BALTIMORE, Md. – Senior identical twin sisters Kendall Ham and Jackie Ham scored goals in the same game for the third time in their careers, and the red-hot Bucknell women’s soccer team recorded its fifth straight shutout victory, 3-0 at Loyola on Wednesday night at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Gabby Bair added her first goal of the season for the Bison, who improved to 6-5 overall and a perfect 3-0 in Patriot League play. After a full slate of conference games on Wednesday, Bucknell and Navy emerged in a two-way tie for first place on nine points.
The Bison applied some early pressure in this one, then struggled to get much going offensively until a bit of magic from Alexandra Catanzarite and Kendall Ham late in the first half. Catanzarite played a perfect diagonal ball through the box to Ham on the left side, and the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year scored with her first touch past charging goalkeeper Sumer Rahe.
It was Ham’s third goal in the last two games, and she now has nine points in the last three contests. It was a milestone goal as well, as Ham is now a top-five goal-scorer in Bucknell history. Her 32nd career tally matches Christa Matlack for the No. 5 spot in team annals. She also tied Kerry McDonnell for sixth on the career points list with 76.
Bucknell has played Loyola on the road three times in the last four years, and Ham has a goal in each of them.
Bucknell took the 1-0 lead into the locker room and then controlled possession for much of the second half. Jackie Ham was credited with a big insurance goal in the 73rd minute when she sent a high-arcing ball into the area. A leaping Maddie Mulford challenged Rahe as the ball took a high bounce, and it hopped over the keeper’s head into the back of the net.
It was Jackie’s first goal of the season, and it marked the first time the Ham sisters scored in the same game since a 2-0 win over Holy Cross in 2015. They also teamed up for all the scoring in a 2-0 victory over Monmouth in the second game of their careers in 2014.
Just five minutes later, Bair volleyed home her first goal of the season and fifth of her career. Maddie Dano served a long free kick into the box, a Loyola defender could not settle it, and Bair punched it in from close range. It was Dano’s third assist in the last two games.
All told, the Bison only attempted six shots on the night, but half of them found the back of the net. They now have 11 goals in the last three games, but a major story continues to be the Bucknell defense.
The Bison allowed Loyola to attempt only four total shots in the game. Goalkeeper Dani Kaufman was called upon for three saves, all on shots from long range. The team extended its scoreless streak to 467:39, dating back to the second half of a 1-0 loss to Tennessee on Sept. 7. The Bison are closing in on the team record of 655:03 scoreless minutes, set in 2015 when they had six straight shutouts.
Bucknell has a quick turnaround before making a long trip to Holy Cross on Saturday. Opening kick is set for 2 p.m. at Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Complex.