HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Bucknell men's lacrosse team handed No. 18/20 Colgate its first loss of the season to open Patriot League play on Saturday at Crown Field.
Will Sands (3g-4a), Connor O'Hara (4g) and Sean O'Brien (3g) led the Bison to their 13-10 victory, which also snapped a six-game losing slide to the Raiders. Christian Klipstein was strong in net, making 12 saves, including five in the second half with Bucknell defending an advantage.
In the game's first seven minutes, Colgate (3-1, 0-1 PL) built a 3-0 lead. The Bison (3-1, 1-0 PL) came roaring back to even the score, with Reed Malas getting them on the board at the 8:30 mark and O'Hara netting back-to-back goals in the final five minutes of the frame.
After James Caddigan Jr. found the back of the net 48 seconds into the second quarter to regain the Raiders' lead, neither team struck for nearly nine minutes. Caddigan Jr. broke through with 5:26 on the clock to extend Colgate's advantage to 5-3.
Bucknell again regrouped. First, Sands found Tommy Sopko on the doorstep at the 4:44 mark to pull the Bison back within one. Then, he netted the equalizer himself with 3:11 remaining in the frame. Just when it looked like the teams might head to the intermission locked in a tie, Tom Smith's shot ricocheted off the post and in at the 1:14 mark to give Bucknell its first lead of the contest.
From that point on, the Bison wouldn't allow the Raiders to even the score. Fifty five seconds into the third quarter, Sands extended Bucknell's advantage to 7-5, faking out two Colgate defenders and then sending a blistering shot past Cyrus Scott. After the teams traded goals, the Bison entered the final frame with an 8-7 edge.
O'Hara and O'Brien gave Bucknell its largest lead of the game, a 10-7 advantage, by scoring the first two goals of the fourth quarter. The Bison then answered every Raider goal with one of their own to never allow them to draw back within one.
Colgate was led offensively by Mike Hawkins (5g-1a) and Caddigan Jr. (3g). Scott finished with five saves.
Bucknell was outshot, 38-28, but held the Raiders scoreless on six extra-man opportunities.
During the game, Sands reached three career milestones. Most notably, he became only the fifth Bison to register 100 assists in his career; he now boasts 103. He also moved to fourth in school history in career points (195) and entered a tie for 10th in career goals (92).
On the strength of his two ground balls, Witzal cracked Bucknell's top 10 in career ground balls. He took sole possession of 10th place with 139 and is just five outside of eighth.
The Bison next return to Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium to face Navy on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m.