CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Bucknell remains the hottest team in Patriot League men's soccer after whitewashing Adelphi and Albany en route to winning its own Class of `98 Invitational over the weekend in Lewisburg, Pa. Several different players stepped up to spearhead the Bison's offensive charge, and it appears to be coming at just the right time. League play begins this weekend with four matches, and Bucknell finds itself heading to Lehigh Saturday night.
Two contests this weekend feature storylines that relate back to last year's Patriot League tournament. American visits Colgate in a rematch of last season's championship final, which the Raiders won 2-0. American is looking to jump out to another hot start in the League similar to 2011. The second match that harkens back to last season's postseason picture pits Lafayette against Navy in Annapolis, Md., Saturday night. The Mids edged the Leopards for the fourth seed on a tiebreaker last fall. Army visits Holy Cross in the fourth League contest set for Saturday, with both clubs looking for a fast start.
There's still non-League business to tend to this week. Holy Cross visits Boston University Tuesday at 7 p.m., while Navy, which was to visit George Mason the same night, will instead head to Fairfax, Va., to take on the Patriots Wednesday at 7 p.m. because of inclement weather.
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Patriot League Notebook
Bucknell has outscored opponents 14-1 during its current four-match win streak. The Bison scored 11 goals in two matches over the weekend to win the Class of `98 Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa.
The League has two teams in the NSCAA/Continental Mid-Atlantic rankings this week, as Bucknell is fifth and American ninth.
For the second time this season, weather has forced the postponement of a Navy match. The Mids' contest with George Mason set for Tuesday was pushed back 24 hours because of heavy rain and thunderstorms. A contest earlier this season against VCU was similarly washed out and has not been rescheduled.
Bucknell's seven-goal output in Friday's win over Adelphi was its largest in 20 years.
Colgate sophomore Liam Stapleton made his first start of the season in goal in the Raiders' 1-1 draw Sunday against Vermont.
Holy Cross freshmen Andrew Rhodes (vs. Providence) and Luke Melody (vs. Rhode Island) scored their first career goals last week.
Billy Knutsen had eight saves in goal for the Eagles in American's 2-0 loss at West Virginia over the weekend.
Bucknell keeper Mike Lansing ranks eighth in the nation averaging 6.0 saves per game and 10th with a .878 save percentage.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
BRINE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK ALEX WILSON, NAVY Jr., F, Phoenix, Ariz. Wilson led Navy during its 1-0-1 week, having a hand in each of the Mids' first three goals in their 5-0 victory over Richmond on Saturday. He picked up assists on Navy's first two goals, then scored his second of the season to put his team ahead 3-0 in the first half. His four points and two assists were both career highs.
BRINE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK MAYOWA ALLI, BUCKNELLJr., D, Lanham, Md. Alli earned All-Tournament honors at Bucknell's Class of `98 Invitational after a strong performance at both ends of the pitch. He anchored a defensive unit that posted back-to-back shutouts of Adelphi and Albany while allowing just three total shots on goal. On the offensive end he contributed a pair of goals and an assist for five points. His helper came in Friday's 7-0 win over Adelphi after his long throw-in into the penalty area was converted by Jonathan Grad, while his goals came on headers following a corner kick and a free kick against the Great Danes.
BRINE GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK NATHAN McDONALD, LAFAYETTEJr., GK, Bay Village, Ohio McDonald recorded his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career as Lafayette returned to the win column with Saturday's 2-0 victory over Mount St. Mary's. McDonald had three stops for the Leopards, who picked up their second win of the season entering the first weekend of conference play.
BRINE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK DEREK VOGEL, NAVYFr., D, Long Beach, Calif. Vogel picked up his second Rookie of the Week nod of the season after playing a huge role in Navy's defensive effort during a 1-0-1 stretch. With Vogel at center back, the Mids' D allowed just six on goal across the two contests. He marked Roberto Gimenez of defending CAA champion Delaware and held him to just three shots (one on goal) and no points in Wednesday's 1-1 tie. Gimenez had six points in last year's meeting with the Mids.
HONORABLE MENTIONS BRENDAN BURGDORF, BUCKNELLSr., M/F, Westfield, N.J. Burgdorf tallied a pair of goals last week, one each in Bucknell's victories over Adelphi (7-0) and Albany (4-0) at the Class of `98 Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa.
CHRIS THORSHEIM, BUCKNELLFr., M, Manalapan, N.J. Thorsheim tallied three assists in the two matches at the Class of `98 Invitational, which earned him a place on the All-Tournament Team.
PATRICK LETOURNEAU, COLGATESr., D, Bethlehem, Pa. Letourneau's goal with 40 seconds left in regulation salvaged a 1-1 tie for Colgate Sunday against Vermont.
JOSH CINTAS, HOLY CROSSJr., F, San Diego, Calif. Cintas scored the game-winner and assisted on another goal as Holy Cross upended Rhode Island, 2-1, for its first win of the season, giving the Crusaders their first win over the Rams since 1966.
NICK DUBEE, NAVYJr., D, Carolina, R.I. Dubee scored the first goal and added an assist on another to finish with three points in Navy's 5-0 triumph over Richmond.