LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior Gabi Rosenfeld scored two goals, senior Kendall Ham picked up three assists, and the Bucknell women’s soccer team set a season scoring high in a 4-0 home win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in a matchup of two reigning NCAA Tournament teams Wednesday night at Emmitt Field.
Senior Maddie Mulford and freshman Chloe Christakos added goals for the Bison, who improved to 4-5 on the season. Playing a mid-week non-conference game sandwiched in between two Patriot League contests, coach Kelly Cook was able to play every available player for at least 10 minutes, and no starter had to play more than 71 minutes.
While the Bison perked up in the attacking end, scoring more than two goals for the first time this season, the defense continued its dominant play by holding the Red Flash (3-6-1) to just eight total shots. Bucknell has now won four of its last five games, conceding only two goals in that span, including three straight shutout victories.
Bucknell pressed right from the opening whistle and was rewarded just 14:24 into the match. Ham sent Mulford in along the right edge of the penalty area, and Mulford beat goalkeeper Julia Hernan to the far post for her first goal of the season.
Only 74 seconds later it was almost 2-0. This time it was Ham getting loose behind the Red Flash back four, and as she went to take a touch around the goalkeeper, Ham was chopped down, resulting in a penalty kick. Ham’s attempt hit the underside of the crossbar and stayed out, however, leaving it a 1-0 game.
Saint Francis’ best scoring chance came in the 33rd minute. The Bison had trouble getting the ball out of their own end, and Gabi Morales curled in a high shot that Dani Kaufman tipped into the crossbar. The ball lingered for a moment inside the 6-yard box before finally being cleared out for a corner kick, the only one awarded to the Red Flash all night.
It was still a one-goal game coming out of halftime, but the Bison quickly bought their insurance with Rosenfeld scoring back-to-back goals in a matter of just 4:42. Brianna Kropinack started the buildup to the first of those tallies in the 50th minute, as her cross in from the end line fell loose inside the 6. Ham blocked a defender’s clearance, and Rosenfeld popped it into the left side netting for her first goal of the season.
Then in the 54th minute, Rosenfeld finished with a beautiful volley from the center of the area off a service from Ham.
Christakos was one of seven Bison seeing their first game action of the season. In this case it was the career debut for the tall center back. Christakos was only on the pitch for about four minutes when she came forward for a corner kick. The original delivery was cleared out, but the ball was played back out wide for Maddie Dano, who recycled it back in the box. Her service to the back post was headed into the left post by Bailey Hurst, and Christakos slammed in the rebound for her first collegiate goal. It was the fourth goal of the season for Bucknell’s first-year class.
Kaufman made four saves in goal in 71:33 of action. Reserve keeper Theresa Adu-Attobrah saw her first action and tallied two saves while finishing off the clean sheet. The Bison defense upped its shutout streak to 287:39 dating back to the second half of a 1-0 loss to Tennessee on Sept. 7.
Hernan made six saves and backup keeper Morgan O’Loughlin one for Saint Francis. The Bison finished with an 18-9 shot advantage and beat the Red Flash for the third straight season.
With her three assists in this one, Ham moved ahead of Jennifer Margolis into sole possession of sixth place on Bucknell's career points chart with 70. Next up is Kerry McDonnell with 76.
The three assists were one shy of the school single-game record, set by Lisa Gibbons against Lycoming in 1994.
Bucknell jumps right back into Patriot League play on Saturday, when American visits Graham Field for a noon start. The game will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.