Klug's Early Breakaway Sends Bucknell Men's Soccer Past Colgate 1-0
Oct. 27, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell men's soccer team celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, and then just 4:47 into the match it was a freshman who gave the Bison the goal they would need to turn back visiting Colgate in a key Patriot League match before a large Homecoming crowd at Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium. Rookie Jessie Klug's third goal of the year was set up by senior Brendan Burgdorf, and Bucknell improved to 7-6-4 overall and 2-2-2 in the Patriot League.
The Bison picked up a much-needed three points in the league standings, and they moved into fourth place pending the results of two Patriot League night games.
Many of the 1,075 fans in attendance were still filing in when the Bison dented the scoreboard. Left back Brian Ward floated a high ball into the center of the field, and Burgdorf won the header, sending Klug in on a breakaway. After a couple of touches Klug slotted the shot into the right side of the net.
"We have so much confidence in Jesse," head coach Brendan Nash said of Klug, who leads the Patriot League in shots taken but has been the victim of several near-misses in the last few weeks. "Even the best strikers sometimes go through phases where they struggle with their confidence, and we think that happened with Jesse a little bit. He has deserved to score more goals and it was great to see him finish one today."
From there the Bison defense took over. Bucknell dominated the middle third of the field for most of the day, and Colgate had very few quality chances. The Raiders (4-7-6, 2-1-3), who were unbeaten in league play coming in, managed only six total shots, only one of which had any chance to go in the net. In the 27th minute, Mike Garzi gathered in a clearance at the top of the 18 and bent a shot that was headed to the upper left corner before Bison keeper Mike Lansing made an incredible diving save.
Lansing made two more saves late in the game, but they were on flicked headers from distance that he was easily able to gobble up. Bucknell finished with a 9-6 shot advantage, while Colgate earned two of the game's three corner kicks.
Liam Stapleton made four saves for the Raiders, including two quality stops in the second half. Just under three minutes into the half a Colgate foul 22 yards out set up the Bison with a free kick, and Klug's low tracer to the left of the wall was blocked away by a diving Stapleton. About 15 minutes later, Stapleton made a leaping save to deny freshman Patrick Figgie. Stapleton also saved a goal in the final minutes of the contest, after his bobble appeared to let Klug have a look at a gaping net, but the Colgate keeper reached back at the last second and grabbed the ball off Klug's foot.
Bucknell secured its second straight 1-0 shutout and its sixth clean sheet of the season.
"This was an old-school 1-0 Bucknell victory," said Nash. "Sometimes you put a gameplan up on the big board before the game and it works out just like you hoped. We got the early goal and then just worked really hard the rest of the way to protect it."
Prior to the game the Bison honored their six seniors: Burgdorf, Vinny Cinotti, Collin Costello, Jermaine Jarrett, CK Kumah and Josh Plump. Five of those six are currently starting, and all six saw action against Colgate.
Burgdorf's assist was his team-leading fifth of the season, and he now has 20 goals and 15 assists for 55 points in his career. His point total is now tied with Scott Visnic for 10th in Bucknell history, while his 15 assists are tied for eighth on the program's all-time list.
The Bucknell men's soccer program recognized nearly two dozen alumni who returned to campus for Homecoming this weekend. Among them were Bucknell Athletics Hall-of-Famers Bruce Strasburg, Scott Strasburg and Gary Toubman, in addition to brand new members of the Hall of Fame Craig Reynolds and Dick Roush.
Afterward, Nash dedicated the win to Reynolds, who served as Bucknell's head coach for 32 years from 1967-98. Reynolds hired Nash as an assistant, and then Nash succeeded Reynolds when he retired from coaching following the 1998 season.
"It was so special to get this win in front of Coach Reynolds," said Nash afterward. "He has meant so much not just to me but to the history of Bucknell Soccer. It was great to have him here today and this win was for him."
Bucknell has a non-league game at Binghamton on Tuesday night, and then the Bison head to Lafayette next Saturday for the regular-season finale at 4 p.m. Regardless of what happens in Saturday night's matches, that Bucknell-Lafayette game is certain to have Patriot League Tournament positioning at stake.