LEWISBURG, Pa. – A gritty effort by the Bucknell men’s soccer team went rewarded on Wednesday night at Emmitt Field, as sophomore Patrick Mahoney scored the golden goal just 2:04 into overtime to lift the Bison to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Patriot League co-leader Loyola.
The victory leveled Bucknell’s season record at 4-4-2, and more importantly it upped their Patriot League record to 2-1. The Greyhounds fell to 5-4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League. Boston University defeated Holy Cross to get to 3-0 and take over sole possession of first place, and Bucknell, Loyola and Army now occupy a three-way tie for second on six points.
The Bison were coming off a 2-1 home win over American on Saturday, and they are now 4-1 at home this season.
Bison goalkeeper Ryan Ott had just made his toughest save of the night on Loyola scoring whiz Brian Saramango early in the overtime session, and they scored the game-winner on a counterattack. Nick King set the play in motion with a nice ball down the right flank for Bernie Wright. This week’s Patriot League Midfielder of the Week got by his man and into the penalty area, where he squared up a cross that appeared to be intended for Daniel Hallowell coming across the face of goal. Hallowell was taken out, and the pass got all the way through to Mahoney, who buried the shot into the gaping net.
It was Mahoney’s first goal of the season and fourth of his career, all coming against Patriot League opponents.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort our guys gave tonight,” said head coach Brendan Nash. “Loyola is an extremely talented team, and we had to get numbers behind the ball and slow the game down as much as possible. We have a little bit of momentum going, and now we need to ride that momentum into training tomorrow as we get ready to go on the road to play Holy Cross.”
After an evenly played first half yielded few dangerous chances and just one shot on frame for each side, Loyola saw a bit more of the ball in the second half. Just before the hour mark Loyola’s Sam Brown was momentarily alone in front of the goal, but Dan Bank came sliding a cross to deflect his shot up over the bar.
King had a good look a few minutes later but his hard shot had too much rise, just after Loyola had scrambled to clear away a couple of good crosses.
Saramango, the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year, found some space on the left side just after the start of overtime, but Ott made the best of his three saves on the night to keep the game going. That set up the all-sophomore King-Wright-Mahoney combo for the win.
Loyola finished with a 14-9 shot advantage and a 4-3 edge in corner kicks. Chase Vosvick made one save for the Greyhounds.
Bucknell continues to have Loyola’s number. The Bison are now 6-0 all-time against the Greyhounds, with five of the wins coming since Loyola joined the Patriot League in 2013.
Bucknell next plays at Holy Cross on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Crusaders are 1-1-1 in Patriot League play.