LEWISBURG, Pa. – Kylie D'Ambra and Gabrielle Vignozzi scored goals in the final 20 minutes, spoiling a brilliant first-career strike from Bucknell freshman Jenna Marek earlier in the half, lifting visiting Saint Joseph's to a 3-2 victory over the Bison on Sunday at sunny Emmitt Field.
Bucknell fell to 0-2 on the season, with the losses coming to Syracuse of the ACC on Friday, and now to a Saint Joseph's side that finished 18-2-2 last season and won the Atlantic 10 regular-season title with a 9-0-1 record. The Hawks were playing their season opener after having their scheduled match at Lafayette cancelled due to weather on Friday night.
The Hawks led 1-0 at the half courtesy of a Hannah Racis goal off a rebound of a saved shot in the 12th minute of the contest. But the Bison stormed back in the second period, getting a big lift from their reserve forward unit.
Marek, a first-year forward from Orlando, had a hand in both goals. Just 40 seconds after the resumption of play she had possession of the ball deep in the Saint Joseph's box and drew a penalty after being run over from behind. A well-taken penalty from Meghan Holtz into the top right corner put the Bison on the board.
In the 62nd minute, Ali Russo came forward from her right back position and found Marek in the center of the park. Marek spun to her left, and while holding off a close-marking defender somehow curled a left-footed shot inside the left post for a 2-1 Bison lead.
Moments later, the Bison were inches away from a two-goal cushion, but freshman Alexandra Catanzarite just missed the far post from the right side of the area.
The Hawks equalized in the 70th minute through D'Ambra. Bucknell had a throw-in deep in its own end, but Lindsay Walder took the ball away and passed back to D'Ambra, who scored with a hard-knuckling shot to the left of keeper Dani Kaufman.
Then with only 5:59 remaining in regulation, Vagnozzi chased down a diagonal ball deep in the box to the left of goal and pulled back a sharp-angled shot that rolled inside the far post. It was the third goal of the day for a high-scoring Hawks team that netted 51 in 22 games last year.
Down 1-0 with about 20 minutes left in the first half, the Bison thought they had an equalizer, but it was waved off on an offside call. Holtz's shot from distance was tipped off the crossbar by Saint Joseph's keeper Grace Bendon. Maddie Mulford collected the rebound and scored, but did so from an offside position.
Kaufman made a career-high 13 saves in goal for the Bison. The Hawks finished with a 23-12 shot advantage, while the corner kicks were even at 4-4.
Bucknell's difficult early season schedule continues on the road next weekend. The Bison visit No. 12 Duke on Friday and then on Sunday travel to a William & Mary team that has already beaten Providence and Boston College this season.