Setting the Scene
Who: #2 Bucknell (10-8-0, 7-2-0 PL) vs. #3 Boston University (10-7-3, 6-2-1)
When: Friday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, Annapolis, Md.
Live Webstream: Patriot League Network
Live Stats: NavySports.com
About the Bison
• After meeting in each of the last two Patriot League championship games, Bucknell and Boston University will square off in the postseason for the third year in a row, this time in the semifinal round. The Terriers beat the Bison in the 2015 title match in Boston, and then Bucknell returned the favor last season in Lewisburg. After playing a very challenging non-conference schedule, the Bison went 7-2 in Patriot League play to secure the No. 2 seed and a bye into the semifinals. Bucknell had a chance to grab the regular-season title on the final day of the season, but fell 2-1 at first-place Navy. Boston University comes in with a very similar resume. The Terriers’ only conference losses came to Bucknell and Navy, and they also settled for a tie with fourth-place Lehigh.
• Bucknell is making its 20th Patriot League Tournament appearance in the 28-year history of the Patriot League. The Bison are 8-14-3 in PL Tournament games and have captured the title three times (2001, 2005, 2016). The Bison lost their opening game in each of their first eight postseason appearances before finally breaking through with 2-1 wins over American and Navy to win the title in 2001. Bucknell beat Army in the 2005 title game and Boston University in the 2016 final. Bucknell has gone to penalty kicks three times in Patriot League Tournament action. The Bison advanced past Lehigh (6-5) in the 2005 semifinals, then fell to Army (5-4) in the 2008 semis and to Colgate (5-4) in the 2013 quarterfinals. Molly Linhart (2007 semifinal vs. Army) and Cora Climo (2016 final vs. Boston University) have scored overtime goals for Bucknell in PL Tourney play.
The Oct. 18 victory over Lehigh made the current seniors the winningest class in program history. The group of Carolyn Casey, Karli Cirovski, Jackie Ham, Kendall Ham, Meghan Holtz, Maddie Mulford and Gabi Rosenfeld now has 47 career victories. The Class of 2009 held the previous mark with 45, while the Classes of 2017 and 2010 both won 44 games. This class has a combined record of 47-25-7 and a Patriot League mark of 25-8-3. They qualified for the postseason all four years, made it to two PL finals, won a regular-season and tournament championship, and made it to an NCAA Tournament. Five of the seven members of the class have combined for 13 All-Patriot League citations.
• Senior Kendall Ham is another in a long line of high-scoring forwards for the Bison. A First Team All-Patriot League selection for the third straight year, she will graduate as one of the top scorers in team history. Ham currently leads the Patriot League in points (21) and is tied for the league lead in goals (9). All nine of her goals came in Bucknell’s nine league games. No other player scored more than five goals in league play. She is on her way to leading the Bison in scoring for the fourth year in a row. Ham’s 38 career goals are tied for 10th-most among all active Division I players. This season Ham was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy (national player of the year) Watch List and to Top Drawer Soccer’s Midseason Top-100 Players List (No. 80). Ham last season became the first All-American (NSCAA Third Team) in Bucknell women’s soccer history. In addition to her on-field prowess, Ham is also the 2016 and 2017 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She is also a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and an NSCAA Scholar All-American.
• Twin sisters Kendall Ham and Jackie Ham were both First Team All-Patriot League selections this season, and they also made the Academic All-Patriot League Team along with fellow senior Karli Cirovski. Maddie Mulford, Meghan Holtz and Cirovski were Second Team All-Patriot League choices.
• After struggling to find consistent goal-scoring early in the year against a very difficult non-conference schedule, Bucknell has now scored multiple goals in eight of their last 10 games. In nine Patriot League games, the Bison scored a league-high 21 goals while conceding only seven.
• Bucknell has gotten excellent scoring balance. The team's 31 goals on the season have been scored by 13 different players, and 17 Bison have recorded a point.
• Earlier this month the Bison saw their six-game shutout streak come to an end with a 4-0 loss to No. 11 Princeton. The six consecutive shutouts tied the team record set in 2015, but that run started with a 0-0 tie at Navy. So this year's six straight shutout victories established a new school record. The scoreless string reached 578:25 scoreless minutes, which ended up a bit shy of the 2015 record of 655:03.
• Goalkeeper Dani Kaufman leads the Patriot League in saves per game (5.3) while ranking No. 4 in save percentage (.805). Kaufman has started every game this season and has a combined shutout in addition to her six solo clean sheets. She has also benefitted from a strong back four in front of her. The quartet of (L-R) Jackie Ham, Maddie Dano, Karli Cirovski and Ali Russo have started every 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 is joined on the sidelines by David Madsen and Leigh Howard. The trio earned NSCAA Regional Staff of the Year honors in 2016. Cook is now 37-16-5 overall and 21-4-2 in Patriot League games with the Bison.
Record Book Watch
• Kendall Ham ranks fourth on Bucknell's career points chart with 88. Next up is Jennifer Dervarics in third with 91 points.
• Kendall Ham is third all-time in goals with 38. She needs one more to catch Liz Woodrow for the No. 2 spot.
• Kendall Ham ranks T-11th among all active Division I players with 38 career goals. Alabama State's Ariela Lewis is No. 1 with 57.
• Maddie Mulford is tied for fifth (with Kerry McDonnell) on Bucknell's career assists list with 16. She needs one more to match Caitlin Holtz, the older sister of Meghan Holtz, for the No. 4 spot.
Scouting Boston University/Series History
• The Terriers went 6-2-1 in Patriot League play to secure the No. 3 seed for the Patriot League Tournament. Boston University edged No. 6 Lafayette 1-0 in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday at Nickerson Field to advance to the semis.
• Like Bucknell, Boston University had five All-Patriot League selections this week, including Defensive Player of the Year Rachel Bloznalis and Rookie of the Year Anna Heilferty. Bloznalis and Christina Wakefield were First Team selections, while Heilferty, Dorrie Varley-Barrett and Julianna Chen were Second Team picks.
• Boston University has only been a member of the Patriot League since 2013, but the Terriers are seeking their fourth PL women's soccer title. They won it in each of their first three seasons from 2013-15, but then Bucknell beat them in the final year.
• Wakefield and Heilferty both have five goals and three assists to lead the team in scoring with 13 points. Jesse Shreck and Erin Neville have a team-high five assists.
• Freshman goalkeeper Amanda Fay took over the starting reins midway through the season after an injury to the No 1 keeper, and she leads the league in goals-against average at 0.53.
• The Bison are 3-4 against Boston University, with all three victories coming at Emmitt Field in the last two seasons. In 2016, the Bison won 2-0 in the Patriot League opener and 2-1 in overtime in the Patriot League Tournament championship game. Back on Oct. 21, Bucknell again won by a 2-1 count to secure a top-2 seed.
• Maddie Mulford and Alexis Gannon scored in the regular-season meeting last season, and Mulford and Cora Climo had the goals in the championship game. Climo scored the golden goal off a service from Jackie Ham.
• In this year’s meeting, Kendall Ham celebrated Senior Day by scoring both goals in Bucknell’s 2-1 win over the Terriers. She scored in the 8th and 32nd minutes to stake the Bison to a quick 2-0 lead. Varley-Barrett headed in a corner kick just 1:46 before halftime to get Boston University on the board, but the Bison played a clean second half and won it 2-1.
• Meghan Holtz is the only other Bison ever to have scored against the Terriers. That came in a 2-1 loss back in 2014.
• The two teams had never met until Boston University joined the Patriot League in 2013. The Terriers won the first four meetings by a combined 8-1 margin. The last of those wins was a 1-0 verdict in the 2015 Patriot League championship tilt at Nickerson Field.
• The winner advances to the Patriot League title match on Sunday at noon. No. 1 Navy and No. 4 Colgate meet in Friday's other semifinal matchup.