BALTIMORE, Md. – After a number of close calls throughout the first 73 minutes of the game, the Bucknell men’s soccer team finally found the back of the net, thanks to a goal from Sebastiaan Blickman with 16 minutes to play. That, along with a strong defensive effort, gave the Bison a well-earned 1-0 victory at Loyola on Wednesday at Ridley Athletic Complex.
With the victory, Bucknell improves to 6-9-2 overall and 3-3-1 in the Patriot League, while remaining undefeated all-time against the Greyhounds (5-0). Most importantly, the Bison pick up three points in the Patriot League standings with two games remaining in the regular season.
In the 74th minute, Bernie Wright finessed his way to the end line, centering a pass to Blickman, who took a shot to the left post from inside the penalty box for his team-leading eighth goal of the year.
Loyola (6-6-3, 4-1-2 PL), who entered as the last unbeaten team in league play, controlled possession for much of the match, outshooting Bucknell 17-7, while holding a 6-3 edge in corners. The Bison defense was up to the challenge all evening, snapping the Greyhounds’ streak of 12 consecutive games with a goal.
The Greyhounds, who entered the contest with the third-longest unbeaten streak in the country at eight games, nearly scored the first goal of the evening in the 40th minute. Josh Fawole’s shot was saved off the line by tri-captain Zack Rockmore, who chased down the ball and knocked it away to preserve the clean sheet.
Fellow tri-captain Peter Krebs was huge off the bench for the Bison, and did his part to blanket the Loyola offense with a defensive save in the 88th minute, knocking away a shot from Sam Carter. The senior also made a timely clear out in the final minute of regulation.
Ryan Ott, making his collegiate debut in goal, finished with six stops in the win. He recorded his first career save in the 19th minute off a shot from Brian Saramago, the second-ranked freshman in the NCAA in points (18) this season. He made another stop in the 39th minute, nabbing a shot in the box from Brennan Goldsmith, while turning away another attempt from Saramago in the 88th minute.
“In all these years, I’ve learned that in Patriot League play, sometimes it has to be ugly,” said head coach Brendan Nash. “That was the case tonight, where we grinded out an ugly victory. To make that happen, we needed to play our seniors, and today, they played like seniors, especially our captains Seb, Zack and Peter. Now we have to get ready for Lehigh.”
Bucknell looks to grab three more points on Saturday when it returns to Lewisburg to host the Mountain Hawks, who dropped a 1-0 decision to Lafayette on Wednesday. Game time is set for 2 p.m. and will broadcast on the Patriot League Network. Those attending the game, the first 500 fans will receive a water bottle, courtesy of Geisinger Health.