EASTON, Pa. -- Amanda Case scored five goals and Laura Kleiber added four more to lift Lafayette to a 12-9 victory over Bucknell on Wednesday night at Fisher Stadium in a battle between two teams fighting for a Patriot League Tourmament berth. Katelyn Miller recorded two goals and two assists for the Bison, who are still alive for a postseason spot despite seeing their three-game winning streak come to an end.
The Bison fell to 3-11 overall and 2-5 in the Patriot League with one conference game remaining. Bucknell will need to defeat Boston University next week and get help in order to grab one of the six Patriot League Tournament bids. Lafayette improved to 6-9 overall and drew even with the Bison at 2-5 in the league.
Bucknell got out to a great start in this one and led 4-1 after 18 minutes of play. Miller and Maddy Molinari staked the Bison to a 2-0 lead, and after Ana White scored her 30th goal of the year for Lafayette, two quick goals by Sam Rickels and Sophie Kleinert made it 4-1.
Lafayette stormed back with four straight goals to take its first lead of the day. Case scored the tying goal, and then after Lafayette goalie Maggie Curtin robbied Molinari on a 25-yard breakaway, Kleiber found the net to give the Leopards a 5-4 lead. With 2:52 left in the half Miller scored with a defender draped all over her and it was a 5-5 game at the half.
Kleiber and Molinari traded goals in the opening moments of the second half, but then consecutive strikes by Kirsten Wilhelmsen and Case gave Lafayette its first two-goal lead at 8-6.
Bucknell pulled within one when Claire Switala finished a feed from Miller, but a key momentum swing came with 14:39 to play. Trailing 8-7, the Bison defense came up with a big takeaway, but as they were getting organized for the clear a Lafayette player collided with a stationary Bucknell defender and went to the ground. A foul was called on the Bison, and because it occurred inside the 8-meter arc a free-position attempt was awarded to Lafayette. Case buried the shot to make it 9-7.
Rickels did get one back for Bucknell with 10:01 to play, but with the Bison defense forced to come out and chase the ball, Lafayette scored three times in a span of 3:44 to put the game away.
In addition to Miller's four-point night, Molinari, Kleinert and Rickels also scored twice each.
Bucknell did a nice job defensively on White, Lafayette's all-star middie. White was held to just the one early goal and had seven turnovers, although she did impact the game with four caused turnovers, four ground balls and six draw controls. But Case and Kleiber did most of the damage, combining for nine of the team's 12 goals.
Both goalies played well. Curtin logged seven saves and Bucknell's Elizabeth Duswalt stopped nine shots. Lafayette finished with a 25-18 shot advantage and a 14-9 edge in draw controls. Both teams were turnover-prone -- the Leopards turned it over 22 times and the Bison 20 -- and Bucknell led 16-15 in ground balls.
The Bison will play a non-league game at Saint Francis (Pa.) next Tuesday at 6 p.m., and then they will travel to Boson the following Saturday for that must-win contest against the Terriers.