April 13, 2012
Bucknell-Lehigh Live Video & Stats
Complete Media Notes
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- There are still two games remaining in the regular season, but Saturday’s game between No. 18 Bucknell and No. 11 Lehigh figures to have a playoff feel as two of the hottest teams in the country square off at 7 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa. Both teams have won nine of their last 10 games, and both enter play on Saturday as part of a three-way tie with Colgate atop the Patriot League standings.
The Bison, Mountain Hawks and Raiders are all 3-1 in the conference. Bucknell, which hosts Colgate next Friday, is vying for its second straight Patriot League championship. The Bison saw their eight-game overall winning streak and 11-game league winning streak snapped on Saturday with a 6-5 double-overtime loss to Army. Bucknell bounced back on Tuesday with a suffocating non-league win over Penn, 8-3.
Lehigh had won nine games in a row, including a big one over North Carolina, before falling 11-10 in overtime at Colgate on Saturday. Bucknell has won six straight against the Mountain Hawks, highlighted by a 13-5 victory in last season’s Patriot League Tournament semifinals.
With a Win over Lehigh, Bucknell Would ...
• ... clinch a berth in the 2012 Patriot League Tournament and remain in contention for the regular-season title.
• ... win its 10th game in the last 11 outings.
• ... reach double-digit victories for the seventh time in program history.
• ... make it seven straight victories over the Mountain Hawks.
• ... maintain at least a share of first place in the Patriot League (depending on Colgate’s result against Lafayette earlier in the day).
• ... claim its fifth straight road win and improve to 5-2 on the road this season.
• ... improve to 59-19 in Patriot League play over the last 13 seasons.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell continued its recent outstanding defensive play with a dominating 8-3 victory over Penn on Tuesday night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
• The Bison led 5-1 at the half and conceded only one goal in a settled 6-on-6 situation all night. Goalie Kyle Feeney was stellar with 10 saves, while all-league defenseman Mike Huffner had four caused turnovers.
• Billy Eisenreich paced the offense with three goals, including a highlight-reel tally with 0:02 left in the first half. Chase Bailey added two goals, and freshman Ryan Joseph added the first of his career in his very first start.
Army Snaps Bison Streaks
• Army stunned the Bison 6-5 in double-overtime last Saturday, ending a number of Bucknell winning streaks. The Bison had won eight in a row overall, 11 straight against Patriot League foes, and seven straight at home against PL opponents.
Last Season vs. Lehigh
• In a scheduling quirk, this will be the second year in a row Bucknell has traveled to Lehigh in the regular season. Last year’s meeting was a wild one, as the Bison staged an incredible comeback in a 12-11 win. Bucknell trailed 7-1 in the second quarter and 11-7 in the fourth before scoring the last five goals of the game. Billy Eisenreich scored the last three of those goals and finished with seven points on three goals and four assists. Charlie Streep also had four goals and Kyle Feeney made eight saves.
• The two teams met again in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals. In that one, Bucknell scored 11 second-half goals to break open a 2-2 game at the half and win 13-5. Streep and Chase Bailey both had hat tricks to lead the Bison.
A Tale of Two Seasons
• Bucknell started the 2012 season with three straight losses, by a combined four goals, to three nationally ranked teams. After rallying from five goals down, the Bison dropped their opener to then-No. 19 Delaware 11-10 in overtime. That was followed by a pair of tough road losses: 11-9 at No. 11 (now No. 2) Massachusetts and 13-12 in overtime at No. 9 Villanova.
• Since then, Bucknell has gone 9-1, including good road victories over Navy (14-9), Drexel (12-11) and No. 18 Penn State (9-6) and a one-sided home win (17-10) over a 5-2 Robert Morris team that had just beaten Ohio State and was ranked just outside the top 20 at the time.
• The biggest difference for Bucknell as the season has progressed has been defense. The Bison took major graduation hits on D after last season’s title run, and that unit struggled a bit early on. But behind all-league goalie Kyle Feeney and a resurgent man-down unit, Bucknell has been much-improved in its defensive third to complement an offense that has been clicking all year.
First Three Games (0-3) Last 10 Games (9-1)
Scoring Offense 10.3 12.1
Shooting Pct. .330 .382
Assists Per Goal .484 .628
Scoring Defense 11.7 7.7
Opponent Shooting Pct. .333 .240
Man-Up Pct. .250 .444
Opponent Man-Up Pct. .700 .231
Turnovers Per Game 18.7 16.2
Clearing Pct. .800 .829
Bison Trying to Defend Patriot League Title
• In 2011, Bucknell ran the table in the Patriot League, winning all six regular-season contests before dispatching Lehigh and Colgate in a pair of one-sided victories in the Patriot League Tournament.
• This was Bucknell’s first Patriot League title since the league adopted a postseason tournament format in 2004.
• Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001, the Bison nearly pulled off an upset at Virginia in the first round. Bucknell led 10-6 late in the third quarter and 12-10 with possession of the ball inside four minutes to play, but the Cavaliers rallied. Virginia tied it with 1:46 left in regulation and won it 13-12 on Matt White’s goal at 2:33 of overtime. The Wahoos then went on to win the national championship.
• Bucknell’s eight-game winning streak that was broken up last week was tied for the third-longest in program history. It was also the fourth-longest streak in the nation at the time.
Longest Winning Streaks, Bucknell History
1. 1996-97 13
3. 2012 8
6. Multiple times 5
• Bucknell’s offense has been on a roll for most of the season. The Bison scored at least nine goals in each of their first 11 games of the year.
• The Bison rank eighth nationally in scoring offense, and they lead the nation in shooting percentage.
• Individually, Billy Eisenreich ranks third nationally in assists per game and sixth in points per game; Todd Heritage ranks 11th in goals per game; and Chase Bailey and Heritage rank second and fifth, respectively, in shooting percentage.
Eisenreich, Feeney Named to Tewaaraton Watch List
• Senior attackman Billy Eisenreich and junior goalie Kyle Feeney were both named to the preseason watch list for the Tewaaraton Trophy, presented to the college lacrosse player of the year.
Eisenreich Thriving at Attack
• As a freshman at Bucknell in 2009, Billy Eisenreich played in 12 games as Bucknell’s fourth attackman and produced four goals and an assist. He showed steady improvement as a midfielder in 2010 and 2011, culminating in First Team All-Patriot League honors as a middie last season, when he logged 18 goals and 15 assists in 13 games.
• This season, Eisenreich moved back to attack, and as Bucknell’s primary playmaker has been one of the nation’s top scorers. Buoyed by an 11-point game against Robert Morris, Eisenreich has already crushed his career highs in goals (28), assists (29) and points (57).
• Eisenreich has recorded multiple points in every game this season, and he is one of only five current players in the nation with both 20 goals and 20 assists already.
In the Crease
• Kyle Feeney took over as Bucknell’s starting goalie in just the third game of his freshman year in 2010 and has been excellent ever since. As a freshman, he ranked No. 2 among all Division I goalies with a 7.45 goals-against average, and he ranked No. 2 in the Patriot League and No. 11 nationally in save percentage at .569.
• As a sophomore last season, Feeney had a league-best 7.24 GAA, which also ranked No. 6 nationally. Feeney broke a school record with 13 wins, and he was named to the All-Patriot League Second Team.
• Feeney has been much busier this season, averaging a career-high 11.2 saves per game. A recent hot streak has brought his season save percentage up to .587, which ranks second in the Patriot League. His save total leads the league and ranks ninth nationally.
• In his last five games, Feeney has a .670 save percentage, with 61 saves and 30 goals against.
• Feeney was named Patriot League Player of the Week last week. He had back-to-back 13-save performances in wins over Penn State and Holy Cross, and his highlight-reel save in the final 10 seconds of regulation preserved Bucknell’s dramatic 10-9 win over the Crusaders.
Entering the Record Books
• Two Bison have put their names in the record books with huge scoring games this season.
• On March 10 against Hobart, Todd Heritage tied a school record with eight goals in Bucknell’s 14-10 victory. Only two others have scored eight goals in a game for the Bison: Jim Ball against Penn State in 1979 and Ryan Klipstein against Lafayette in 2010.
• Ten days later against Robert Morris, Billy Eisenreich piled up 11 points on five goals and six assists against in a 17-10 Bison win. It was the fourth 11-point game in program history, joining Pete von Hoffmann (1979 vs. Penn State), Matt Fraser (1980 vs. Lafayette) and Chris Cara (2004 vs. Lafayette).
• Bucknell has gotten major production from all six of its offensive starters, and the Bison and Mountain Hawks are the only Patriot League teams with seven double-digit point scorers entering the weekend.
• In addition to the high-scoring exploits of Billy Eisenreich and Todd Heritage, junior Chase Bailey rounds out a formidable attack trio. Bailey has a career-high 24 goals along with nine assists, and he ranks second in the country with a .595 shooting percentage (24-for-41).
• Senior Nick Gantsoudes (18-6-24) is the veteran on the first midfield line, joining sophomore Peter Burke (17-7-24) and freshman David Dickson (11-21-32). Gantsoudes has a five-goal game against Albany, while Burke has 11 goals in his last seven games, including the game-winner with 0:22 left in Saturday’s 10-9 win at Holy Cross.
• Dickson has been a revelation in his first season at Bucknell, making up for the loss of All-American Charlie Streep to an ACL injury suffered in fall ball. Dickson has already won three Patriot League Rookie of the Week awards, with the most recent honor coming after a five-assist performance in the win over Albany. Dickson had two goals and three assists against Villanova, and he has a point in all but one game this season.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 58-19 (.753) in the Patriot League (regular season) since the start of the 2000 season.
• Prior to the advent of the Patriot League Tournament, Bucknell won or shared PL titles in 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. The Bison won outright championships in 1996 and 2001.
• In 1996, despite a 12-0 overall record, they were passed over for an NCAA Tournament bid, but in 2001 Bucknell received its very first NCAA invitation. That season the Bison fell to Notre Dame in the first round at West Point, N.Y.
• The Bison lost in the Patriot League Tournament championship game in both 2008 (to Colgate) and 2009 (to Navy). Last year they won the postseason tournament for the first time.
Head Coach Frank Fedorjaka
• Frank Fedorjaka is in his seventh season as Bucknell’s head coach after succeeding the legendary Sid Jamieson. He was named the 2009 and 2011 Patriot League Coach of the Year.
• Fedorjaka, who is only the second head coach in the 44-year history of the program, has a 68-36 record at Bucknell and a 107-67 overall record, including a five-year stint at Franklin & Marshall.
• Fedorjaka earned his 100th career victory earlier this season against Hobart.
• He had been an assistant coach under Jamieson before taking over as head coach in 2006.
• Each of the last four senior classes has broken the school mark for victories by a class, and this year’s group is two wins shy of making it five in a row.
Winningest Bucknell Senior Classes
1. Class of 2011 41
2. Class of 2012 40
3. Class of 2010 38
4. Class of 2009 36
5. Class of 2008 35
On the Horizon
• Bucknell wraps up the 2012 regular season next Friday night against Colgate at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The 7 p.m. contest will air live on CBS Sports Network. The game will be preceded by Senior Night ceremonies.
• This will be a rematch of the 2011 Patriot League championship game, won by Bucknell 10-3.