Setting the Scene
What: No. 7/10 Army West Point Black Knights (8-1, 4-0 PL) at Bucknell Bison (4-5, 2-3 PL)
Where: Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium (Lewisburg, Pa.)
When: Saturday, April 1, 1 p.m.
Watch Live: WQMY-TV and Patriot League Network
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
-- Bucknell (4-5 overall, 2-3 PL) is coming off of its second consecutive victory against a ranked Patriot League opponent. The Bison defeated No. 17/18 Loyola Maryland 9-8 in double overtime last Saturday, after topping No. 15 Boston University the week prior.
-- The combined record of the four teams that Bucknell has beaten is 26-13, while the combined record of the five teams that have defeated the Bison is 15-29.
-- It was the third time in the last four series meetings with Loyola that the contest was decided in overtime. After trailing for most of the game, the Bison took the lead late in the fourth quarter off of a Sean O'Brien goal. Although Loyola tied the game minutes later, the Bison would score in the second overtime period to secure the victory.
-- Junior Will Sands led the team with two goals and five assists, and he capped off his big day with the game-winning goal, a diving shot right in front of the net after a frantic scramble for the ball on the offensive end. Just after the Bison turned the ball over, Connor O'Hara checked the ball away from a Loyola player. Quinn Collison picked up the loose ball and fed Sands for the game-winner.
-- Christian Klipstein also helped save the Bison on numerous occasions, making 15 saves and a team-high six ground balls. In his fourth win of the season, Klipstein raised his save percentage to .527.
-- Klipstein has won each of the last two Patriot League Goalie of the Week honors. He recorded a season-high 16 saves while allowing only six goals in the win over Boston University. In the second half of that game, he had 10 saves while conceding only one goal, that coming in the final minute of a one-sided game. He then notched 15 saves in last week’s win over Loyola.
-- With the victory, Bucknell has re-entered the playoff picture. At 2-3, the Bison are tied with Lehigh and Navy for the fifth spot in the conference with two conference games remaining.
-- This will be the final regular season home game for the Bison. They have three road contests remaining before the Patriot League Tournament begins. Prior to the game, the team will recognize its eight seniors: Quinn Collison, Brad Dotson, Ben Foley, Grayson Helm, Tommy O'Connor, Mike Schiappa, Nader Sharif-Emami, and Nick Steinfeld.
-- The current senior class has now won 35 overall career games, including 16 regular-season contests against Patriot League foes.
-- On the season, Sands leads the team in assists with 33 and is third in goals with 14. With the win over Loyola, he now has four games with at least six points. Sands ranks second nationally in assists, trailing only Loyola’s Pat Spencer, who has 36. Sands is also seventh nationally in points with 47.
-- Sean O'Brien’s 24 goals are tied for the most in the Patriot League with Lehigh’s Andrew Pettit. O’Hara ranks third with 23. Those are career-high totals for the two Bison juniors.
-- Late in the game has been a strong point for the Bison offense, with Bucknell outshooting (100-68) and outscoring (29-19) opponents in the fourth quarter.
-- The Army game will feature a battle of the Klipstein brothers, as Bucknell goalie Christian Klipstein will go up against his older brother Reaves, a senior defenseman for the Black Knights. Christian is 1-0 in head-to-head duels, as he made 14 saves in an 8-7 win at West Point last season. The third Klipstein brother, Ryan, also played at Bucknell and was a two-time All-Patriot League attackman. He captained Bucknell’s 2011 Patriot League championship team as a senior.
Scouting Army West Point
-- Army West Point is the final unbeaten in Patriot League play, and its eight wins overall are tied for fourth-most in the nation.
-- The Black Knights enter ranked No. 7 in the Maverick/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and No. 10 in the USILA Coaches' Poll. They will be the third ranked team the Bison have played this season.
-- The lone loss for the Black Knights came in a 12-10 defeat to No. 18 Rutgers, which has since been ranked as high as No. 1. Since then, Army has won seven straight games, including a 14-13 victory over Syracuse.
--Bucknell this week will be tasked with solving one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. Army ranks second in Division I allowing only 6.4 goals per game, and a big reason is its ball possession. The Black Knights lead the league in faceoff percentage (.655), fewest turnovers (12.6), most ground balls (36.0) and most shot attempts (41.9). Their goalies rank second in the league in save percentage (.577) but last in the league in saves per game (8.6).
Series History with Army West Point
-- Bucknell is 13-28 all-time against Army West Point, dating back to 1979. However, the two teams have split the past 26 meetings after the Black Knights won the first 15 matchups in the series.
-- Last season, the Bison earned the 8-7 win on the road. Klipstein made 14 saves in the contest, while Tommy O'Connor’s three points were the most of any player on the day.
-- Bucknell travels to Emmittsburg, Maryland to take on Mount St. Mary’s in a non-conference game. The contest will be held on Saturday, April 8 at 12 p.m.