ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy cashed in twice on set pieces and defeated Bucknell 2-1 on Saturday night in a battle of the Patriot League’s top two teams at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. Kendall Ham scored her ninth goal of the year for the Bison, who will be back in Annapolis next week for the Patriot League Tournament semifinals.
Navy entered the regular-season finale one point in front of Bucknell atop the league standings, meaning a victory for either team would deliver a regular-season title and the right to host the tournament as the top seed. The Mids stretched their unbeaten streak to 12 (11-0-1) and finished 8-0-1 in league play for 25 points. Bucknell will be the No. 2 seed with 21 points and a 7-2 PL mark. Both teams get byes into the semifinal round.
Navy (15-3-1) struck first just 7:31 into the match on a free kick just outside the right edge of the penalty area. Clare Macadam’s service was headed in by Cadie Higginson.
That meant Bucknell (10-8) would have to summon two goals against a team that came in with 12 shutouts, including a recent string of seven in a row. The Bison did find an equalizer just 1:42 before the halftime break, and it came from a familiar source.
Ham had an initial shot from the top of box smothered, but the rebound fell right back at her feet. She regathered and ripped a left-footed shot inside the left post to knot the game at 1-1. It was Ham’s ninth goal of the season, tying her for the Patriot League lead, and the 38th of her career.
A 64th-minute foul out near midfield set the wheels in motion for Navy’s go-ahead goal. A long service deep into the box fell to the ground inside the six. A Bison defender tried to sweep it out, but the ball ricocheted off Navy’s Mary August and over the line.
Navy saw out the victory by controlling possession in the Bucknell end for much of the final 25 minutes. Bucknell did get a dangerous ball into the area on a free kick with about 1:40 remaining, but had a shot blocked.
The Mids finished with a 16-5 edge in shots and a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Bison goalkeeper Dani Kaufman tallied five saves, while Sydney Fortson had one save for Navy.
Ham attempted four of Bucknell’s five shots and moved within one of Liz Woodrow for the No. 2 spot on Bucknell’s all-time goal-scoring list.
The Bison, who won the Patriot League championship at home as the No. 1 seed last season, will return to Navy for the Patriot League semifinals next Friday. The time and opponent are to be determined.
In Tuesday’s quarterfinal games, third-seeded Boston University will host sixth-seeded Lafayette, and No. 4 Colgate will entertain No. 5 Lehigh. Navy would draw the lowest-seeded quarterfinal winner for the semifinal round.