LEWISBURG, Pa. – Fresh off of capturing a share of the 2018 Patriot League regular-season title, the Bucknell men's lacrosse team entered the national top 10 for the first time since the 2013 campaign this week.
The Bison, who wrapped up the regular season with an 11-3 (7-1 Patriot League) record, moved to 10th in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches' Poll and the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing. Since entering both polls on March 26, they have climbed six spots in the USILA Coaches' Poll and eight in the Maverik Media Listing. Last week, they were slotted 11th and 12th respectively.
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.
Bucknell captured its ninth Patriot League regular-season crown with its 14-7 rout of Lehigh on April 20. The Bison reached the double digits in victories for the sixth time in Frank Fedorjaka's tenure as head coach and, at 11-3 overall, enter the postseason with the most wins of any Patriot League team. Bucknell's number of victories also represents a six-win improvement from 2017, when the team went 5-8 (3-5 Patriot League) and had its streak of consecutive Patriot League Tournament appearances snapped at 10 seasons. In 2018, the Bison have also gone an impressive 5-1 against nationally ranked opponents, which included road upsets of then No. 3 Yale (9-8 OT) and then No. 6 Loyola (12-11).
In its current 8-1 stretch, Bucknell has allowed an average of just 7.77 goals per game, holding all but one of its foes under 10. This season, the Bison attack has been driven by Will Sands (20g-53a), Sean O'Brien (40g-5a), Connor O'Hara (36g-6a) and Reed Malas (21g-12a), all of whom captured All-Patriot League laurels on April 23.
Sands, who was named to the Tewaaraton Watch List and honored as a Midseason Third Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse, is in the midst of one of the finest seasons in the program's 50-year history. He will enter the postseason with 73 points on 20 goals and a school-record 53 assists. One of only four Bison to eclipse the 70-point threshold in a single campaign, he ranks second nationally in assists and fifth in points. O'Brien and O'Hara both rank in the nation's top 10 in goals, with O'Brien fourth and O'Hara tied for 10th.
Bucknell will host Boston University in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.