LEWISBURG, Pa. – After playing four consecutive games on Graham Field, the Bucknell field hockey team will hit the road this weekend, looking to continue its recent success with games against defending Patriot League champion Lafayette and ranked, non-league foe No. 18 Temple. The Bison will take on the Leopards in Easton, Pa. at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 before heading to Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 6 for a 1 p.m. game against the Owls. Both games will feature live stats on GameTracker, and a free live stream of Sunday’s contest will also be available.
Bucknell enters the weekend as one of only three undefeated teams in the Patriot League, as the Bison have compiled a 2-0 mark in the conference and a 5-4 overall record. After earning a 4-1 win over Lehigh in its Patriot League opener, the team used a five goal second-half and a hat trick by senior Rachel Misko to overpower Colgate, 6-2, last Saturday. The Bison are currently tied with American for first place in the conference, while the Leopards sit right behind them with a 1-0 mark.
Senior Leigh Hillman, the team’s leading scorer, is currently tied for second in the league in both points and goals. The forward has found the back of the net seven times this season, while also contributing one assist. Misko, the reigning Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, and sophomore Kiersten Sydnor have each added five goals and one assist to the team’s offensive efforts, tying them for fifth in the league. Junior Maggie Murphy, the team’s top helper, has contributed four assists, ranking her third in the Patriot League.
Senior Erica Perrine continues to serve as the team’s goalkeeper, and has played between the pipes for all nine of Bucknell’s games. She has made 30 saves and allowed 17 goals for a 1.87 GAA and a .638 save percentage.
As a team, the Bison rank second in the league in shots with 15.33 per game, while their 24 goals also places them in second. Additionally, Bucknell is outshooting its opponents, 15.3 to 8.8, and also holds a 69 to 35 advantage in penalty corners.
Saturday marks the 48th meeting between Bucknell and Lafayette, and continues what has become a heated rivalry in recent years. Since 2005, every match-up between the two teams, including 11 regular-season contests and three Patriot League tournament games, has been decided by two goals or less. Lafayette has won the past six games, including a 2-0 victory last season, and the Leopards hold a 34-11-2 series advantage over the Bison.
Lafayette enters the weekend with a 4-6 overall record and a 1-0 mark in the Patriot League. Like the Bison, the Leopards earned a 4-1 win over Lehigh in their Patriot League opener, and, most recently, recorded a 4-0 shutout of Penn on Wednesday night. Kristen Heaney is the team’s top scorer with ten points on four goals and two assists, while Brittany Blass has added three goals and two assists for eight points. Haley Keenan and Hanna Sotiropoulos have both found the back of the net on three occasions. Eleven different Leopards have contributed at least one point to the team’s offensive efforts, but the squad has been outscored by its opponents, 22-18, thus far. Jessica Deutsch has played all ten games in net, allowing 22 goals and making 41 saves for a GAA of 2.20 and a .651 save percentage.
After Saturday’s tilt with Lafayette, Bucknell will head to Philadelphia on Sunday to face No. 18 Temple. This is the third time this season that the Bison have taken on a ranked opponent, as the team opened its season with a 3-1 loss to then No. 13 Iowa, and also fell to then No. 16 Delaware, 4-3. This will be the fifth time that the two teams have met, with Temple holding a 1-3 series advantage. Last season the Owls eked out a 5-4 win over the Bison, while Bucknell’s lone victory came in the 2009 series opener.
Temple currently holds an 8-2 overall record and a 2-0 mark in BIG EAST play, falling only to Maryland and Delaware. The Owls are in the midst of a five-game winning streak, most recently recording a 3-0 win over Sacred Heart last Sunday, and have yet to meet a Patriot League opponent this season. The squad will play at No. 17 Louisville on Friday evening before welcoming the Bison on Sunday.
Amber Youtz is the team’s top scorer, registering 10 goals and five assists for 25 points in eight games. Katie Foran and Molly Doyle have each record four tallies and three assists for 11 points, while Lauren Hunt and Alyssa Delp have contributed three goals apiece. Lizzy Millen serves as the team’s goalkeeper and has recorded 61 saves while allowing just 14 goals for a 1.37 GAA and a .813 save percentage. The Owls are outscoring their opponents 29 to 14, and also hold a 95 to 77 advantage in shots.
Bucknell will return home to Graham Field next Saturday to kick off another busy weekend of field hockey. The Bison will take on Holy Cross at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 before welcoming Penn State to Lewisburg for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday, Oct. 13.