EMMITSBURG, Md. – Mount St. Mary’s scored the first five goals of the second half after trailing 8-4 at the break, and the Mountaineers parlayed that run into a 12-10 victory over Bucknell in non-league action Saturday afternoon at Waldron Family Stadium. Quinn Collison and Connor O'Hara both recorded hat tricks and Will Sands had two goals and two assists to lead the Bison, who will now finish the regular season with important Patriot League road games at Lafayette and Lehigh.
Collison and O’Hara also handed out assists to give them four-point afternoons. Tom Smith (two assists) and Tommy O'Connor (one goal, one assist) also had multi-point games, and Jarett Witzal had a big day at the faceoff spot, winning 12 of 18 with nine ground balls.
Mount St. Mary’s (4-6) was led by Spencer Smith with three goals and an assist, while Bubba Johnson added two goals and two assists. Goalie Matt Vierheller made 11 saves, six coming in the second half.
The Bison appeared to be in good shape when they scored four straight goals in the final 9:21 of the first half to turn a 4-4 tie into an 8-4 halftime lead. Collison scored the first two goals in that run and assisted on the third to Sands. Smith fed O’Hara for a tally with 11 seconds left in the half to make it a four-goal lead.
But the Mountaineers stunned the Bison in the third quarter, outscoring them 6-1 to take the lead. Johnson scored both of his goals in the 5-0 run to start the half, the first coming 17 seconds into the half to get them going. Jack Mangan’s goal gave Mount St. Mary’s a 9-8 lead, but O’Hara ended Bucknell’s drought with a goal off a feed from Sands. Chris DiPretoro made it 10-9 Mount with a score with 14 seconds left in the third quarter.
It remained 10-9 all the way into the final six minutes of the game, when Mount St. Mary’s picked up insurance goals from Joe Bethke and Smith to go up 12-9. O’Hara got one back for the Bison with 1:19 to go. Witzal won the ensuing faceoff, but the Bison turned the ball over and was not able to get any closer.
Bucknell finished with a 41-35 shot advantage and a 36-28 edge in ground balls. Lukas Munoz led the team with three caused turnovers. Short-stick defensive midfield Grayson Helm tallied four ground balls, while Benny Borgognone and Matt Gilray had three each.
Sands became the third Bison ever to record 40 assists in a season, joining David Dickson (48 in 2013) and Chris Cara (40 in 2004). Sands moved into sole possession of fifth place on Bucknell’s career assists list with 84. He also moved into a tie for 10th place on the single-season points list with 57.Bucknell returns to action next Saturday at Lafayette at 1 p.m.