ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Patrick Mahoney scored a half-hour into the match, and Emmett Witmer and the defense made it hold up as the Bucknell men's soccer team wrapped up the regular season with a 1-0 victory at Navy on Saturday afternoon at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. With the win, the Bison finish with 16 points (5-3-1) in Patriot League play and will be the No. 3 seed in the PL Tournament. Bucknell will host No. 6 Colgate in a quarterfinal game on Tuesday at Emmitt Field.
Now 7-7-4 overall, the Bison made a big push late in the season. They went 3-0-1 in their final four contests to move all the way up from a tie for seventh place to a tie for third. Lehigh also finished with 16 points after losing 1-0 at Holy Cross on Saturday, and Bucknell beat the Mountain Hawks 2-1 on the road earlier in the year.
"We have been trying to take a little momentum into the Patriot League Tournament, and this has been a good run for us of late," said head coach Brendan Nash. "The guys have really bought into the defensive game plan, and we are keeping everything tight in the back."
After Ben Derleth had two good headers saved by Navy keeper Mac Burke, Bucknell broke through in the 30th minute. Jack Zollicoffer sent in a low shot from about 30 yards out, and Mahoney redirected it past Burke for his second goal of the season. Both of Mahoney's goals came in 1-0 Bucknell victories. The other came in overtime against Loyola on Oct. 4.
Bucknell had a couple of good chances to make it 2-0. Burke made a diving save to rob Cody Wax in the 59th minute, one of Burke's five saves on the day.
Navy nearly drew even in the 68th on a scramble in the box, but Witmer made a terrific quick-reaction save to knock away a shot from Piroz Bahar. Witmer was credited with two saves, and he is now 2-0-1 with 13 saves and just one goal allowed in 290 minutes since taking over for the injured Ryan Ott two weeks ago.
Navy (2-13-2, 0-7-2) outshot the Bison 10-7, while Bucknell led 6-5 in corner kicks.
This was the 16th time in 18 games that Bucknell has played a match decided by either one goal or a draw.
Loyola defeated Lafayette on Saturday to clinch the No. 1 seed and hosting rights for the Patriot League Tournament semifinals and championship. Boston University will be the No. 2 seed and receive a bye into the semifinals.
Bucknell will host sixth-seeded Colgate, and No. 4 Lehigh will host No. 5 Holy Cross in quarterfinal games on Tuesday. The Bison fell 2-1 at Colgate on Oct. 14.
"We know we have a very tough opponent in the defending Patriot League champs, but we are excited to get the game on our home field in front of our fans," said Nash.
Tuesday's game will start at 7 p.m. at Emmitt Field. There will be no admission charge, and the game will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.