Bucknell Men's Soccer Visits Penn State Wednesday, Hosts Army Saturday on Bison Vision
Oct. 16, 2012
Bucknell is 2-1-1 in its last four meetings with Penn State, with both of its wins coming in State College. In 2008, the Bison won 2-0 at the Penn State Classic, its first win over the Nittany Lions since 1975. A year later, Penn State returned the favor with a 2-1 victory at Emmitt Field. In 2009, the Bison went back to State College for Penn State's home tournament and rallied for a 2-1 victory over the 15th-ranked Nittany Lions, with Brendan Burgdorf picking up the game-winning goal with 13:45 remaining in the game. Last year the two teams played to a scoreless draw in Lewisburg.
These two teams first met in 1930, and since then the Nittany Lions have a 58-8-4 record in the series. Penn State had won 25 head-to-head meetings in a row prior to Bucknell's 2008 victory. Bucknell's last win prior to 2008 was a 2-0 decision in Lewisburg on Oct. 14, 1975.
The Bison are in the thick of a muddled Patriot League table, but they have dropped their last two mid-week non-conference games by 1-0 scores to Saint Joseph's and Hartwick. Most recently, Bucknell tied Holy Cross 1-1 in a league game in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday.
Josh Plump had the Bucknell goal against Holy Cross, his second of the season. Brendan Burgdorf continues to lead the squad in scoring with nine points on three goals and three assists. Jesse Klug has two goals and two assists, while Plump, Joe Meyer, Mayowa Alli and Conor Keeley all have two goals and one assist. Chris Thorsheim has a team-high four assists.
Bucknell and Penn State have both been stout defensively, with each team allowing only 10 goals in 13 matches this season. The Bison have four shutouts, and they have allowed more than one goal in a game only once all year, that coming in a 2-1 overtime loss to Florida Gulf Coast when they were playing with 10 men. Penn State has six shutouts, but after posting four straight clean sheets in September, the Nittany Lions have conceded goals in their last five games and are 1-3-1 over that span.
In Big Ten play, Penn State has beaten Michigan State and Wisconsin, tied Michigan and fallen to Indiana. The loss that ended that shutout streak came at Lehigh by a 1-0 count on Sept. 25. In their most recent outing, the Lions defeated Michigan State 2-1 at home on Sunday.
Julian Cardona had an assist against the Spartans, and he is the team's leading scorer with 12 points on five goals and two assists. Daniel Burnham has three goals and two assists, and Kelton Cheney has a pair of goals.
After the Penn State match, the Bison turn their attention back to Patriot League play with Army coming in on Saturday night. Four rounds of league play has solved very little, as the top six teams in the standings are separated by just three points, or the equivalent of one win.
American and Colgate are tied at the top with eight points each. Lafayette is next with seven points, and then Bucknell, Navy and Holy Cross all have five. All eight teams will be in action on Saturday, with American hosting Navy, Colgate hosting Lafayette and Holy Cross traveling to Lehigh in addition to the Bucknell-Army tilt.
Army does not have a mid-week game, and the Black Knights will come in with a record of 3-8-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the Patriot League. Army's league point came in a 1-1 tie with arch-rival Navy, and each of its three losses are one-goal decisions to Holy Cross (1-0), American (3-2 OT) and Colgate (1-0 OT).
The Black Knights have been outscored 20-12 on the season. Josh Koeppe is the top scorer with eight points on three goals and two assists. Michael Kim and Parker Dixon both have two goals and two assists, and five other have one goal apiece. Winston Boldt has played every minute in goal, collecting 50 saves for a .714 save percentage.
Army earned a rare win over the Bison last season at Clinton Field, as Arnold Chun's goal in the 73rd minute gave the Black Knights a 2-1 victory. Plump scored Bucknell's goal off a feed from Burgdorf in the 54th minute, but Chun broke the tie 19 minutes later.
Bucknell had won 11 of the previous 12 meetings with Army, but the Black Knights had won 16 of the first 18 and now lead the all-time series 18-13. As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell leads 13-10, as Army's first eight series wins came between 1931-43.
By the end of the weekend, the Bison will have only four games remaining in the regular season, and only two left in Patriot League play, one at home against Colgate on Oct. 27 and the other at Lafayette on Nov. 3.