LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell freshman Austin Lenart scored his first career goal just over five minutes into the match, but Navy rallied with two goals in the second half to defeat the Bison 2-1 and remain unbeaten in in the Patriot League Saturday night at rainy Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium. Bucknell fell to 8-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the league, while Navy is now 8-3-2, 5-0-0.
Derek Vogel and Dave Arnold scored for Navy, which snapped an 11-game winless streak (0-9-2) against Bucknell. Navy had last defeated Bucknell in 2001 (2-1 OT), and the Mids' last victory in Lewisburg came all the way back in 1998 (2-0).
Patriot League co-leader Army defeated American in overtime on Saturday night. That keeps the two service academies deadlocked atop the conference table. Third-place Holy Cross also won in OT at Colgate, meaning Bucknell and American remain tied for fourth place on seven points.
Navy recorded its seven straight victory, but the Bison became the first team to score on the Midshipmen in the streak. Navy came to Lewisburg riding six straight shutouts, but the Bison stopped that run with a goal just 5:15 into the match.
The sequence began with Chris Thorsheim leading Patrick Figgie into space down the right sideline. Figgie centered a pass to Jesse Klug, who fed the ball to his left to Lenart. The ball took a bit of a deflection on the way over, but Lenart was able to settle it, and then he ripped a laser into the upper right side of the net from 25 yards out for his first collegiate tally.
But after the goal, it was Navy that saw most of the ball. The Midshipmen applied waves of pressure and outshot the Bison 8-3 in the first half. Bison keeper Mike Lansing made the save of the night in the 18th minute, an acrobatic diving save off a Nick Dubee free kick that was ticketed for the upper left corner of the goal. Navy recovered the loose ball and a deflection from Arnold had to be saved off the goal line by Figgie.
Bucknell came out strong in the second half, and Navy keeper Gavin Snyder made stops on Jesse Klug and Jonathan Grad early in the period. Lenart just missed wide after a great passing sequence nine minutes into the half.
But once again Navy was able to ramp up its attack, and the Midshipmen equalized on a corner kick in the 56th minute. Martin Sanchez sent the kick to the top of the 6-yard box, where Vogel emerged from a mass of bodies to head the ball in.
Lansing made a trick save on Thomas Shiiba to keep it a 1-1 game, and Figgie almost put Bucknell ahead in the 68th minute, but his running header went just high.
Navy took the lead on a seemingly harmless play with 18:55 left in regulation. Sam Bascom lobbed a ball toward the Bucknell back line, and Arnold neatly pulled it down, snuck in alone and finished the breakaway.
Bucknell brought numbers forward late in the contest looking for the tying goal. Mayowa Alli got his head on a pair of crosses into the box, but one was saved and one went wide.
Shots were even at 10-apiece in the second half, and Navy led 18-13 for the game. Navy also had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks. Lansing finished with seven saves for the Bison, while Snyder had six for the Mids.
“It is not a mistake that Navy is 5-0 in the Patriot League, they are very, very good,” said coach Brendan Nash after the game. “We scored a very good goal early on, but that seemed to wake Navy up, and they took the momentum away from us after that. I thought we came out strong in the second half, but once again they were able to grab the momentum. After they got the lead we pressured them, but they did what they needed to do to keep the ball out of the back of the net. We will learn from this and move forward.”The Bison are back home again next Saturday to take on Colgate at 4 p.m. at Emmitt Field.