WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Bucknell men's lacrosse team broke out of a recent offensive slump in a big way on Saturday, racking up 18 goals on 49 shots in an 18-8 Patriot League victory at Holy Cross. Sean Doyle was the catalyst with two goals and a career-high six assists. Todd Heritage added five goals, Thomas Flibotte scored four times and Jackson Place led the defense with six caused turnovers as the Bison improved to 2-2 in league play, 3-4 overall.
Bucknell had managed only seven goals in two games last week against nationally ranked opponents Lehigh and North Carolina, but the Bison surpassed that total by halftime in this one. After Holy Cross (1-6, 0-4) tied the game at 2-2 with a couple of goals late in the first quarter, Bucknell took control of the game with a 5-0 run in the first 6:30 of the second period.
Kyle Shanahan scored twice in that key stretch, and Doyle, Flibotte and Heritage also found the net. After Holy Cross came back with two straight goals Flibotte scored with the timer on with 21 seconds left to make it an 8-4 game at the half.
Sean Wilkinson and Terry McKenna scored early in the third quarter to bring the Crusaders within 8-6, but Bucknell took advantage of a Holy Cross interference penalty to start another big run. The Bison EMO unit went 3-for-3 in the game, and Tom Black's man-up goal off a Doyle feed ignited a 10-2 surge over the final 27:35 of the contest.
Two straight goals by Heritage put Bucknell up 11-6, and Doyle's goal off a David Dickson feed made it 13-7 after three periods. Dickson, who had a five-point afternoon with two goals and three assists, scored both of his goals in the fourth quarter. Freshman Tommy O'Connor finished the scoring with his first collegiate tally.
Sam Grinberg had another strong game in the crease with 12 saves, and Frank Morelli came on in relief and stopped two shots. Chris Cousins made nine saves and allowed nine goals in relief of starter Michael Ortlieb, who recorded two saves and nine goals against.
A fast-paced game featured a combined 26 goals and 86 shots. Bucknell finished with a 49-37 shot advantage, even though Holy Cross won 18 of the 29 faceoffs.
Bucknell forced 18 turnovers and held the Crusaders to 9-for-14 clearing efficiency. Place led all players with the six caused turnovers and also had four ground balls. Defensive middie Alex Spring led the Bison with five ground balls, and Peter Burke had four GBs and also scored a goal.
With his five goals on Saturday, Heritage moved past Joe Mele into fourth place on Bucknell's all-time goal scoring chart with 107.
Bucknell improved to 24-0 all-time against Holy Cross.
The Bison will step away from Patriot League play on Wednesday with a home game against Brown at 4 p.m. at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The game will be streamed live on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network.