Bucknell Women's Soccer Caps 6-Point Weekend with 2-0 Win over Army
Oct. 7, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Two beautiful passing sequences led to goals for Cassie Denger and Courtney Nelson, and the Bucknell women's soccer team finished off a six-point weekend with a 2-0 Patriot League win over Army on Sunday at chilly Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium. The Bison improved to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League, and they remain just three points off the lead after three rounds of league play.
Army took first-place Colgate to the wire on Friday night before losing 3-2 on a goal in the final few minutes of regulation, but Sunday's loss sent the defending Patriot League champion Black Knights to 5-9 overall and 0-3 in the league. Colgate and Navy are tied atop the league standings with nine points, while Bucknell and American are just one victory behind with six points each. The Bison and Eagles will meet next Saturday at Emmitt Field.
Neither team was able to generate many quality chances in the first half, but Bucknell was able to cash in on its best opportunity in the 14th minute. Left back Bridget Gilmartin was able to connect a long pass out of the back to Liz Dwornik, who settled the ball while shielding off a defender. Dwornik slipped a pass to Evelyn Nicinski, who was all alone in the center of the field. Nicinski took two dribbles and played a perfectly weighted through ball toward Denger, who was flying in from the right side. The only question was whether goalkeeper Linda Rosas would get there first, but Denger beat Rosas to the ball, took a touch around her and tapped the ball into the open net.
When these two teams last met in Lewisburg in 2010, the Bison took a 1-0 lead into the final five minutes before Army rallied with a goal late in regulation and another in overtime. Bucknell made sure there would be no comeback this time, picking up the all-important second goal in the 54th minute. And it was a sensational goal to boot, with six different players touching the ball beginning with a Sandita McDermott goal kick from her own 6.
Nicinski headed the goal kick forward, and midfielder Taryn Boucher then won a 50-50 ball, using a hard slide to send the ball ahead to Denger on the right side. Denger cut back to the middle of the field and angled a pass through the back line for Dwornik sprinting down the left flank. Dwornik was first to the ball, and her first touch was a perfect left-footed cross over the head of Rosas, and Nelson finished it with a diving header before crashing into the right post.
The goal was Nelson's fifth of the season, and Denger and Dwornik both drew assists to give them multi-point games. Denger logged a goal and an assist, while Dwornik picked up two assists.
Once the Bison had the two-goal cushion, they turned it over to the defense, which recorded their second straight clean sheet and seventh of the season. Bucknell is now one shy of the program record for shutouts in a season. The 2008 team recorded eight.
Defensive midfielder Boucher and the back four of Gilmartin, Hannah Bonnotto, Lauren Dandie and Corinne Collins were rock solid all day. McDermott made four saves, all of them routine, as she continues her climb on the career shutouts list. Sunday's clean sheet was the 13th of her career, moving her into sole possession of second place on Bucknell's all-time chart. Kathryn Sutton recorded 15 shutouts from 2006-09.
"We ask our back four to be one unit, not four individuals, and we try to do the opposite to our opponent," said coach Ben Landis after the game. "I really thought they stepped up today. Each made individual plays, but collectively as a whole that was a huge difference today. They minimized the clean looks that they had and the shots that Dita had to deal with. And Dita was superb and kept everything tidy."
Army finished with a 16-14 shot advantage, but only four of the Black Knights' attempts were directed on goal. Rosas made six saves for Army. Nelson (5) and Denger (4) combined for nine of the 14 shots for Bucknell, which went 2-0 this weekend despite playing without the services of leading scorer Chelsey Garkowski.
"When you are playing doubleheader weekends, the Sunday game is not always pretty," said Landis. "We knew that to get a goal early gives us a lot of confidence and just helps calm everybody down. Our first team goal is to defend home turf. Today was our moment to defend home turf, especially up a goal."
The Bison have one more home game on the 2012 regular-season schedule, and that comes next Saturday against American at 1 p.m.