BOSTON, Mass. – Ryan Ott made a game-clinching save on Boston University’s Felix De Bona to decide penalty kicks, sending fifth-seeded Bucknell into the Patriot League Semifinal game. The two teams traded goals in the contest, as the Bison battled for 110 minutes against fourth-seeded Boston University, and the 4-1 outcome in PKs sets up a date with top-seeded American on Friday at 11 a.m.
This was the sixth meeting between these two teams, all since Boston University joined the Patriot League in 2013, and all six games have gone to overtime. The Bison are now 2-0-4 in those games, including a 2-0-2 mark at Nickerson Field, as the Bison move to 7-10-3 on the season.
It was the seventh time in program history that Bucknell had a match decided by penalty kicks in the Patriot League Tournament, most recently in the Bison’s run to the Patriot League title in 2014. With the win, the Bison improve to 5-2 all-time in PKs.
Bucknell withstood pressure from the Terriers for much of the night, as Boston University outshot the Bison 29-19, including a 19-7 margin in the second half and overtime.
The Bison struck first in the 29th minute. Adam Bradshaw serviced a corner from the far side into the box. Sebastiaan Blickman had his header knocked away, but Quinn Bredin was able to flick in the rebound for the score and his first collegiate goal.
Boston University controlled possession for much of the second half, connecting on the equalizer in the 79th minute. First Team All-Patriot League honoree Anthony Viteri ripped a shot from the top of the box to the right side of the netting. De Bona, a Second Team All-Patriot League selection, was credited with the assist.
“It was good to get the lead,” said head coach Brendan Nash. “We told our guys at halftime to try and push forward for that second goal, because we knew they had a good chance to tie it up. Sure enough, that’s what happened. We had good opportunities, but their goalie made some great saves.”
In the first overtime period, De Bona had a look in the penalty area in the 96th minute, but First Team All-Patriot League honoree Zack Rockmore was there for the deflection, ultimately forcing double overtime.
Boston University had another dangerous look in the 103rd minute, but Ott was there to send the shot over the goal. He finished with five saves in the victory.
In penalty kicks, Blickman, a Second Team All-Patriot League selection, opened up for the Bison, converting his attempt in the first round. It would be the Terriers to draw first blood, as Ott was able to punch the shot away and give Bucknell a 1-0 advantage.
Austin Lenart and Viteri swapped goals in round two as the Bison maintained their lead. Tyler Peterson converted on his attempt to begin round three, but Adam Sheikali had his shot go off the post, setting up the game-clinching attempt for Rockmore. No stranger to game-winners, the senior found the back of the net, setting off a triumphant celebration by the Bison.
“It became a back and forth affair in the second half and overtime,” noted coach Nash. “Once we got to penalty kicks, you never know what’s going to happen. We were prepared for the situation, and Ryan did his job.”
Friday’s semifinal contest at American will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.