Bucknell Men's Lax Dealt Another Heartbreaker, 11-10 to Colgate on Goal with 0:02 Left
April 20, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- It was a familiar refrain for the Bucknell men's lacrosse team on Friday night, as the 18th-ranked Bison were dealt another heartbreaking loss in the final seconds. This time it was Colgate's Peter Baum scoring with two seconds remaining in regulation to give the 13th-ranked Raiders an 11-10 victory and the No. 1 seed in next week's Patriot League Tournament. These two teams will meet again in Hamilton in a semifinal matchup next Friday at 5 p.m.
This was a game of wild momentum swings. Bucknell raced to a 6-1 lead before Colgate scored seven in a row to go up 8-6. The Bison then surged back ahead with three straight fourth-quarter goals. The Raiders scored two in a row to go up 10-9 before Peter Burke tied it up at 10 with 2:25 to play. The Bison had a possession to go back in front but could not convert, and after Kyle Feeney turned aside a Colgate shot with 0:08 remaining, Baum sprinted in from the left corner on the restart and snuck a shot inside the post for his national-best 51st goal of the year.
Bucknell (9-6, 3-3) had already clinched a Patriot League Tournament berth but could only have moved out of the No. 4 seed with a win over Colgate and a Holy Cross upset win over Army on Saturday. The Bison will play No. 1 Colgate (11-2, 5-1) in the first semifinal game next Friday, while No. 2 Lehigh will play No. 3 Army in the nightcap. The winners will meet in the championship game on Sunday at 3 p.m. All three tourney games will air live on CBS Sports Network.
Chase Bailey led the Bison offense with three goals and an assist, while Peter Burke had two goals and two assists. Todd Heritage scored twice, David Dickson had a goal and two assists, and leading-scorer Billy Eisenreich logged a goal and an assist. Baum led Colgate with with three goals, while Jeff Ledwick added two.
After honoring its eight seniors prior to the game, it was all Bucknell for most of the first half. With the game tied at 1-1 late in the opening quarter, Tom Black scored off a Nick Gantsoudes feed to ignite a 5-0 Bison run, with the goals coming from five different players. Dickson started the second-quarter scoring with a spinning lefthanded shot, and Bailey, Eisenreich and Heritage all followed, with the latter coming at the end of an extra-man opportunity with 2:02 left in the half.
Ledwick pulled one back for Colgate with 1:07 left to make it 6-2 intermission, but it was a stellar defensive first half for the Bison against the nation's highest-scoring team. Bucknell forced 12 first-half turnovers and limited the fast-paced Raiders to 11 total shots.
It was a different story in the second half, however. Ryan Collins' EMO tally at 8:25 of the third quarter made it a 6-3 game, and the floodgates opened in the final five minutes of the period. Colgate scored three times in 70 seconds, with John Donnally's goal off a faceoff scrum tying the contest at 6-6.
Baum and Ledwick scored a minute apart early in the fourth qaurter to make it 8-6, and the Raiders seemingly had all the momentum. But the Bison had plenty left, and another EMO tally got them back in it. Heritage made a tough catch on a crossing pass from Bailey to the right of the goal and buried a shot to pull Bucknell within 8-7 with 12:12 to play. Less than two minutes later, Bailey scored off an Eisenreich feed and it was tied again.
Bucknell took the lead back at 9-8 at the 8:42 mark, when Dickson made a pass from behind the goal to Burke high on the right side, and Burke unleashed a tracer that got past Jared Madison.
Ryan Walsh scored off a Matt Baker feed to tie it again at 9-9, and with 4:37 to play midfielder Matt Clarkson scored on a low runner from the 15 yards out to make it 10-9 Colgate.
The Raiders dominated the faceoffs for most of the night, forcing Bucknell to go to extra long poles on the draws late in the game. The move paid off, as Bucknell won 6 of 10 in the fourth quarter, with four of the wins coming with defenseman Jackson Place at the X. The Bison claimed the draw after the Clarkson goal, but Eisenreich's wraparound attempt from goal-line extended hit the post.
Place checked the ball away on the clearing attempt, though, and Jason Neithamer fielded the ground ball. That led to another blistering shot by Burke, this one from the left side, off a feed from Dickson, tying the game for the fifth time with 2:25 left.
On the ensuing faceoff scrum, Chris Zielinski delivered a high cross-check and was penalized, giving Bucknell its fifth EMO of the night with 2:19 to play. But the Bison could not convert. A pass from X thorugh traffic could not be reeled in by Eisenreich in the high slot, and Kevin Boyle grabbed the loose ball for Colgate.
The Raiders killed off the rest of the penalty and used up a pair of timeouts. Feeney got a piece of Baker's outside shot and the ball skipped wide of the post with eight seconds left, setting up Baum's game-winning shot moments later.
Bucknell, ranked second nationally in shooting percentage, scored on 10 of its 21 shots. Colgate finished with 32 shots, 22 coming in the second half. The Raiders won the ground ball battle 30-29 and the faceoffs 15-10. Robert Grabher took all of Colgate's draws and collected 12 ground balls, although Bucknell did force him into five turnovers in the aftermath of some of those faceoff wins.
Feeney finished with eight saves for Bucknell, while Madison had four for Colgate. Mike Huffner led the Bison defense with five ground balls and four caused turnovers.
Bucknell's four-game winning streak against Colgate came to an end. The Raiders' last series win came in the 2008 Patriot League championship game. These two teams also met in the final last season, with the Bison winning 10-3.
Bucknell's six losses this season have come by a combined seven goals, and each of the team's last 18 setbacks dating back to 2009 have come by either one or two goals. In just the last three weeks, the Bison have fallen overtime to Army, lost 9-8 on a goal with 13 seconds left at Lehigh and then this one with 0:02 left against Colgate.
The Bison can flip that storyline around next weekend in what shapes up to be a too-close-to-call Patriot League Tournament. All four participants are nationally ranked this week.
Patriot League Tournament tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, and free of charge with ID for students from the participating institutions.