LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell men's lacrosse team will enter its final regular-season game ranked 11th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches' Poll and 12th in the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing.
The Bison, who reached the 10-win plateau for the sixth time in Frank Fedorjaka's tenure as head coach with their 15-6 rout of Lafayette on April 13, moved up one spot in the USILA Coaches' Poll and down one spot in the Maverik Media Listing. This is the second time they have been on the cusp of cracking the national top 10 after entering both polls on March 26 at No. 16 and 18 respectively.
Bucknell has won seven of its past eight games, which included three-straight road wins over nationally ranked opponents in then No. 6 Loyola (12-11), then No. 15/20 Army West Point (10-7) and then No. 3 Yale (9-8 OT). Overall, the Bison are 4-1 against ranked teams and 2-0 against top-10 squads.
With a victory on Senior Night, Bucknell will capture a share of the Patriot League regular-season title. Currently 6-1 in league action, the Bison can be seeded as high as second and as low as fourth in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. No. 16/14 Navy (7-1) clinched a share of the regular-season crown last weekend and is guaranteed at least the second seed; with a win over Army West Point on Friday, No. 6/8 Loyola (6-1) would claim the top seed.
In its current 7-1 stretch, Bucknell has allowed an average of just 7.88 goals per game, holding all but one of its foes under 10. This season, the Bison attack has been driven by Will Sands (20g-46a), Sean O'Brien (35g-4a), Connor O'Hara (34g-4a) and Reed Malas (21g-12a).
Sands, who was named to the Tewaaraton Watch List and honored as a Midseason Third Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse, is on pace to have one of the finest seasons in the program's 50-year history. His 66 points slots him in a four-way tie for fourth in Bucknell's single-season annals while his 46 assists places him three away from setting a new school record. Nationally, he is second in assists and sixth in points.
O'Brien and O'Hara are on the verge of entering the Bison single-season top 10 in goals. O'Brien needs two to reach the milestone while O'Hara is three away. Nationally, both stand in the top 10, at tied for sixth and tied for ninth respectively; Bucknell and Sacred Heart, with Max Tuttle (2nd, 40) and Joe Saggese (t-6th, 35), are the only two schools with two players in the top 10 in this statistical category.
A share of the Patriot League regular-season title will be on the line when the Bison host rival Lehigh on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in their regular-season finale. This week, the Mountainhawks were ranked 19th in the USILA Coaches' Poll and received votes in the Maverik Media Listing.