LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell played a strong first half, but Penn State, the second-ranked team in the nation, scored four times in the second half on its way to a 5-1 win on Tuesday night. The Nittany Lions remained unbeaten at 6-0, while the Bison fell to 3-4 after playing the first night game at Graham Field since 2012.
Bucknell trailed by just one goal at the half, with the lone score coming from Penn State’s Madison Morano with 15:32 left on the clock. The difference in penalty corners was just one in favor of Penn State, while the Nittany Lions also held a 9-4 advantage in shots.
The Bison had three shots in a span of less than three minutes midway through the half. Sophomore Brittany Willwerth had the best look with 21:11 remaining in the half, but her shot was saved by Penn State goalie Jenny Rizzo. Junior Nicole Rupnik followed soon after with a shot that went wide, and senior Stephanie Dressler also had a shot go wide following a penalty corner.
Penn State did most of its damage early in the second half, scoring three goals in the first 6:39 of play. Moira Putsch, Aurelia Meijer, and Gini Bramley all scored to put the Nittany Lions up 4-0.
Bucknell got on the board with a goal by sophomore Marisa Morakis. Her first score of the season came on a loose ball following a nice effort by Willwerth to center the ball from the left side.
The Bison ended Penn State’s three-game shutout streak. The Nittany Lions didn’t allow a goal in wins over Temple, Wake Forest, and Princeton, out-scoring the three opponents 13-0.
Penn State’s final goal was scored on a penalty stroke by Moran with 10:55 to play.
The latest edition of the NFHCA Division I National Poll was released on Tuesday and the Bison have now played two of the top three teams. They played No. 3 Syracuse earlier this season.
Bucknell now turns its attention to another nationally-ranked opponent, but this one will be more important as the Bison open conference play at No. 22 American on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Eagles were the preseason favorite to win the Patriot League, while the Bison were picked to finish third.