BOSTON, Mass. – Bucknell field hockey is headed to the Patriot League title game after beating second-seeded American 2-1 in a shootout in the semifinal round at Boston University’s New Balance Field on Friday. Senior goalie Emily Finn made 11 saves and then stopped all three shots she faced in the shootout to lead the Bison to the championship game for the first time since 2014.
Bucknell, which entered as the third seed, improved to 10-9 overall. The Bison will play top-seeded Boston University on Sunday at noon. The teams will meet in the postseason for a fourth consecutive season.
Long’s shot, along with Finn’s ensuing save, clinched the game and a spot playing for the title, and it came with a highlight-reel play. She went right at the goalie with the ball on her stick before flipping it up high and arcing over the goalie’s head. It stopped short of the cage, but bounced and slowly trickled in.
"Finn was the MVP on the day with fellow senior Stephanie Dressler a close second," Bucknell head coach Jeremy Cook said. "American was able to put us under a ton of pressure, and those two showed incredible grit and determination to keep AU from capitalizing on its chances."
Finn was outstanding in regulation, keeping Bucknell tied or within striking distance until the team could get its opportunities. She stopped all three shots she faced in the first half, and didn’t give up a goal until there was 13:58 in regulation when Haley Bowcutt scored off a rebound following a penalty corner shot.
American finished with a 22-5 advantage in shots for the game, but Finn and the defense stood strong enough to allow junior Nicole Rupnik to come through with the game-tying goal with 13:10 left on the clock. Rupnik, who has scored three times in the past four games, deflected in a penalty corner shot by Lexi Quick. It was a team-leading eighth assist of the season for Quick.
"Winning in a shootout isn't exactly the way you plan things out, but I was very proud of the hard work over all 100 minutes for the whole team, and then the composure in the shootout to get the win," Cook said. "We look forward to another chance to compete as a team Sunday."
Bucknell will make its seventh appearance in the Patriot League title game and the fourth with Cook as head coach.