LEWISBURG, Pa. – The No. 10 Bucknell men's lacrosse team will host Boston University in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
The Bison, who shared the 2018 Patriot League regular-season title with No. 6/8 Loyola and No. 13/11 Navy, ended up with the third seed due to the goal differential between the three co-champions. They are set to make their 11th Patriot League Tournament appearance in the past 12 seasons.
Admission is free to Tuesday's quarterfinal game, which will be held at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. With a victory, Bucknell would face second-seeded Navy in the semifinals at Loyola on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.
This week, Bucknell returned to the national top 10 for the first time since the 2013 campaign. The Bison were slotted 10th in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches' Poll and the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing, a one spot and two spot improvement respectively from last week.
Bucknell last vaulted into the national top 10 on March 25, 2013 following thrilling road victories over then No. 2 Cornell (9-8) and No. 20 Albany (18-12). The Bison were listed sixth in that week's Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, which remains their highest ranking in program history, and seventh in the USILA Coaches' Poll.
Boston University (7-7, 3-5 Patriot League) vs. No. 10/10 Bucknell (11-3, 7-1 Patriot League)
When: Tuesday, April 24 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium – Lewisburg, Pa.
Internet Video: Patriot League Network
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
Follow on Twitter: @Bucknell_MLAX
Bucknell at a Glance
• The Bucknell men's lacrosse team is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. Established in 1968, the program has compiled a 371-349 all-time record with Sid Jamieson (1968-2005) and Frank Fedorjaka (2006-present) at the helm.
• The Bison finished the regular season with an 11-3 (7-1 Patriot League) record and earned a share of the Patriot League regular-season title. This week, they are slotted 10th in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing, their first appearance in the national top 10 since the 2013 campaign.
• One of the hottest teams in college lacrosse, Bucknell has won eight of its past nine games, which included three-straight victories over nationally ranked opponents on the road. Over that stretch, the Bison held all but one of their foes under 10 goals.
• In 2017, Bucknell went 5-8 (3-5 Patriot League), coming up a single game short of qualifying for its 11th-straight Patriot League Tournament.
• The Bison, who finished tied for seventh in the Patriot League a year ago, were picked to place fourth in the 2018 preseason poll, as voted on by the league’s coaches and sports information directors.
• Bucknell returns four All-Patriot League selections in Matt Gilray (2nd '17, '16), Christian Klipstein (2nd '17, '16), Sean O'Brien (1st '17) and Will Sands (1st '17, 2nd '16). All four were voted to the 2018 Preseason All-Patriot League team, giving the Bison the league-high total.
• Sands was named to the 2018 Tewaaraton Watch List on March 1. The senior, who was previously recognized on the 2017 list, was one of 50 men's lacrosse players to make this year's iteration. He was also named a Midseason Third Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse on March 29.
• Bucknell's captains are seniors Sands, Gilray, O'Brien and Benny Borgognone.
• Fedorjaka, who is in his 13th season as head coach, owns a 122-73 record. In Patriot League action, he has gone 57-31, leading the Bison to perfect 6-0 records in 2009 and 2011. Bucknell also posted one-loss Patriot League campaigns in 2013 and 2018.
Bison Capture Ninth Patriot League Regular-Season Crown
• With its victory over Lehigh, Bucknell captured its ninth Patriot League regular-season crown.
• The Bison previously won the regular-season title in 1996 (5-0), 2000 (5-1), 2001 (6-0), 2002 (5-1), 2003 (5-1), 2005 (5-1), 2009 (6-0) and 2011 (6-0). This is the fifth time they shared the crown; they claimed it outright with their undefeated league records in 1996, 2001, 2009 and 2011.
• Bucknell's seven Patriot League wins represent its highest total in program history. With the additions of Loyola and Boston University, the league's regular season expanded to eight games in 2014. Before this campaign, the Bison had never won more than five Patriot League games since those squads joined the league.
Inside the Lehigh Box Score
• Bucknell clinched a share of the Patriot League regular-season title with a 14-7 rout of rival Lehigh on April 20.
• On a night the Bison celebrated their seniors and welcomed their alumni back to campus, it was a pair of seniors who stole the show in their victory over the Mountain Hawks. Will Sands assisted on half of Bucknell's goals, setting school records in both single-season assists and career assists in the process, while Sean O'Brien netted five goals and also notched an assist.
• During the contest, the Bison strung together two different 5-0 runs. One came after Lehigh took 5-3 lead behind a 3-0 run.
• In the second half, Bucknell held the Mountain Hawks without a goal until the 1:45 mark of the fourth quarter, a stretch of 28:15.
• Beyond Sands and O'Brien, Connor O'Hara (2g-2a), Tom Smith (3g-1a), Will Yorke (2g) and Tommy Sopko (1g-1a) had multi-point outings for Bucknell.
• Christian Klipstein made eight saves, six of which came in the first half. Klipstein also tied O'Brien and Brad Landry for the game-high in ground balls (5) while Matt Gilray paced all players with three caused turnovers
• Defensive midfielder Duke Repko, one of the 12 seniors honored, netted his first career goal at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter, causing Bucknell's bench to erupt in celebration.
Two Records, One Game: Will Sands Takes First in Single-Season and Career Helpers
• On the strength of his seven-assist outing against Lehigh, Will Sands set new school records in single-season assists (53) and career assists (139). With the postseason still on the horizon, he'll have a chance to add to his new standards.
• Sands entered the regular-season finale needing three assists to break David Dickson's single-season record (48, 2013) and seven to top the standard in career assists (138), which was shared by Bucknell Athletics Hall of Famer members Pete von Hoffmann (1976-79) and Chris Cara (2002-05).
• Adding to his 139 assists 102 goals, Sands boasts 241 career points. If he registers at least nine in postseason competition, he will break Bucknell's school record of 249, which was set by Cara on 111 goals and 138 assists.
Boston University at a Glance
• Boston University wrapped up the regular season with a 7-7 (3-5 Patriot League) record. The Terriers clinched the final spot in the Patriot League Tournament with a 9-4 win over Holy Cross in their season finale.
• Boston University rallied from an 0-3 start to Patriot League play, winning three of its final five league games.
• In the 2018 Patriot League preseason poll, the Terriers were picked to finish fifth. They received a single point less than fourth-place Bucknell.
• Bucknell holds a 4-1 series lead in the battle of BUs. The teams first met in 2014, Boston University's first season in the Patriot League.
• The Bison have topped the Terriers in their past three contests. In 2017, Bucknell stunned then No. 15/16 Boston University at Nickerson Field. The Terriers entered the game an unbeaten 7-0, but the Bison outscored them, 6-1, in the second half to earn a 12-6 win.
• In this year's meeting, Bucknell outscored Boston University, 9-0, in the second half to emerge a 16-9 victor on March 17 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
• The Bison held the Terriers without a goal for the final 41 minutes of the contest. They trailed by as many as four and were down, 9-7, at halftime.
• Will Sands was sensational, finishing one point shy of tying Bucknell's school record with 10 (3g-7a). Lukas Munoz led all players with four caused turnovers, forcing three in the second half alone. He also paced the Bison with five ground balls. For his efforts, he captured his first career Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week award.
The Bison Big Three
• Will Sands (20g-53a), Sean O'Brien (40g-5a) and Connor O'Hara (36g-6a) have accounted for 160 of the Bison's 255 points, a percentage of over 62.
• With 53 assists, Sands is second nationally. He is one of only three players who have eclipsed the 50-assist threshold, joining two Ivy League attackers.
• Bucknell, with O'Brien (4th, 40) and O'Hara (t-10th, 36), is one of two teams with two players in the national top 10 in goals. Sacred Heart, with Max Tuttle (2nd, 41) and Joe Saggese (t-6th, 38), is the other.
• Sands set Bucknell's record in single-season assists and is only the fourth Bison to reach the 70-point plateau. O'Brien is one of five Bison to net at least 40 goals in a single campaign while O'Hara needs two goals to join him in Bucknell's single-season top 10.
• Beyond the Bison Big Three, Reed Malas (21g-12a), Tommy Sopko (21g-6a) and Tom Smith (17g-4a) have eclipsed the 20-point threshold to date. Nine of Smith's goals came in Bucknell's past three games, which included a five-goal outing against Lafayette.
Enter Sandsman: Will Sands Among Nation's Elite Attackers
• Will Sands is in the midst of one of the best offensive seasons in Bucknell history. At the end of the regular season, he boasts 73 points (20g-53a). He joined Justin Zackey (79, 1993), Chris Cara (78, 2004) and Jon Romm (76) as the only Bison to reach the 70-point plateau in a single campaign.
• During the Bison's regular-season finale, Sands claimed the single-season assist record from David Dickson (48, 2013). A year ago, Sands recorded 42 helpers, which previously stood second in school history.
• Sands has now eclipsed the 60-point threshold in three of his four collegiate seasons. Entering this year, he owned the seventh- (64, 2016) and eighth- (62, 2017) highest point totals in Bucknell's 50-year history. His 2018 total is currently fourth; he has a chance of becoming the first Bison to reach the 80-point threshold.
• Sands is currently second in the nation in assists and fifth in points. A member of the 2018 Tewaaraton Watch List and an Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-American, he has factored into 44.5 percent of Bucknell's goals, the fourth-highest percentage in the Division I ranks.
Six Bison Capture All-Patriot League Laurels, Fedorjaka Coach of the Year
• Earlier on Monday, Frank Fedorjaka was honored as the Patriot League's William Lawson Coach of the Year, and six Bison captured All-Patriot League accolades.
• Will Sands and Sean O'Brien were voted to the All-Patriot League First Team for the second year in a row while Benny Borgognone, Matt Gilray, Reed Malas and Connor O'Hara earned spots on the Second Team.
• For the full story, visit this link.
Bison in the 2018 MLL Draft
• A school record four Bison were selected in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, held April 18.
• Will Sands became Bucknell's second-highest draft pick when he was chosen by the Boston Cannons with the first selection of the third round, 19th overall.
• Later in the evening, Sean O'Brien was taken by the Dallas Rattlers (5th round, 37th overall) while Matt Gilray (5th round, 44th overall) and Connor O'Hara (6th round, 53rd overall) were both selected by the Denver Outlaws.
• Sands is the Bison's highest draft pick since there were at least eight teams in the MLL. Chris Cara was chosen 14th by the Long Island Lizards in the 2005 edition, back when there were only six teams in the league. Billy Eisenreich is Bucknell's only other third rounder; he was taken by the Ohio Machine 21st overall in 2012.
• Previously, the most Bison selected in a single draft was two. Charlie Streep, who was selected 52nd overall by the Long Island Lizards, was in Eisenreich's draft class.
• A total of 13 Bison have become MLL Draft picks since the league was founded in 2001. A least one Bison has heard his name called in six of the past seven drafts.
Bison in the NCAA Top 10 (as of April 23)
• Connor O'Hara: Tied for 10th in goals (36)
• Sean O'Brien: Fourth in goals (40)
• Will Sands: Second in assists (53)
• Will Sands: Third in assists per game (3.79)
• Will Sands: Fifth in points (73) - one of seven with 70
• Will Sands: Eighth in points per game (5.21)
• Goals: Sean O'Brien (40)
• Assists: Will Sands (53) - school record, only Bison above 15
• Points: Will Sands (73)
• Shots: Sean O'Brien (135) - school record, only Bison above 90
• Ground balls: Jarett Witzal (47)
• Caused turnovers: Benny Borgognone and Lukas Munoz (18)
• Face-off wins: Jarett Witzal (140)
• Face-off attempts: Jarett Witzal (299) - school record
• Face-off percentage: Jarett Witzal (.468)
• Save percentage: Christian Klipstein (.507)
• Goals against average: Christian Klipstein (8.81)
• Saves: Christian Klipstein (107)
Single-Season Milestones Met vs. Lehigh
• Sean O'Brien: Broke school record (123) in shots; now has 135
• Sean O'Brien: Became fifth Bison to net 40 goals; now ranks sixth with 40
• Will Sands: Broke school record (48) in assists; now has 53
• Will Sands: Became fourth Bison to record 70 points; now ranks fourth with 73
• Jarett Witzal: Broke school record (283) in face-off attempts; now has 299
• Jarett Witzal: Took fourth in face-off wins; now has 140
Single-Season Milestone Watch
• Sean O'Brien: Needs one goal to move to fifth with 41; needs four to move to fourth with 44; needs five to move to second with 45
• Connor O'Hara: Needs two goals to crack Bucknell's top 10 with 38; needs three to move to seventh with 39
• Connor O'Hara: Needs four goals to become sixth Bison with 40
• Will Sands: Needs three points to move to third with 76; needs seven to break Bucknell's school record with 80
• Jarett Witzal: Needs five face-off wins to move to third with 145; needs 23 to move to second with 163
Career Milestones Met vs. Lafayette
• Christian Klipstein: Became ninth Bison to make 400 saves; now has 405
• Will Sands: Broke school record (138) in assists, which was shared by a pair of Bucknell Athletics Hall of Famers; now has 139
Career Milestone Watch
• Matt Gilray: Needs four ground balls to move to seventh with 152
• Christian Klipstein: Needs 26 saves to vault to eighth with 431
• Sean O'Brien: Needs two shots to enter tie for fourth with 306; needs eight to enter tie for third with 312
• Will Sands: Needs one goal to enter tie for fifth with 103; needs nine to enter tie for fourth with 111
• Will Sands: Needs nine points to break Bucknell's school record with 250
• Will Sands: Needs 12 shots to enter tie for fourth with 306
• Jarett Witzal: Needs two ground balls to move to third with 175; needs 27 to become third Bison with 200
A Look Ahead
• With a win over the Terriers, the Bison will advance to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals, where they'll face second-seeded Navy at Loyola on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. That game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.