Bison Men's Soccer Visits Holy Cross Saturday
Oct. 12, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Two teams tied in the jam-packed Patriot League standings square off on Saturday when Bucknell visits Holy Cross for a 2 p.m. contest at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium. Both teams earned draws against upper-division league teams last week, and both enter Saturday's match with 1-1-1 conference records.
The Bison dropped a mid-week 1-0 decision to Hartwick at Emmitt Field, extending their unexpected offensive struggles. Bucknell was scoring goals in record numbers earlier in the year, but now the Bison have just one goal in their last four games, that coming off the foot of Brendan Burgdorf in last Saturday's 1-1 tie with Navy.
Burgdorf leads the squad in scoring with nine points on three goals and three assists. Jesse Klug, Joe Meyer, Mayowa Alli and Conor Keeley all have two goals, while Chris Thorsheim leads the team in assists with four.
Bucknell has been solid defensively all year, allowing only nine goals in 12 games. The Bison have allowed more than one goal only once all year, that coming in a 2-1 overtime loss at Florida Gulf Coast all the way back on Sept. 2.
Mike Lansing earned his third Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor of the season on Monday after making nine total saves, seven of them in overtime, against Navy. Lansing leads the Patriot League in save percentage (.864) and goals-against average (0.79) entering the weekend.
Lansing and the Bison will face a Holy Cross squad that has only been involved in two shutouts all season, one for (vs. Army) and one against (at Boston University). The Crusaders, who are 2-1 at home and 0-6-1 on the road, scored an impressive 1-1 tie at Colgate last week in their most recent outing.
Josh Cintas scored the Holy Cross goal in the Colgate game, his team-leading fifth of the season. Monty Sanders has a pair of goals along with two assists, while Tommy Utaro has a goal and three assists.
The Crusaders have scored 11 goals in 10 games this season, but they have allowed 22. Kevin Wright has taken over the starting goalkeeper duties. He has a 21 saves and 10 goals against in four starts. He made eight saves last week against Colgate. Michael Thompson has started six games in goal, allowing 12 scores with 18 saves.
Bucknell got out to a great start in last year's meeting with the Crusaders, the Bison won 3-0 at Emmitt Field, getting all three goals in the first 13:31 of the match. Alli scored off a corner kick just 52 seconds into the game, then Josh Plump finished a through ball from Burgdorf in the 7th minute and Luke Joyner roofed a volley off a feed from Brian Ward in the 14th.
Bucknell finished the game with a 16-7 shot advantage, and Holy Cross put just one shot on frame all day.
Bucknell and Holy Cross played to a 2-2 in the last meeting in Worcester in 2010. The Bison trailed 1-0 at the half, but they took a 2-1 lead on goals by Burgdorf and Joyner. The Crusaders salvaged the draw, however, when Tom Van Grinsven scored off a set piece with just 54 seconds left in regulation.
Bucknell is 9-9-4 all-time against Holy Cross in a series that dates back to 1990, the first year of Patriot League play. The Bison are 4-1-4 in the last nine meetings. Eight of the last 12 Bucknell-Holy Cross meetings have gone to overtime, including five in a row from 2000-04.
As usual, the Patriot League men's soccer race is too close to call. Through three rounds of league play, the top six teams are separated by only three points, or the equivalent of one win. American sits atop the table with seven points (2-0-1), one point better than Lafayette (2-1-0). Navy and Colgate both have a win and two ties for five points, while Bucknell and Holy Cross are both 1-1-1 for four points. Even Army (0-2-1) and Lehigh (0-3-0) are not out of the race for one of the four postseason tournament berths.
Following the Holy Cross game, Bucknell heads to State College for its annual meeting with Penn State. Then the Bison will be home for a league match with Army next Saturday, Oct. 20.