LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell field hockey team received first-half goals from Chloe Poltonavage, Lexi Quick and M.C. Evans, and the Bison held off Lehigh 3-1 in Patriot League action Friday night at rain-soaked Graham Field. Bucknell leveled its league record at 1-1, while the Mountain Hawks fell to 0-3.
Bucknell was stout defensively all night long, holding Lehigh to just a single shot in the contest. That shot did go in, as Drew Pecora slotted home a feed from Lenke Havas off a penalty corner sequence in the 17th minute.
That tied the game at 1-apiece after Poltonavage had given Bucknell an early lead with her second tally of the season just 6:41 into the match. Lehigh goalie Paige Innarella made an initial save on Brittany Willwerth, but Willwerth nudged the rebound over to Poltonavage for a blast into the empty cage.
Bucknell weathered a momentum change after the Pecora goal, and Quick scored a big one in the 23rd minute to give the Bison the lead back. She gathered Willwerth’s penalty corner insert on the left wing, and fired home a shot to the far post past the outstretched boot of Innarella. It was the fourth goal of the season for Quick, who had a big impact on the game playing on the right side.
Then with just 10 seconds left in the half, the Bison cashed in on another corner attempt. Innarella swatted down a high shot, but the rebound fell to the stick of Kaelyn Long in the center of the circle. Long’s follow attempt was nudged over the line by Evans at the left post. It was Evans’ second goal of the season, while the rookie Long secured her first collegiate point with the assist.
The insurance goal proved to be big, because it allowed the Bison to see out the victory in the second half after the weather deteriorated significantly. The evening began under pleasant skies, but at halftime a front blew through, and the entire second half was played in a steady and sometimes sideways rain.
The Bison logged the only three shots and only three penalty corners in the second half while keeping their own goalie Emily Finn from any danger. Bucknell finished the night with an 11-1 edge in shots and 8-3 in corners.
Innarella made four first-half saves before giving way to Emma Gromacki at halftime. Gromacki stopped two shots in the final 35 minutes.
Willwerth added to her team-leading point total with her two assists. She now has 17 points from six goals and five assists on the season.
Bucknell is back home again on Sunday afternoon, hosting Quinnipiac in a non-league game at noon at Graham Field.