LEWISBURG, Pa. – Sean O'Brien led the No. 14 Bucknell men's lacrosse team to a 14-9 victory over Mount St. Mary's on Saturday night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
Three days after he netted a golden goal to propel the Bison (9-3, 5-1 Patriot League) to an overtime upset at No. 3 Yale, O'Brien keyed their high-powered attack with seven points on six goals and one assist. The senior, who registered 12 points (10g-2a) during Bucknell's two games this week, matched his career highs in both goals and assists against the Mount (3-8, 0-3, NEC).
Will Sands (4a), Tommy Sopko (3g), Reed Malas (2g-1a) and Connor O'Hara (1g-2a) also had multi-point efforts for the Bison, who netted nine unanswered goals during the first half and twice held double-digit leads. The Bucknell defense, which held Mount St. Mary's off the board until the 11:56 mark of the third quarter, had three players register at least four ground balls and four cause at least two turnovers.
The Bison scored early and often in the first half. After O'Brien opened the scoring with 12:04 on the clock, the floodgates opened. By the end of the first half, O'Brien had four goals, Sopko three and Will Yorke the first of his collegiate career. Sopko put the exclamation mark on the explosive opening half by completing his hat trick with a diving goal from distance.
Bucknell scored two of the second half's first three goals to build an 11-1 lead. While Mount St. Mary's strung together a 4-0 run in the third quarter and closed the game on a 3-0 run, it wouldn't draw closer than five strikes.
With their victory, the Bison have now won four-straight games and six of their past seven. During that stretch, they defeated three-straight ranked opponents on the road in then No. 6 Loyola (12-11), then No. 15/20 Army West Point (10-7) and No. 3 Yale (9-8).
Christian Klipstein made eight saves while Benny Borgognone filled the stat sheet with four ground balls and six caused turnovers. Bryant Boswell added five ground balls, and Hunter Newman posted four.
Sands now has 43 assists on the season, a new career high and five shy of Bucknell's school record. His final assist of the contest was the 230th point of his collegiate career.
O'Brien became the second Bison to eclipse the 30-goal plateau this season, joining O'Hara. Both have 33 goals, four shy of cracking Bucknell's top 10 in single-season strikes.
The Bison led Mount St. Mary's in shots (31-28) but trailed in ground balls (30-27) and lost the face-off battle (9-for-26). For the Mount, Chris DiPretoro had five points (4g-1a) while Sam Stephan went 17-for-26 on face-offs and collected a game-best 11 ground balls.
Bucknell, which is now in a three-way tie for first in the Patriot League with Navy and No. 12/11 Loyola, next hosts Lafayette on Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.