Bucknell Women's Soccer Stays Hot, Blanks UMBC 3-0 for Fourth Straight Win
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Evelyn Nicinski and Courtney Nelson got Bucknell going with goals in the first 7:09 of the match, junior reserve Corey Tipton finished it off with her first career goal in the 70th minute, and senior goalkeeper Sandita McDermott broke the program record for longest scoreless streak as the red-hot Bison women's soccer team cruised to a 3-0 home victory over UMBC on Friday night at muggy Emmitt Field. Bucknell has now won four games in a row, the last three by shutout, to improve to 4-2 on the season.
The Bison have been impressive in all phases of the game over the last two weeks, and tonight was no different. After scoring 10 goals all of last season, the Bison now have 11 in six games in 2012. It was their third three-goal outburst during this four-game winning streak, and they have outscored foes 10-1 over that span.
Defensively, Bucknell earned its third shutout in a row. The school record for consecutive shutouts is four, set in 2002, but the Bison used three different goalkeepers during that streak. McDermott has played every minute during this one, and her streak of 326:54 is a new school record for a single keeper. McDermott, this week's Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week, matched her season high with six saves.
McDermott had a couple of tricky saves in each half, including a late stop from close range on a corner kick volley that preserved the clean sheet. She had plenty of help in front of her as well, as the back four of Corinne Collins, Bridget Gilmartin, Hannah Bonotto and Lauren Dandie were rock solid once again. Midfielders Nicinski and Taryn Boucher were both strong defensively as well. Nicinski made a great play at the hour mark to steal a ball in the box to nullify one of UMBC's better build-ups of the night.
Bucknell wasted no time getting started in this one, as right off the opening whistle Chelsey Garkowski stole the ball from the Retrievers and got a shot on goal just 13 seconds into the match.
Moments later the Bison had the lead. UMBC was flagged for offside just inside the midfield line. On the resulting free kick, Bonotto sent a well-targeted ball to Garkowski posted up in the middle of the box. Garkowski headed the ball wide to Nicinski on the left side, and the sophomore blasted a shot off the hands of UMBC keeper Lauren Kadet and just across the goal line just 3:13 into the game.
No Bison has been hotter of late than Nelson, and she picked up her team-leading fourth goal of the season and third in as many games at the 7:09 mark. Garkowski, who was a menace for the UMBC back four all night long, did the hard work on the play, outdueling a defender for a 50-50 ball that was played in by Bonotto from beyond midfield. Garkowski got in alone but Kadet made the save on her point-blank shot. But Nelson was there to knock in the rebound, and the Bison had a commanding two-goal lead.
Twice Bucknell came close to making it 3-0 about 12 minutes later. Nelson stole a pass on the left wing and made a terrific cross to Cassie Denger, but Kadet was there for the save. About two minutes after that on a corner kick, Nicinski rocketed a volley squarely off the crossbar.
With just over 26 minutes left in the contest, Boucher faked out two defenders to clear space in the box, but her 12-yard shot to the near post just leaked wide. Five minutes later Kadet made the save of the night, a diving finger-tip save to deflect Liz Dwornik's bending 18-yard shot wide.
Bucknell cashed in on the ensuing corner kick. The ball bounced around in the box for a bit before Tipton punched it into the lower right corner for her first collegiate tally. One of nine substitutes used by coach Ben Landis in the game, Tipton played a strong 38 minutes and was rewarded with the goal.
"Our confidence is just through the roof right now," said Landis after the game. "To be frank, I don't think we are close to peaking just yet, but we are managing games well and finding goals. Scoring twice in the first seven minutes does a lot for your confidence. With a busy stretch coming up, we were able to limit a lot of starters' minutes tonight, and the best part was that each sub that we brought on made it better and better. It was a very physical game, and they were able to come in and deal with the physicality and the speed of the game, which is not easy to do."
Bucknell finished with a 14-11 edge in shots, with both keepers making six saves. Both teams had five corner kicks.
Bucknell's four-game winning streak is the longest since a five-game run in 2009. The team record for consecutive scoreless minutes is 446:26, set in 2002.
For the Bison, this was the first of five games in a 10-day span. They will travel to Loretto, Pa., to play a very good Saint Francis (Pa.) team on Sunday at noon, and then Bucknell will host Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday before heading to California for two games at the following weekend.