LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell battled to a 0-0 tie against visiting Boston University in a Patriot League men’s soccer match Saturday at Graham Field, clinching a spot in the Patriot League Tournament in the process.
The Bison moved into a tie with Lehigh, which will host Loyola tonight, for third in the league standings with 13 points with one match remaining on their schedule. That, along with Lafayette’s loss to American, secured Bucknell’s sixth straight appearance in the Patriot League Tournament.
“Sometimes you can be satisfied with a tie, and with us being undermanned with personnel and taking the team leading the table to a 0-0 draw that’s the case,” Bucknell head coach Brendan Nash said. “It wasn’t the prettiest, but we knew we had to get a point and the mission was accomplished.”
Making his third start of the season, goalkeeper Emmett Witmer stopped two shots, and Tyler Peterson made a key save in the first half to help the Bison get the point with its sixth shutout of the season. They were playing without starting midfielder Matt Thorsheim due to injury.
Bucknell had two good looks in the first overtime, including one on a header by Stefan Gollisz just 1:23 into the period. Ben Derleth then put a header on target in the 96th minute, but Michael Bernardi made the save by the left post for the Terriers.
Boston’s lone shot on goal in the two overtime periods came in the 106th minute and was stopped by Witmer. They added two more shots in the closing minutes, but both were blocked.
Dan Bank, who along with fellow classmates Derleth and Jack Zollicoffer, was honored prior to the game for Senior Day, turned in a solid defensive effort and nearly had the difference-making offensive play, as well. In the 28th minute, he delivered a beautiful cross from long distance to the far post, where a header by Cody Wax went just wide left.
Nash lauded the defensive effort from his back four, especially the play of Patrick Mahoney in the air as the game was played in windy conditions.
The Bison and Terriers are used to overtime games against each other. All seven games in the series have gone to overtime, and the past four have ended in a tie.
Bucknell, which is attempting to lock up a home game in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament, closes the regular season at Navy on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m.