LEWISBURG, Pa. – The No. 1 seed Bucknell women’s soccer team advanced to its second straight Patriot League Women’s Soccer Championship Game, following a 2-0 victory over sixth-seeded Lafayette on Friday afternoon at Emmitt Field. Alexis Gannon and Gabi Rosenfeld each found the back of the net in the contest, as Bucknell improved to 15-1-2 overall on the year.
It was the first-ever meeting between the Bison and Leopards in postseason play. Lafayette came into Friday following a 1-0 double-overtime victory over third-seeded Lehigh in the quarterfinals to claim its first-ever postseason victory. Bucknell generated 23 shots in the contest and seven corners, as the Bison are set to make their fifth appearance in the championship game.
Gannon, a Second Team All-Patriot League selection, gave the Bison a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. The Academic All-Patriot League honoree scored during a scramble in the box. Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Kendall Ham chased down a ball before it reached the end line, crossing the ball back into play. Maddie Mulford, a First Team All-PL selection, and Rosenfeld had their shots saved, though Gannon was there for the rebound and the finish to the far post. It is the second consecutive season that Gannon has scored a goal in the tournament, as the tri-captain recorded a pair of goals in last year’s semifinal win over Navy.
The Bison, who’ve outscored their opponents 47-10 entering Friday, added insurance in the 68th minute, this time off the foot of Rosenfeld. Third Team All-PL selection Ali Russo headed a Lafayette clear out to the far post, reaching the foot of Ham, who serviced the ball into the front of the net. Rosenfeld had her initial shot saved, but recovered the ball to score her first goal in a Bison uniform.
Bucknell, who entered Friday 21-2-4 in its last 27 games, including a 12-1-1 mark at Emmitt Field, held the Leopards to eight shots on the afternoon. Lafayette didn’t register its first attempt until the 17th minute of the match.
The Bison, who’ve allowed the fewest goals (10) in the Patriot League this season, limited the Leopards to just one corner kick in the contest en route to recording its 10th shutout of the year. Bucknell has now posted double-digit shutouts for the second straight season and for the second time in program history.
Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year Jessica Ratner made two saves in the win, earning shutout No. 23 and victory No. 29 in her career. With a win on Sunday, Ratner will move into a tie for most victories by a keeper in school history.
Sunday’s Patriot League Women’s Soccer Championship Game is set for 1 p.m. at Emmitt Field. The match will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.