LEWISBURG, Pa. – After completing its best regular season in program history, the Bucknell women’s soccer team was well represented on the All-Patriot League teams, announced on Monday. The Patriot League regular season champions placed a league-high eight players on all-league teams, while capturing three of the six individual awards.
Kendall Ham was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, while Jessica Ratner garnered Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year accolades. Head coach Kelly Cook was named Patriot League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Joining Ham and Ratner on the First Team All-Patriot League squad are Maddie Mulford and Karli Cirovski, each earning their first all-league honor. Alexis Gannon earned second team all-league accolades, along with Meghan Holtz and Jackie Ham, who each earned all-league citations a season ago, while Ali Russo earned a spot on the third team.
Kendall Ham, an unanimous all-league selection, becomes the fourth Bucknell player to earn Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year accolades and the first since Christa Matlack in 2010. Lisa Gibbons earned the award in 1993, followed by back-to-back recipients Jennifer Dervarics (2007-2008) and Matlack (2009-2010).
Voted the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in August, Ham continues to live up to the honor, leading the league in points (34) and goals (15). Her 15 goals are tied for third in the country and is the third-most in a single season in school history, while her 34 points rank second. The three-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week recipient has come through with important goals throughout the year, recording a league-best five game-winning goals.
Ratner is the first Bucknell player in program history to earn Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year accolades. The keeper has allowed the fewest goals in the league this season, while ranking second in shutouts (10). Ratner earned Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors for three straight weeks during the season, and is the program’s all-time shutouts leader (22), including 21 shutouts over the last two seasons.
Mulford has been a great 1-2 combo with Ham in 2016. Her 26 points and nine goals are second-most behind Ham, while her eight assists lead the Patriot League. Mulford has recorded a point in 13 of 15 games started this season, including in a school 11 straight games.
Cirovski has been an important member of Bucknell’s success on defense this season. The center back has made timely deflections and clear outs throughout the year, including a save off the line in Bucknell’s first victory in Annapolis in 2010 to earn Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors. Cirovski has proven to be a dual threat, particularly on set pieces, handing out five assists while scoring two goals.
Gannon has been an important cog to the Patriot League’s top ranked offense. The forward is third on the team in points (12) this season, posting three goals and four assists, one coming in the regular season finale at Army West Point to capture the program’s fifth regular season title.
Holtz, a Preseason All-Patriot League honoree, has been a fixture in Bucknell’s midfield this season. She has started in 15 games, playing the full distance seven times. The tri-captain leads the Bison midfield in minutes (1,215) and has helped the Bison defense become one of the top defensive units in the Patriot League.
Jackie Ham, also a Preseason All-Patriot League honoree, has started every game on the back line, playing the full distance 12 times. She earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors earlier in the year, making a save off the line in the Bison’s first-ever victory over three-time defending champion Boston University. Ham has proven to be an asset on both sides of the ball, posting four assists.
Russo becomes the first Bucknell freshman since Krista Lee Gentile in 2004 to earn all-league honors. She has started every game in her rookie season, going the full distance 10 times. She also added a goal in a victory at Holy Cross, while handing out an assist in a win over American. She showed off her versatility by moving from midfield to defense midway through the year after a starting fullback was injured.
Cook, joined on the sideline by David Madsen and Leigh Howard, has greatly impacted the women’s soccer program since her arrival to Lewisburg. In her two seasons as head coach, Cook has compiled an overall record of 25-7-5, including a 14-2-2 mark in Patriot League contests. Under her guidance, the Bison have earned 14 all-league selections, one Academic All-Patriot League selection and three CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees.
Receiving a quarterfinal bye, Bucknell will return to action on Friday (Nov. 4) for its Patriot League Tournament Semifinal contest.