Setting the Scene
Who: Bucknell (8-6-0, 5-0-0 PL) at Colgate (8-4-1, 4-0-1 PL)
When: Saturday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m.
Where: Beyer-Small '76 Field, Hamilton, N.Y.
Live Webstream: Patriot League Network
Live Stats: GoColgateRaiders.com
About the Bison
• Through five rounds of Patriot League play, a distinct top five have emerged in the top half of the table. Bucknell and Navy remain unblemished with 5-0 marks and 15 points, but Colgate (4-0-1, 13 points), Boston University (3-1-1, 10 points), and Lehigh (2-1-2, 8 points) are all very much in contention for the regular-season title. The Bison still have each of those other four upper-division teams remaining on the schedule, starting with a key road test at third-place Colgate on Saturday night.
• Saturday's game marks a homecoming for Bucknell head coach Kelly Cook, who is a 2006 Colgate graduate. Then known as Kelly Kuss, she was a two-year captain and three-time Second Team All-Patriot League selection at Colgate, where she recorded 27 goals and 23 assists in her career. She ranked in the top 10 in program history in career points (77) and assists. As a junior in 2004, she was named Patriot League Tournament MVP after leading the Raiders to the league title, and then her team knocked off Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, marking the first NCAA win in school and league history. At Colgate, Cook was a two-time Patriot League Academic Honor Roll member, and she earned the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.
• Bucknell has been dominant in Patriot League play so far, winning all five games by a combined 14-0 margin. After opening league play with a 1-0 win at Lafayette, the Bison topped American 4-0 and then beat Loyola, Holy Cross and Army by matching 3-0 scorelines.
• Kendall Ham scored two goals and Brianna Kropinack notched a goal and an assist – all in the first 22 minutes of the match – to lead the Bison to a 3-0 victory over Army West Point last Saturday at Emmitt Field.
• Earlier this month the Bison saw their six-game shutout streak come to an end with a 4-0 loss to No. 11 Princeton. The six consecutive shutouts tied the team record set in 2015, but that run started with a 0-0 tie at Navy. So this year's six straight shutout victories established a new school record. The scoreless string reached 578:25 scoreless minutes, which ended up a bit shy of the 2015 record of 655:03.
• Bucknell has scored 24 goals in 14 games and has gotten excellent scoring balance. The 24 goals have been scored by 13 different players, and 16 Bison have recorded a point.
• Kendall Ham has a team-high five goals, all coming in the last five games. Ham is coming off a two-goal game in last week's 3-0 win over Army, and she also notched a brace against American. Her five goals in league play are the most in the PL. Brianna Kropinack and Gabi Rosenfeld both have three goals, while Jackie Ham, Meghan Holtz and Maddie Mulford have two apiece. Alexandra Catanzarite has a team-high four assists.
• Goalkeeper Dani Kaufman leads the Patriot League in shutouts (6) and saves per game (5.4) while ranking No. 3 in save percentage (.826). Kaufman has started every game this season and has a combined shutout in addition to her six solo clean sheets.
• Last week's victory over Army made the current seniors the co-winningest class in program history. The group of Carolyn Casey, Karli Cirovski, Jackie Ham, Kendall Ham, Meghan Holtz, Maddie Mulford and Gabi Rosenfeld now has 45 career victories, tying them with the Class of 2009 for the team record. The Classes of 2017 and 2010 both won 44 games.
• Bucknell set team records in wins (16), league wins (8) and win percentage (.850) last season, while posting a program-record 14-game unbeaten streak. The Bison brought back 45 of their 51 goals a season ago, including eight of their top 10 scorers. Bucknell returned seven starters, five of whom made All-Patriot League Teams in 2016.
• The Bison have reached the Patriot League Championship game each of the last two seasons under Kelly Cook, who is in her third year as head coach. She is a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year and is joined on the sidelines by David Madsen and Leigh Howard. The trio earned NSCAA Regional Staff of the Year honors in 2016. Cook's record at Bucknell is 35-14-5 overall and 19-2-2 in Patriot League play.
• Senior forward Kendall Ham was named to the watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given annually to the nation's best player. Ham became Bucknell's first women's soccer All-American last season. She and her twin sister, outside back Jackie Ham, are starters and returning All-Patriot League selections. Last week at Loyola, the twins scored goals in the same game for the third time in their careers.
Record Book Watch
• Kendall Ham ranks fifth on Bucknell's career points chart with 80. Next up is Krista Lee Gentile in fifth with 83 points.
• Kendall Ham is tied for fourth all-time (with Gentile) in goals with 34. She needs two more to catch Jennifer Dervarics for the No. 3 spot.
• Kendall Ham ranks 16th among all active Division I players with 34 career goals. Alabama State's Ariela Lewis is No. 1 with 53.
• Maddie Mulford is tied for sixth place (with Gentile) on Bucknell's career assists list with 15. Her next assist will move her into a tie for fifth with Kerry McDonnell.
Scouting Colgate/Series History
• Similar to Bucknell, Colgate is seeing the benefits of playing a difficult non-conference schedule. After a 1-4 start, the Raiders are 7-0-1 dating back to a 1-0 win over Syracuse on Sept. 7. Most recently, Colgate traveled to Ithaca and edged Cornell 1-0 on Monday night. In Patriot League play, the Raiders have Loyola, Army, American and Lafayette, and played Lehigh to a 1-1 tie.
• Colgate has outscored its opponents 21-20 on the season. Mara Cosentino (6-2-14) leads the team in goals and points, and Abby Sotomayor (4-2-10), Emily Crichlow (3-2-8), and Lindsey Wiley (3-1-7) are also players to watch offensively. Cosentino had a hat trick plus an assist in a recent win over Lafayette.
• Kelly Chiavaro has been the regular starter in goal for Colgate, although freshman Sophia Boggs was between the pipes for Monday's shutout of Cornell.
• Colgate was picked fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll. Sotomayor and reigning Patriot League Midfielder of the Year Eliza Doll were named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.
• Bucknell is 8-21-2 all-time against Colgate in a series that dates back to 1991. Bucknell has won each of the last two meetings by 2-1 counts, including last year's overtime win in Hamilton. Including a couple of Patriot League Tournament meetings, this will be the fifth time in the last six that the two teams have squared off in Hamilton.
• In last year's game, Kendall Ham finished a Karli Cirovski corner kick with just two seconds remaining in the first overtime perdiod to lift the Bison to the 2-1 victory. Maddie Mulford scored just over three minutes into the match to give the Bison a quick 1-0 lead, but Colgate drew level on a Keely Lockwood goal in the 21st minute.
• Bucknell plays its final two regular season home games next week, hosting Lehigh on Wednesday and Boston University on Saturday in a rematch of the last two Patriot League title games.