LEWISBURG, Pa. – 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 Bucknell women’s soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Army West Point on Saturday at warm and sunny Emmitt Field.
Bucknell is now 5-0 and unscored-upon in Patriot League play. With 15 points the Bison at least temporarily moved into sole possession of first place atop the PL table. Navy (4-0) hosts third-place Boston University (3-0-1) later on Saturday night.
The Bison back line was rock solid and goalkeeper Dani Kaufman made two saves to help the team to its seventh shutout in the last eight games. Bucknell moved to 8-6 overall after bouncing back nicely from a 4-0 loss to 11th-ranked Princeton in a non-conference game on Tuesday.
It was a scoring frenzy for the Bison in the early going, as they scored on three of their first four shots of the day, all of them well executed.
Just 9:43 into the match Bucknell cashed in on its first corner kick opportunity. Maddie Dano’s service was punched out by Army keeper Sydney Cassalia, but only as far as Kropinack just inside the edge of the box. Kropinack slammed a volley into the back of the net for the third goal of her rookie season.
Just over three minutes later Kropinack was on the giving end of a pretty goal from Ham. Alexandra Catanzarite played a long ball forward for Kropinack, who centered a pass to Ham. From the top of the circle 20 yards out, Ham scored with a left-footed blast to make it 2-0.
Ham’s second of the day and 34th of her career came from much closer range at the 22:03 mark. Meghan Holtz sent a long ball wide to Maddie Mulford on the right wing. Mulford served a nice ball to the back post, where Gabby Bair headed it back across the face of goal. Ham settled it and scored with her second touch from inside the 6.
Neither team was able to generate much in the way of quality scoring chances the rest of the way, and the final shot tally was 10-apiece. Bucknell’s best opportunity in the second half came when Mulford sent Shelby Roberts in on a breakaway, but Roberts’ shot past a charging Cassalia leaked just wide of the left post.
“I was very happy with how we started the game,” said head coach Kelly Cook. “We were able to create opportunities right from the start. We have struggled at times to execute on those chances, so it was nice to get three in the back of the net early. I would have liked to see us be a bit more consistent throughout the game, but give Army credit, they fought all 90 minutes and pushed for a goal.”
With her 34 career goals, Ham moved into a tie for fourth place with Krista Lee Gentile on Bucknell’s all-time list. She also became the fifth Bison ever to record 80 career points.
Also moving up the team’s career charts was Mulford, who drew even with Gentile for sixth on the all-time assists list with 15.
This victory also 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 now has a week off before traveling to Colgate next Saturday at 7 p.m.