LEWISBURG, Pa. – The No. 16/18 Bucknell men's lacrosse team battles No. 15/20 Army West Point on Saturday at noon in West Point, N.Y.
The Bison, who returned to the national rankings following their 12-11 upset at then No. 6/6 Loyola, will look to improve to 5-1 in the Patriot League with a victory over the Black Knights, who will be their third-straight ranked opponent.
No. 16/18 Bucknell (6-3, 4-1 Patriot League) vs. No. 15/20 Army West Point (5-3, 2-2 Patriot League)
When: Saturday, March 31 – 12 p.m.
Where: Michie Stadium – West Point, N.Y.
Internet Video: Patriot League Network
Live Stats: GoArmyWestPoint.com
Follow on Twitter: @Bucknell_MLAX
No. 16/18 Bucknell at a Glance
• The Bison men's lacrosse team is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. Established in 1968, the program has compiled a 366-349 all-time record with Sid Jamieson (1968-2005) and Frank Fedorjaka (2006-present) at the helm.
• Bucknell is 6-3 (4-1 Patriot League) on the season, matching its 2017 win total in just seven games. This week, the Bison are slotted 16th in the USILA Coaches' Poll and 18th in the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing.
• In 2017, Bucknell went 5-8 (3-5 Patriot League), coming up a single game short of qualifying for its 11th-straight Patriot League Tournament.
• The Bison, who finished tied for seventh in the Patriot League a year ago, were picked to place fourth in the 2018 preseason poll, as voted on by the league’s coaches and sports information directors.
• Bucknell returns four All-Patriot League selections in Matt Gilray (2nd '17, '16), Christian Klipstein (2nd '17, '16), Sean O'Brien (1st '17) and Will Sands (1st '17, 2nd '16). All four were voted to the 2018 Preseason All-Patriot League team, giving the Bison the league-high total.
• Sands was named to the 2018 Tewaaraton Watch List on March 1. The senior, who was previously recognized on the 2017 list, was one of 50 men's lacrosse players to make this year's iteration.
• Bucknell's captains are seniors Sands, Gilray, O'Brien and Benny Borgognone.
• Fedorjaka, who is in his 13th season as head coach, owns a 117-73 record. In Patriot League action, he has gone 54-31, leading the Bison to perfect 6-0 records in 2009 and 2011.
Inside the Penn Box Score
• Simon Mathias found the back of the net with two seconds remaining in regulation to lift then No. 15/16 Penn to a 9-8 victory over the Bucknell on March 20.
• Mathias, who also registered five assists, capped a wild, back-and-forth game with his diving goal. The Quakers and Bison were tied seven times and exchanged leads four times over the course of the contest.
• Bucknell was led offensively by Connor O'Hara (3g) and Will Sands (2g-2a).
• Christian Klipstein stopped nine shots, including four in the fourth quarter. Jarett Witzal collected a team-best four ground balls while Lukas Munoz and Matt Gilray each caused a turnover.
Inside the Loyola Box Score
• Bucknell then knocked off then No. 6/6 Loyola, 12-11, on March 24 to score their first victory over a top-10 opponent since 2013.
• The Bison handed the two-time defending champion Greyhounds their first Patriot League loss of the season by building a four-goal advantage and then holding off a furious comeback attempt in the final six minutes of regulation.
• With 47 seconds on the clock, Christian Klipstein snagged an Alex McGovern bullet at the right edge of the crease to maintain Bucknell's one-goal edge. While the Bison turned the ball over after Klipstein's save, Hunter Newman picked off a Pat Spencer pass to keep Loyola from getting another look on net.
• Reed Malas (3g-2a), Will Sands (1g-4a) and Connor O'Hara (4g) paced the Bucknell attack.
• Klipstein finished with nine saves while Jarett Witzal took every face-off, finishing 15-for-27. Witzal also collected a team-best six ground balls.
• Newman led the Bison with two caused turnovers and tied Bryant Boswell for second on the team with three ground balls.
• Notably, Bucknell held Spencer, a two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and 2018 First Team All-American, to just three points (1g-2a).
• For their roles in this upset, Sands (Offensive Player of the Week) and Matt Gilray (Defensive Player of the Week) captured Patriot League weekly laurels. Sands has now collected four Offensive Player of the Week awards in 2018 alone.
No. 15/20 Army West Point at a Glance
• Army West Point is currently 5-3 (2-2 Patriot League). The Black Knights fell at Colgate, 8-6, in their most recent game on March 24.
• Army appeared in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing. The Black Knights checked in at No. 15 in the Coaches' Poll and was slotted 20th in the Media Listing.
• In the 2018 Patriot League preseason poll, Army was picked to finish second.
• The Black Knights went 12-4 (6-2 Patriot League) in 2017. They advanced to the Patriot League championship game, where they fell to Loyola, 13-4.
• Army is averaging just 7.75 goals per game in Patriot League play this season. That number falls to 6.00 if the Black Knights' 13-4 victory at Lafayette is removed.
• Army leads the all-time series with Bucknell, 29-13. The series dates back to 1979, with the teams playing annually since 1988.
• Of the 24 Bucknell-Army games since 1999, 15 have been decided by a single goal.
• Last year, the then No. 7/10 Black Knights edged the Bison, 11-10, at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Will Sands paced Bucknell with six points (1g-5a) while Christian Klipstein stopped 11 shots. Matt Gilray also had a strong game defensively, causing three turnovers and collecting three ground balls.
Enter Sandsman: Will Sands Among Nation's Elite Attackers
• Will Sands is on pace to have one of the best offensive seasons in Bucknell history. With five games left to play in the regular season, he already has 51 points (17g-34a).
• Sands's assist total is good for seventh in school history and is six outside of third. With seven points, he'll enter the Bison's single-season top 10 in that category for the third time in his career.
• Sands is currently the national leader in assists (34) and one of only three players with at least 50 points.
• A member of the 2018 Tewaaraton Watch List, Sands has factored into exactly half of Bucknell's goals, the highest percentage in the Division I ranks.
Bison in the NCAA Top 10 (as of March 28)
• Connor O'Hara: Tied for sixth in goals (27)
• Will Sands: First in assists (34)
• Will Sands: Second in assists per game (3.78)
• Will Sands: Third in points (51) - one of only three with 50
• Will Sands: Fourth in points per game (5.67)
• Goals: Connor O'Hara (27)
• Assists: Will Sands (34) - NCAA leader, only Bison above 10
• Points: Will Sands (51) - only Bison above 30
• Shots: Sean O'Brien (86) - only Bison above 60
• Ground balls: Jarett Witzal (29)
• Caused turnovers: Lukas Munoz (11)
• Face-off wins: Jarett Witzal (96)
• Face-off percentage: Jarett Witzal (.468)
• Save Percentage: Ben Clark (.562)
• Goals Against Average: Ben Clark (8.26)
• Saves: Christian Klipstein (64)
Single-Season Milestones Met Last Week
• Will Sands: Cracked Bucknell's top 10 in assists for the second time; now holds seventh (34) and second (42, 2017)
Single-Season Milestone Watch
• Sean O'Brien: Needs 23 shots to crack Bucknell's top five with 109
• Connor O'Hara: Needs 10 goals to crack Bucknell's top 10 with 37
• Will Sands: Needs three assists to enter tie for fourth with 37; needs six to enter tie for third with 40
• Will Sands: Needs seven points to crack top 10 in points for third time (58); needs 10 to enter tie for ninth (61)
• Jarett Witzal: Needs 34 face-off wins to crack Bucknell's top five for third time with 130
• Jarett Witzal: Needs 41 face-off attempts to crack Bucknell's top five for second time with 246
Career Milestone Watch
• Matt Gilray: Needs two ground balls to move to ninth with 144; needs four to move to eighth with 146
• Christian Klipstein: Needs 13 saves to crack Bucknell’s top 10 with 375
• Sean O'Brien: Needs 24 shots to crack Bucknell’s top five with 279
• Will Sands: Needs one goal to become the sixth Bison with 100
• Will Sands: Needs four goals to enter tie for fifth with 103
• Will Sands: Needs eight shots to crack Bucknell’s top five with 279
• Will Sands: Needs 12 assists to move to third with 132; needs 18 to match Bucknell's school record of 138
• Jarett Witzal: Needs 11 ground balls to move to fourth with 166
• Jarett Witzal: Needs 25 face-off wins to claim the school record from Jake Clarke (422)
• Jarett Witzal: Needs 31 face-off attempts to claim the school record from Jake Clarke (750)
A Look Ahead
• The Bison next wrap up non-conference play by traveling to Yale for a game on Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. They then return to Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium to face off against Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m.