbeatens, with Bucknell, Colgate and Holy Cross all tied for third at 1-1. The Bison host Lafayette on Saturday in the Homecoming game. Fun stat of the day: CB Bryan Marine leads the nation in passes defended with an average of 2.0 per game.
- WOMEN’S SOCCER: The Bison continue to play magnificent soccer and are alone in first place in the Patriot League with a 6-0-0 record and 18 points. Boston University is 5-1-0 with 15 points, but Bucknell already has a win over the Terriers and would thus hold a head-to-head tiebreaker. Remember, the regular-season champion gets a bye into the Patriot League Tournament semifinals and also gets to host the semis and championship game. Three PL games remain on the schedule: tomorrow at Loyola (6 pts.), Saturday at home against Lehigh (7) and Oct. 29 at Army West Point (8). There is also a non-league game at Princeton on Oct. 25. The Bison have won a school-record eight games in a row overall and are still one of only two unbeaten teams in the country (South Carolina is the other) at 12-0-1. Fun stat of the day: Bucknell has a +34 goal differential on the season (40-6). Only 29 Division teams out of 329 in the country have even scored as many as 34 goals.
- MEN’S SOCCER: The men’s soccer calendar is a week behind the women’s, so there have only been five rounds of men’s play in the Patriot League thus far. Bucknell used a dramatic 2-1 win at Navy on Saturday to get to 2-2-1 in PL play. The Bison sit in fifth place out of 10 teams on seven points, one ahead of Lafayette for the sixth and final postseason berth. Loyola (4-0-1) has the lead with 13 points. Second-place American (4-1-0, 12 pts.) will be at Emmitt Field for a critical game this Saturday at 4 p.m. Fun stat of the day: After scoring 10 goals in the first 12 games of the season, the Bison have tallied 12 goals in the last three games.
- FIELD HOCKEY: It has been a frustrating Patriot League campaign for the Bison, who are 1-3 in the league with three one-goal losses to Boston University, American and Holy Cross. Bucknell actually led American with no time left on the clock, but the Eagles scored on a third untimed penalty corner and then won it in overtime. Then this past weekend in Worcester, the Bison did not allow a single shot on goal in regulation, but the Crusaders’ red-hot goalie kept it 0-0, and Holy Cross went on to prevail in a shootout. Now we have a must-win game against a good Lafayette squad on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Graham Field. Bucknell is currently in sixth place, but could climb into one of the four playoff positions with wins over Lafayette and Colgate (Oct. 29). Fun stat of the day: Goalie Emily Finn leads the Patriot League with three shutouts.
- VOLLEYBALL: Our young Bison have some work to do to climb up the Patriot League standings. We are currently tied for sixth place with a 2-6 PL record and home games against Navy and American coming up this weekend. Fun stat of the day: Bucknell has two of the top four blockers in the Patriot League, as Mimi Richards and Erika Eastley are both averaging 1.0 blocks per set.
- MEN’S & WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY: No league standings to talk about here, but the Bison men’s and women’s teams are both off now until the Patriot League Championships at Lafayette on Oct. 29, followed by the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals on Nov. 11 at Penn State. The women are currently ranked seventh in the region, while the men are 13th. The women were the preseason favorite in the league. Fun stat of the day: The Bison women will be seeking their 10th Patriot League title. No other school has more than five.
- MEN’S WATER POLO: Bucknell and George Washington are the top two teams in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference this season. The Bison are at the top of the standings at 6-1 (14-3 overall), while the Colonials are 5-1. We host the Mid-Atlantic Championship Nov. 18-20 at Kinney Natatorium. Currently ranked 13th nationally (the new poll comes out tomorrow), the Bison fell to No. 12 Harvard and defeated No. 9 Princeton and unranked Iona last weekend. Fun stat of the day: Freshman Rade Joksimovic added 12 more goals to his account in Sunday’s win over Iona, giving him 90 in 17 games this season. Bucknell has not had a 100-goal scorer since Garrin Kapecki all the way back in 1987.