Bison Field Hockey Opens Five-Game Homestand Saturday with Rider, Rutgers
Sept. 23, 2011
Live Stats on GameTracker:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - After playing five of its first six games of the season away from Graham Field, Bucknell field hockey comes home for two straight weeks, opening a five-game homestand with Rider and Rutgers this weekend. The Bison and Broncs will try to maintain a three-game winning streak against the Broncs at 1 p.m. on Saturday before moving on to snap a three-game skid against the Scarlet Knights at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Live stats on GameTracker will be available for both games.
Bucknell (2-4) claimed its second overtime win of the season last Sunday, knocking off Lock Haven 2-1 in comeback fashion. Vickie Resh (Hamburg, Pa./Hamburg Area), who tied the game in the second half, and Ellie Riegel (Darien, Conn./Darien), who netted the game winner :45 seconds into extra time, both scored their first career goals and were later rewarded for their efforts. On Monday, Riegel was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week, while, Resh was the Susquehanna Valley Limousine Bison Athlete of the Week.
All four of Bucknell's goals have been recorded by a different player this fall, and three of the four scorers were first-timers. In addition to Resh and Riegel last weekend, Kate Bowen (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) earned her first career goal against Central Michigan on Sept. 10. Only Rachel Misko (Morristown, N.J./Madison), who had the overtime winner against the Chippewas, entered the season having scored previously.
While overtime wins are in familiar territory for the Bison - they are 4-1 since the start of the 2010 season - Bucknell's ability to come back late in the game is somewhat new. In 2010, the Bison scored two unanswered goals to come from behind and defeat Colgate 3-2 in overtime. Despite finding the score tied more than once throughout the season, Bucknell never trailed in its six other wins last fall.
Bucknell's first opponent of the week has not had to play catch-up much in 2011. Rider is 5-1 overall and is outscoring its opponents 27-9. The two-time defending Northeast Conference champions have kept its foes at bay thanks in large part to goalkeeper Rebecca Lotito. The senior, who led the nation in goals-against average (0.68) and was fourth in save percentage (.787) a year ago, has three shutouts and a 1.06 GAA this fall. As a team, the Broncs have also had the country's top goals-against average in each of the last two years, including last season when they gave up just 19 goals in 20 games.
Offensively, Rider has the two-time NEC Player of the Year Virginia Egusquiza, the 2010 NEC Offensive Player of the Year Megan Pisani and the 2010 NEC Rookie of the Year Sandra Penas back for another turn. The Broncs return 16 letterwinners from last year's squad.
Rutgers begins its weekend with a 1-6 record and a trip to Villanova before heading to Lewisburg. The Scarlet Knights opened their season with a 5-1 win over James Madison but have lost their last six. Gia Nappi, who tallied four points when Rutgers and Bucknell faced off last year, leads the team with seven points (2g, 3a). Carlie Rouh and Kat Rodziewicz each have three scores this season, while Sarah Stuby has played every minute in goal with a 2.70 GAA and .627 save percentage.
Bucknell lost 3-0 to Rutgers when the teams met in Piscataway, N.J., last fall. That dropped the Bison to 0-3 all-time against the Scarlet Knights. Bucknell has been shut out in all three meetings, although Cindy Barbosa did her best to give the team a fighting chance in 1984. The Bison goalkeeper tied her own school record with 37 saves in the 2-0 loss. Barbosa is Bucknell's all-time saves leader with 1,039.
The Bison have had more success against Rider over the years, but the teams have not played since 1995. Bucknell won that matchup, 1-0, giving it its third consecutive win over the Broncs. The last seven meetings, beginning in 1984, have all been decided by a single goal with Bucknell coming out on top 5-2 in those contests.
A win this weekend will move head coach Jeremy Cook into a tie for third all-time at Bucknell in coaches wins. Now in his fourth season with the Bison, Cook is 32-31 and trails Bobbi Testa (33-11-4), who was the first coach in program history from 1973-77. Cook's predecessor, Heather Lewis, is first with 128 wins, and Martha Ludwig is second with 45.
After taking on Rutgers, Bucknell will open its Patriot League schedule with Holy Cross. The Bison, which have won their last two against the league foe, will host the Crusaders at 12 p.m. on Oct. 1 at Graham Field.