Strong Effort by Bison Field Hockey Falls Just Short in 2-0 Loss to No. 7 Princeton
Sept. 2, 2011
LEWISBURG, Pa. -The Bucknell field hockey team had the better of the run of play for long stretches against seventh-ranked Princeton, but the Tigers capitalized on a penalty corner and a penalty stroke and edged the Bison 2-0 Friday evening at Graham Field.
Playing a nationally ranked opponent for the second time in three games to start the season, Bucknell fell to 0-3, while Princeton, winner of 16 of the last 17 Ivy League titles, picked up the win in its season opener. The Bison continued their strong play from the second half of last week's game against No. 19 Boston University, when they held the Terriers scoreless over the final 35 minutes.
Bucknell allowed only nine shots in this one and conceded just the one penalty corner. Sophomore Erica Perrine(Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) made her first career start in goal and logged three saves, including a sparkling stop on Allegra Mango with 13 minutes left in the first half.
The Bison had the first good scoring chance just two minutes into the game when Mallory Smith(Schnecksville, Pa./Parkland) got behind the defense on a breakaway, but Princeton goalkeeper Christina Maida came out to break up the play before Smith could get off a shot.
The Bucknell defense did a good job keeping the ball out of harm's way early in the game, but at the quarter-hour mark the Tigers' Allison Evans charged in from the left side. Bison freshman midfielder Kelsey Mucelli(Kutztown, Pa./Kutztown) hustled back to break up the play near the end line, but it resulted in what would be Princeton's only penalty corner of the night.
Perrine made the initial save on the penalty corner, but the ball lingered in the goal mouth. Molly Goodman nudged it toward the open goal, where Charlotte Krause finished it off to give Princeton a 1-0 lead.
Bucknell's best scoring opportunities came in the second half, when it fired five of its six shots on the night. With about 22 minutes to play, senior Marci Richard (Oley, Pa./Oley Valley) stickhandled around two defenders and wristed a shot that just slipped wide of the cage. Only a minute later, a pair of reserve forwards teamed up for a great chance. Sophomore Leigh Hillman (Dallas, Pa./Lake Lehman) broke free from her defender and threaded a perfect pass to freshman Maggie Murphy(Emmaus, Pa./Emmaus), but Maida made a great save to keep it a 1-0 game.
The Bison kept up the pressure and came tantalizingly close to tying the game, but ultimately the momentum shifted in a matter of seconds.
After the Maida save on Murphy, Bucknell earned a penalty corner. Then Vickie Resh(Hamburg, Pa./Hamburg Area) hammered a hard shot that Maida partially deflected, and the ball ramped upward and solidly struck the crossbar. In the ensuing scrum, Princeton was whistled for an infraction that resulted in a Bucknell penalty stroke.
Taylor Siegrist (Madison, N.J./Madison) was stopped on her stroke attempt, however, and only 48 seconds later a controversial call inside the arc gave Princeton a chance at a penalty stroke. Perrine got a piece of Colleen Boyce's high shot, but it snuck past to make it a 2-0 game.
The Bison came within inches of getting one back with 13 minutes to play on a nicely executed penalty corner. Kate Durkin (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan), the inserter on the play, was wide open at the left post, but her one-timer just missed, skimming the outside of the framework.
Princeton came away from the defensive struggle with a 9-6 shot advantage, while Bucknell led 3-1 in penalty corners. Both goalies finished with three saves.
Bucknell's ultra-challenging early season schedule continues next weekend with two games in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Bison will take on Central Michigan on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a date with Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Wolverines, currently ranked No. 9 in the nation, are the defending Big Ten champions.