Nov. 2, 2012
Patriot League Men's Soccer Release - 11.2.12
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — All eight teams were eligible for the Patriot League Tournament this time last week. Since then the top overall seed has been secured, but five teams are still alive for the three outstanding postseason berths as Patriot League men’s soccer regular season enters its final weekend.
American earned a hard-fought 1-0 road victory last weekend at Lehigh. That win, coupled with the day’s other results, gave the Eagles not only a Patriot League Tournament berth, but also the top overall seed in next weekend’s four-team playoff. The Eagles will host for the second consecutive season.
Colgate and Lafayette are locked in a two-way tie for second. Each controls their postseason destiny, as they both require just a tie in their Saturday matches to clinch a berth in the tournament. Lafayette is home for Bucknell at 4 p.m., while Colgate visits Navy at 8 p.m.
But don’t expect the road to be easy for either. Bucknell’s 1-0 win over Colgate last weekend lifted the Bison into a tie for fourth place with eight points. They’re knotted with Holy Cross, a 2-1 winner at home over Navy. The Bison have the edge on the Crusaders because of their win over Colgate, but Holy Cross can earn its way into the tournament with a win Saturday at American.
Not to be forgotten is Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks are still alive but their destiny is not in their hands. They’ll need a lot of help in Saturday’s first two matches, plus they’ll have to pick up a win at Army that evening to have any chance at a playoff bid.
Patriot League Notebook
• American holds at No. 5 and Navy 10th in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Mid-Atlantic regional rankings released Monday. Bucknell moved into the list at No. 8.
• Hurricane Sandy canceled or postponed several midweek matches. The only rescheduled match features Holy Cross taking on Harvard Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass. Bucknell played Binghamton as scheduled last Tuesday, while NJIT-Army and Navy-Howard were moved to Wednesday.
• Bucknell, defending champion Colgate, Holy Cross and Lafayette all control their postseason destinies Saturday. A victory for any of those clubs and they are in the Patriot League Tournament.
• Additionally, Lafayette can qualify for the four-team playoff with a tie against Bucknell, regardless of what else happens on Saturday.
• If Holy Cross wins at American to clinch a postseason bid, it will be the Crusaders’ first road win of the season.
• Lafayette made the tournament each year from 2002-09, but has fallen just shy each of the last two seasons. Bucknell won back-to-back titles in 2009-10, but did not qualify for the tournament in 2011.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
BRINE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KEVIN O’CONNELL, HOLY CROSS Jr., F, Basking Ridge, N.J.
O’Connell scored the Crusaders’ first goal of the match in their eventual 2-1 victory over Navy Saturday, giving them three critical points in the race for a Patriot League Tournament berth. Earlier in the week, the junior forward picked up an assist on the game-winner as Holy Cross edged Bryant 1-0. O’Connell finished with three points on the week, and he is tied for the team lead with four assists.
BRINE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
COLLIN COSTELLO, BUCKNELL Sr., D, Bethlehem, Pa.
Costello anchored a Bucknell defense that posted a pair of 1-0 shuouts last week, including in Saturday’s contest against Colgate. The Bison defense allowed just 14 shots combined in the two games, including six (with only three on goal) Saturday against the Raiders. Bucknell is tied with Holy Cross for the fourth and final tournament berth entering the final weekend.
BRINE GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
BILLY KNUTSEN, AMERICAN Jr., GK, San Francisco, Calif.
Knutsen picks up his third straight Goalkeeper of the Week nod after stopping 10 shots in American’s 1-0 shuout at Lehigh Saturday. The win clinched not only a berth in the Patriot League Tournament for the Eagles, but also secured them hosting responsibilities for the second year in a row. Knutsen’s 10 saves were a career high.
BRINE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
JESSE KLUG, BUCKNELL Fr., F, Sammamish, Wash.
Klug was outstanding for Bucknell during a 2-0 week, the more important victory coming Saturday in a 1-0 decision at Colgate. Klug scored on a breakaway just 4:47 into the match, and the Bison made it hold up the rest of the way, giving them three critical points in the League standings with just one match to go. Klug had two other quality chances in the contest, but was robbed both times by the Colgate keeper in the second half. Klug led all players with seven shots, including four on goal, earlier in the week in a 1-0 win over NJIT.
CHARLIE HUNTER, AMERICAN Fr., M, London, England
Hunter notched the game-winner in the 47th minute of American’s 1-0 triumph at Lehigh. The Eagles wrapped up home field in the League tournament with the win.
WINSTON BOLDT, ARMY So., GK, St. Louis, Mo.
Boldt stopped eight shots and secured the shutout in Saturday’s scoreless draw with Lafayette.
MIKE LANSING, BUCKNELL Fr., GK, Randolph, N.J.
Lansing went 2-0 on the week with back-to-back 1-0 shutouts for the Bison. He made eight saves in the two contests.
THOMAS SHIIBA, NAVY Fr., F, Swarthmore, Pa.
Shiiba scored three points last week, including the first goal in Navy’s 3-0 win over Longwood.