Setting the Scene
Who: Bucknell (0-4-0, 0-0-0 PL) at Rider (0-3-0, 0-0-0 MAAC)
When: Sunday, Sept. 3, 3 p.m.
Where: Ben Cohen Field, Lawrenceville, N.J.
Live Video: GoBroncs.com
Live Stats: GoBroncs.com
About the Bison
• Two teams in search of their first victory of the season square off Sunday afternoon at Ben Cohen Field, as Bucknell visits Rider in non-conference action. The Bison have 10 New Jersey natives on the roster who will be returning to their home state.
• Bucknell has played an extremely demanding schedule thus far, with their four losses coming to Syracuse and No. 12 Duke of the ACC, along with two more top programs in Saint Joseph's and William & Mary. Those four teams are currently a combined 12-3-2, with all three losses to ranked opponents. The schedule doesn't get any easier, with Tennessee and Penn coming up before the start of Patriot League play.
• Last weekend, the Bison fell 2-0 at Duke and 3-1 at William & Mary. In the William & Mary game, Bucknell trailed 1-0 into the 79th minute, when sophomore Bailey Hurst netted her first goal of the year off a cross from freshman Jenna Marek.
• Hurst, Marek, and co-captain Meghan Holtz have accounted for Bucknell's three goals thus far. Marek and Ali Russo have assists. Goalkeeper Dani Kaufman has 31 saves in four games, with a high of 13 against Saint Joseph's. She leads the Patriot League and ranks 18th nationally in saves per game.
• Bucknell set team records in wins (16), league wins (8) and win percentage (.850) last season, while posting a program-record 14 game unbeaten streak. The Bison brought back 45 of their 51 goals a season ago, including eight of their top 10 scorers. Bucknell returned seven starters, five of whom made All-Patriot League Teams in 2016.
• The Bison have reached the Patriot League Championship game each of the last two seasons under Kelly Cook, who is in her third year as head coach. She is a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year and will be joined on the sidelines by David Madsen and Leigh Howard. The trio earned NSCAA Regional Staff of the Year honors in 2016.
• Senior forward Kendall Ham was named to the watch list for MAC Hermann Trophy, given annually to the nation's best player. Ham became Bucknell's first women's soccer All-American last season. She and her twin sister, outside back Jackie Ham, are starters and returning All-Patriot League selections.
Record Book Watch
• Kendall Ham is tied for sixth (with Jennifer Margolis) on Bucknell's career points chart with 67. Next up is Kerry McDonnell with 76.
• Kendall Ham is seventh all-time in goals with 29. She needs one more to catch McDonnell for the No. 6 spot and three more to equal Christa Matlack for fifth all-time.
• Maddie Mulford sits in a four-way tie for seventh place on Bucknell's career assists list. Her next assist will move her into a tie for sixth with Krista Lee Gentile.
Scouting Rider/Series History
• Bucknell and Rider have met three times previously, with the series all knotted at 1-1-1. The Bison won 3-0 at home in 2013, with the Broncs returning the favor 1-0 in overtime the following season. Last year at Emmitt Field, the two teams drew 1-1, which would mark Bucknell's only dropped points in a 13-0-1 start.
• Bucknell outshot Rider 27-13 last season, but needed a Kendall Ham goal five minutes into the second half to even the game at 1-apiece.
• Rider opened the season with a 2-1 home loss to Wagner, then went on the road and fell 2-0 at Fairleigh Dickinson and 3-1 at Temple.
• Ellie Smith and Courtney Cunningham have the goals for Rider. Michelle Iocono, who scored against Bucknell last season, has an assist. Carmen Carbonell and Amy Kozlowski have split time equally in goal so far.
• Rider is coming off an outstanding season. The Broncs went 9-6-3 overall and 6-3-1 in the MAAC in 2016, but they were upset by sixth-seeded Marist in overtime in the first round of the MAAC Tournament.
• Drayson Hounsome's side was picked third in this year's MAAC Preseason Poll, behind Monmouth and Quinnipiac.
• Bucknell has a big home match Thursday against Tennessee at Emmitt Field. The Vols are off to a 4-0 start, outscoring foes 10-1.