LEWISBURG, Pa. – With their 2013 Patriot League Tournament semifinal game on the horizon, four Bison were honored with All-Patriot League accolades on Tuesday. Junior Kelsey Mucelli (Kutztown, Pa./Kutztown Area) and senior Vickie Resh (Hamburg, Pa./Hamburg Area) each earned a spot on the first team, while junior Liz Wills (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./William Penn Charter School) and senior Rachel Misko (Morristown, N.J./Madison) were voted to the conference’s second team. These four players will combine with the rest of a talented Bucknell squad to take on league newcomer Boston University in a 2 p.m. semifinal game in Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon. The contest will be video streamed live on the Patriot League Network.
Mucelli was unanimously voted to the first team for a second consecutive season, having also earned that honor as a sophomore. A vital part of Bucknell’s midfield and penalty corner unit, she has started in all 17 games this season, notching three assists, and was one of just three Patriot League student-athletes to earn a unanimous selection this season. Largely due to her contributions, the Bison have held their opponents to just 1.82 goals per game and 8.8 shots per game throughout the 2013 campaign.
A dynamic member of a strong Bison backfield unit, Resh earned her third All-Patriot League honor and her first selection to the first team. A starter in all 17 games this season, she has scored one goal and added three assists, earning Bison Athlete of the Week honors on Sept. 9 after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against Ohio State and giving Bucknell its first win over a Big Ten opponent since 2000.
Wills, a consistently strong defender, earned her first All-Patriot League selection after starting in all of Bucknell’s games, scoring two goals and contributing three assists. She earned the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week award on Oct. 7 after scoring her first career goal against Lafayette to give Bucknell an early lead and also holding the Leopards to just five shots in the contest. A week later she registered her first multi-point game, contributing a goal and an assist in Bucknell’s 7-0 shutout of Holy Cross.
Misko’s selection to the second team makes her one of just 12 players in Patriot League history to earn All-League honors in each of her four collegiate seasons. She is also the third Bison to accomplish the feat, joining Amanda Faust and Bucknell Athletics Hall of Famer Almira Baldwin on that prestigious list. The forward started in all 17 of Bucknell’s games this season and currently leads the Bison in goals (9) and points (19), both of which are career highs. A two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week in 2013, she ranks first in points (14), goals (7) and game-winning goals (2) in conference play.
These four Bison will play a crucial role in Friday’s match-up with the Terriers, as Bucknell looks to advance to the Patriot League Tournament championship game for the sixth time in the program’s history. The squad is making its sixth consecutive and 16th overall appearance in the conference’s postseason, with its last tournament win coming over American in the 2011 semifinals.
When they met on New Balance Field in Boston, Mass., earlier this season, the Bison and the Terriers engaged in a hard-fought, physical battle that resulted in a 2-0 win for Boston University and Bucknell’s first conference loss of the season. Amanda Cassera redirected a shot by Taylor Blood just over three minutes into the game to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead, and although the Bison kept them scoreless for over 40 minutes, Ysi Schieb scored off of a penalty corner at 44:27 to secure the win. The contest was just the second meeting between the two teams, and Boston University has won both games in the series.
The Bison, who earned a 5-2 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Sunday in their final game of the regular season, have compiled an 8-9 record and a 4-2 mark in Patriot League play with a combination of thrilling offense and staunch defense. They earned the third seed in this year’s tournament behind the host team, American (12-5, 6-0), and Boston University (12-6, 5-1), and ahead of Lafayette (6-11, 3-3).
In addition to its four All-Patriot League selections, Bucknell boasts a host of talented scorers and stingy defenders, as well as a seasoned goalkeeper who is adept at making clutch saves to keep her squad in the game. Senior Leigh Hillman (8-2-17), sophomore Abby Watson (6-3-15) and sophomore Kiersten Sydnor (6-2-14) rank just behind Misko in offensive contributions, while junior Amie Pritchard and sophomore Emily Hitchings have a firm presence in the backfield. Junior Maggie Murphy is the team’s top helper with four assists, and senior Erica Perrine has made 67 stops between the pipes, playing all 17 games and compiling a 1.87 GAA and a .684 save percentage.
In its first season in the Patriot League, Boston University earned three of the conference’s major awards and six All-League selections. Schieb was named Defensive Player of the Year, Valentina Cerda Eimbcke was voted Goalkeeper of the Year and Cassera garnered Rookie of the Year honors. Schieb and Cerda Eimbcke were joined by Madeleine Hackett and Sofi Laurito on the first team, while Hester van der Laan and Anne Fruitema each earned spots on the second team.
The Terriers earned a 2-0 win over Lafayette on Saturday, concluding their inaugural season and securing the second seed in the Patriot League Tournament. The team’s sole conference loss came at hands of American and was a 1-0 defeat in overtime. Cassera and Laurito lead Boston University’s offense with eight goals and 16 points each, while Schieb has contributed seven assists. Cerda Eimbcke has allowed 24 goals and made 87 saves for the Terriers, earning a 1.30 GAA and a .784 save percentage.
One competitor in the 2013 championship game will be decided before the Bison and the Terriers even take the field on Friday, as No. 1 American and No. 4 Lafayette will play their semifinal game on Jacobs Field at 11 a.m. The winner of the 2 p.m. game will square off against the victor in the earlier contest at 1 p.m. on Saturday to determine the 2013 Patriot League field hockey champion.