About the Bison
>> Bucknell captured its third Patriot League title and the first since 2005 on Sunday against Boston University at Emmitt Field.
>> Bucknell won the Patriot League championship as the No. 1 seed, winning the regular season title for the fifth time in school history. The Bison defeated sixth-seeded Lafayette 2-0 in the semifinals, and then they knocked off three-time defending champion Boston University. Tri-captain Cora Climo, the Patriot League Tournament MVP, scored the golden goal 4:36 into sudden-death overtime off a cross from Jackie Ham, a Second Team All-Patriot League selection.
>> Maddie Mulford scored her 10th goal of the season to open the scoring in Sunday’s championship game. Mulford, a First Team All-Patriot League honoree, is second on the team and in the Patriot League in points (28) and goals.
>> Jessica Ratner, the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, and Kelsey Witt joined Climo on the All-Tournament Team. Both players have started in every game for the Bison this season.
>> Kendall Ham, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, leads the team and the league in points (35) and goals (15). Ham’s 15 goals are 13th-most in the country.
>> Bucknell is outscoring its opponents 51-11, including a 28-5 margin in the second half and overtime.
>> The Bison rank fourth in the country in scoring offense (2.68), fourth in points per game (7.84), fifth in total goals (51) and seventh in total points (149).
>> Bucknell has allowed just 11 goals this year and rank 11th in the nation in scoring defense (0.56).
>> Bucknell is 23-2-4 in its last 29 games.
Scouting the Nittany Lions
>> Penn State returns to the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd consecutive season and is the reigning national champions.
>> The Nittany Lions finished the year 11-4-4 overall and 7-1-3 in Big Ten play, earning a share of the Big Ten regular season title and the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, but were defeated by seventh-seeded Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal game.
>> Penn State is led by All-Big Ten First Team selection Frannie Crouse, who leads the team and the Big Ten in goals (12), while her 25 points are a team-best and rank third in the conference.
>> Megan Schafer, an All-Big Ten Third Team honoree, is second on the team in points (14) and goals (5).
>> Amanda Dennis, an All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection, has started every game in net for the Nittany Lions this season, making 48 saves while recording a .762 save percentage and posting seven solo shutouts.
>> Erica Dambach is in her 10th season as Penn State head coach.
>> Friday’s contest will be the 20th meeting between the Bison and Nittany Lions. Penn State leads the all-time series 18-0-1.
>> The two teams last competed in 2014, with the Nittany Lions winning a 7-0 decision.
NCAA Tournament History
>> Bucknell will be making its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The previous berths came in 2001 and 2005, opening against Penn State on both occasions.
>> Kendall Ham ranks seventh in points (66) and goals (29) on Bucknell’s all-time lists. She needs two points to pass Jennifer Margolis for sixth and two goals to pass Kerry McDonnell for sixth.
>> Jessica Ratner has accumulated 30 goalkeeper wins in her career, sitting in a four-way tie with Katie Dry, Laurie Purse and Becky Snover for most in program history. She needs one victory to move into sole possession of first.