Bucknell Women's Soccer Set For Senior Day Clash with American Saturday at Emmitt Field
Oct. 11, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. --The Bucknell women's soccer team will honor its seven seniors prior to Saturday afternoon's home finale against American, and then the Bison will set out to earn three more points in a pivotal weekend of Patriot League action. The Bison and Eagles will kickoff at 1 p.m. at Emmitt Field in a battle of two teams tied for third place in the league standings.
Entering round four of Patriot League competition, Navy and Colgate are 3-0 and tied for first with nine points each, while Bucknell and American are close behind with six points on 2-1 records. All four of those top teams play each other this weekend. Navy travels to Colgate on Friday night, while the Bison host American on Saturday. Holy Cross and Lafayette are tied for fifth place with three points each, and those two teams meet on Saturday in Worcester, and then on Sunday Army hosts Lehigh in a battle of two teams still looking for their first league win.
Head coach Ben Landis and the Bison will salute a special senior class prior to the contest. This class of seven came in together in 2009, and they have remained intact for four years. Taryn Boucher, Corinne Collins, Meghan Fitzpatrick, Sandita McDermott, Emily Trosch, Jenna Tryon and Kayla Yee have all been critical to Bucknell's success, and they will play major roles in Bucknell's stretch drive this season.
With Navy and Colgate facing each other, Bucknell can gain ground on at least one of them with a win over American. The Bison and Eagles are coming off near-identical six-point weekends. Bucknell swept Holy Cross and Army at home by 1-0 and 2-0 scores, while American pulled off a home sweep of Lehigh and Lafayette by 1-0 and 3-0 margins.
American opened Patriot League play with a 1-0 loss at Navy on Sept. 28. The Eagles went 2-7-2 in non-conference action, with the wins coming against UMBC (2-1) and Howard (2-1) and the ties against Saint Joseph's (2-2) and George Washington (1-1).
American has scored 13 goals in 14 games this season and has been shut out six times. Michelle Montilio and Jasmine Mohandesi lead the team with three goals apiece, while Erin Mulhern and Shaena Alfonsi have two each. Montilio was a First Team All-Patriot League selection last season.
Goalkeeper Charlene Belanger notched the team's first two shutouts of the season last weekend. Belanger has 57 saves in 12 starts for a .770 save percentage.
The Bison got it done at both ends of the field in last weekend's sweep of Holy Cross and Army. Evelyn Nicinski, Cassie Denger and Courtney Nelson all scored beautiful goals that were set up by terrific passes, and Bucknell was able to generate plenty of offensive pressure despite being without the services of leading scorer Chelsey Garkowski.
Garkowski still paces the squad in goals (7) and points (17), while Nelson is not far behind with 15 points on five goals and five assists. Denger is also a double-digit scorer now with 11 points on three goals and five assists. Nicinski has three goals and three assists and Liz Dwornik two goals and four assists for the Bison, who have outscored opponents 27-21 on the season.
Garkowski continues to rank fifth in the Patriot League in points, while Nelson moved into the top 10 last week (T-8th) after a three-point weekend. Nelson now has a point in three straight games, and she has seven points in her last five.
Defensively, McDermott was awarded her league-record-tying fourth Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week award of the season on Monday after posting back-to-back shutouts of Holy Cross and Army. She made nine saves in those two games and now has an .800 save percentage on the campaign, the second-best mark in the conference. McDermott's 80 saves are the most in the league.
Last weekend McDemott had plenty of help from her back four of Collins, Bridget Gilmartin, Hannah Bonotto and Lauren Dandie. Holding midfielder Boucher was also rock solid, while Nelson helped out defensively by heading a ball of the line on a corner kick scrum in the win over Holy Cross.
Bucknell first played American when the Eagles joined the Patriot League in 2001, and since then the series is dead even at 6-6-1. American won three of the first four meetings -- Bucknell's win in that span came in the 2001 Patriot League Tournament semifinals -- then the Bison went 4-0-1 in the next five head-to-head matchups before the Eagles beat them twice in 2009.
The last time these two teams met at Emmitt Field in 2010, McDermott earned her first career shutout in a 3-0 Bison victory. Then-seniors Caitlin Holtz, Kelsey Johnson and Kelliann Doherty pocketed the goals.
Last season in Washington, D.C., Nicole Paviglionite headed in a free kick in the 69th minute, lifting American to a 1-0 win at Reeves Field. McDermott made six saves while American finished with a 14-10 shot advantage.
The 9-6 Bison will be trying to get to double-digit victories for the sixth time in the last eight years. Following Saturday's game, Bucknell closes the regular season with three straight league games on the road against Lehigh, Lafayette and Navy.