Homecoming, Senior Day Surround Important Game vs. Colgate for Bison Men's Soccer Team
Oct. 25, 2012
NOTE: The first 250 fans through the gates will receive a free t-shirt courtesy of Bucknell Men's Soccer.
LEWISBURG, Pa. --There will be plenty happening at Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the 4 p.m. Bucknell-Colgate men's soccer match will be preceded by Senior Day festivities, and many alumni are expected to be part of a large Homecoming Day crowd. On the field, the current Bison players will be focused on the three big standings points that are up for grabs against the second-place Raiders, who are still unbeaten in Patriot League play.
With just two conference games remaining, all eight teams are still very much alive in the chase for one of the four Patriot League Tournament spots. Bucknell sits in a three-way tie for fifth place in the logjammed standings, but just one point out of fourth. American leads the table with a 3-0-2 record and 11 points. Colgate (2-0-3) is second with nine points, followed by Lafayette (2-1-1, 8), Lehigh (2-3-0, 6), Bucknell (1-2-2, 5), Navy (1-2-2, 5), Holy Cross (1-2-2, 5) and Army (1-3-1, 4).
Now 6-6-4 overall, the Bison snapped a seven-game winless streak on Tuesday at NJIT, winning 1-0 on freshman Patrick Figgie's first-half goal. That put an end to a series of frustrating contests, as each of the matches in that 0-5-2 string were decided by a goal or less, including last week's 2-1 losses to Penn State and Army in which the deciding goals were scored with 2:47 and 0:13 remaining.
On Tuesday Bucknell got back to its familiar blueprint for success: score an early goal and make it stand up with solid defense and goalkeeping. Freshman Mike Lansing collected five saves in the win over NJIT and earned his fourth shutout of the season. Lansing leads all Patriot League keepers in goals-against average (0.90), save percentage (.846), saves per game (5.13) and shutouts.
As a team, Bucknell leads the league in fewest goals against with 14 in 16 games, while its 23 goals scored is third-most in the league. The Bison have had incredibly balanced scoring in 2012, as 13 different players have at least one goal, but no player has more than three. Six different Bison have game-winning goals, and 17 of the 21 field players on the roster have at least one point.
Senior Brendan Burgdorf ranks ninth in the Patriot League with 10 points, coming on three goals and four assists. Burgdorf and freshman Chris Thorsheim share the team lead with four assists. Freshman Jesse Klug has been all over the field for the Bison of late and has created plenty of good scoring chances. He leads the Patriot League with 57 shots.
Colgate comes in with a 4-6-6 overall record. The Raiders are coming off a 2-2 draw with Lafayette at home last weekend. They also have wins over Lehigh (5-0) and Army (1-0 OT) and ties with Holy Cross (1-1) and American (1-1) in league play.
The Raiders have been outscored 26-18 on the season, but they do boast the Patriot League's No. 1 goal-scorer in Mike Reidy with seven. Reidy had a two-goal game against Lehigh, and he recently had a stretch with five goals in five games. Shane Conlin, Mike Garzi, Tyler Forbes and Patrick Letourneau have two goals apiece.
Colgate has split its goalkeeper minutes between Liam Stapleton and Grant Reed this season. Reed was in the crease last time out against Lafayette, and he has a .571 save percentage and a 1.96 goals-against average in eight starts. Stapleton has also made eight starts and is 3-2-3 with a .732 save percentage and a 1.17 GAA.
The Raiders won last year's meeting in Hamilton by a 2-1 count. Matt Schuber and Steven Miller gave Colgate a 2-0 lead before Andrew Powell got one back for the Bison in the 77th minute.
Bucknell and Colgate have played some great games through the years, and these two teams have combined for the last six Patriot League titles (three each). The last meeting between these two teams at Emmitt Field resulted in a wild 3-3 tie in 2010. The Bison seemed down and out trailing 3-1 inside five minutes to play, but Mayowa Alli headed in two goals off set pieces in the 86th minute to tie the game at 3-3. Midfielder Tommy McCabe saved the day with a bicycle kick to boot a shot out of an empty goal mouth in overtime, and the Bison somehow salvaged a point. A few weeks later, Bucknell blanked Colgate 1-0 in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals, with Josh Plump netting the lone goal.
These two teams first met in 1963, and Colgate holds a 23-9-6 series lead over the Bison. The Raiders and Bison squared off in all but one season from 1963-75, and now every year since 1989.
This will also be a big weekend for the Bison men's soccer program, as Dick Roush '51, an outstanding fullback who helped Bucknell win the 1949 Middle Atlantic Conference title, along with 32-year head coach Craig Reynolds will be inducted into the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame. That ceremony will take place on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. in the Terrace Room inside the Elaine Langone Center.
In other Patriot League action on Saturday, Army plays at Lafayette at 3 p.m., and a pair of 7 p.m. contests feature Navy at Holy Cross and American at Lehigh.
After Saturday, Bucknell next week has a non-league match at Binghamton followed by the regular-season finale at Lafayette.