Bucknell Men's Soccer Back in League Play Saturday at American
Sept. 28, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell men's soccer team saw a number of impressive streaks come to an end with a 1-0 loss to Saint Joseph's on Tuesday, and now the Bison turn their focus back to Patriot League play with an important road test at American coming up on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C. Bucknell comes in with a 5-2-2 overall record and sits in a three-way tie with Holy Cross and Navy atop the Patriot League standings.
The Bison, Crusaders and Midshipmen all posted victories in their league-openers last week -- Bucknell's coming at Lehigh on Sunday night after a 24-hour weather postponement -- while American and Colgate earned single points with a 1-1 draw in Hamilton, N.Y.
Following the win at Lehigh, Bucknell had a short turnaround against Saint Joseph's on Tuesday, and despite Bucknell controlling possession for most of the night, the Hawks kept the ball out of their own net and scored one of their own with nine minutes to play. The Bison saw their five-game winning streak and four-game shutout streak come to an end. It was their first home loss of the year, and it was also their first time being shut out this season.
Bucknell and American rank first and third, respectively, in the Patriot League in goals scored this season. The Bison have 18 in nine games, while the Eagles have 16 in nine. Both squads have scored seven goals in a game this fall, Bucknell in a 7-0 win over Adelphi and American in a 7-0 rout of Howard. These are also the two stingiest teams in the league in terms of giving up goals. Bucknell has allowed a league-low six goals for a 0.62 team goals-against average, while American is just behind at 1.07 (10 goals against).
The Bison have enjoyed incredible scoring balance so far. No player has more than two goals, but a dozen players have at least one goal and 13 players have an assist. Brendan Burgdorf paces the squad with seven total points on two goals and three assists. Freshman Chris Thorsheim is tied for the Patriot League lead with four assists. Another freshman, Jesse Klug, scored his second goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Lehigh last week, and he led all players with eight shots against Saint Joseph's.
Freshman goalkeeper Mike Lansing continues to lead the Patriot League in every GK category: saves per game (5.6), save percentage (.882), goals-against average (0.70) and shutouts (3).
American features one of the Patriot League's top offensive players in Alassane Kane, who is tied for the league lead in goals with four. Colin Seigfried has three goals and three assists, while Chris Kuramoto, Dale McDonald and Seth Goldman all have two goals apiece. Goalkeeper Billy Knutsen has made 37 saves while conceding 10 goals, giving him a .787 save percentage.
The Eagles are coming off a 2-0 loss to future Patriot League member Loyola (Md.) on Tuesday night. Their last win came against Saint Peter's (2-0) on Sept. 9. American's other victories this season are against St. Francis (N.Y.) (3-1), Howard and Cal State Fullerton (1-0).
Bucknell and American have alternated wins over the last five meetings, with the Eagles claiming three of them. Bucknell's two wins, however, came in the 2009 and 2010 Patriot League championship matches.
All told the Bison are 5-9 against American, with 13 of the 14 meetings coming since AU joined the Patriot League in 2001. The Bison are 1-5 against the Eagles in Washington, D.C.
American dealt Bucknell a stunning defeat last season at Emmitt Field. It was a 0-0 game into the late stages when the Bison took the lead in the 70th minute. But AU scored in the 72nd and 82nd to steal a 2-1 win.
Following Saturday's game at American, the Bison will play their next two at home. They host red-hot Navy on Oct. 6 at 2 p.m., followed by Hartwick in a non-league game on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.