Oct. 8, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Six critical Patriot League standings points are on the line this weekend, as the Bucknell women's soccer team welcomes in-state rivals Lafayette and Lehigh to Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium. The Bison take on Lafayette on Friday night at 7 p.m., and Lehigh on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Bucknell opened Patriot League play last week by taking a 3-1 defeat at American. After a six-day layoff, the Bison got off to a slow start in Washington and allowed two first-half goals. A week earlier, Bucknell was playing its best soccer of the season. The Bison played Big Ten power Penn State to a scoreless tie at home, then went on the road and put four goals on the board in a win at Cornell.
Since the Patriot League went back to eight teams for women's soccer in 2001, the fourth and final Patriot League Tournament spot has gone to a team with at least 12 points (three points for a win, one for a tie, none for a loss) in six of those eight seasons. The Bison are counting on needing at least 12 to get back to the postseason for the fifth straight year, and in order to get there they are going to have to have success during this key three-game homestand. After Lafayette and Lehigh come to town this weekend, the Bison will host Navy on Oct. 17.
On the opening weekend of league competition, the Army-Lehigh and Colgate-Navy games both ended in scoreless ties, while Holy Cross edged Lafayette, 1-0. So Holy Cross and American are out to the early lead with three points apiece, with four teams tied for third with one point.
Even though this will be Fall Break at Bucknell, this will be a busy weekend for the women's soccer program. It is the team's alumni weekend, and the Bison are also hosting a clinic and autograph session for local Girl Scouts.
BISON WOMEN'S SOCCER NOTEBOOK
Bucknell vs. Lafayette Series Notes
- Click HERE to follow Bucknell-Lafayette live stats via GameTracker.
- Click HERE to follow Bucknell-Lehigh live stats via GameTracker.
- The Bison are 12-6-1 all-time against the Leopards, including five straight wins and a 5-0-1 mark in the last six meetings. Bucknell has outscored Lafayette 16-1 over that span.
- Bucknell won only one of the first four series meetings but is 11-3-1 since.
- Last season in Easton, Bucknell defeated the Leopards 4-1 behind two goals and an assist from Jennifer Dervarics
. Kelliann Doherty
and Megan DeGennaro
also scored for the Bison, while Stephanie Bereday tallied Lafayette's goal. The Bison had just beaten Lehigh on the road two days earlier, and the win over Lafayette put them on the brink clinching a postseason berth.
Bucknell vs. Lehigh Series Notes
- Bucknell is 10-7-2 all-time against Lehigh, but last year's 2-0 win in Bethlehem snapped a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) against the Mountain Hawks. The one tie in that span came in the 2005 Patriot League Tournament semifinals, and the Bison went on to win in penalty kicks on Lehigh's home field. They then knocked off Army in the championship game to win the league title.
- Oddly, Bucknell is just 2-5-1 at home against the Mountain Hawks, but 8-2-1 in Bethlehem.
- In last season's 2-0 win, Christa Matlack and Kelliann Doherty both scored in the first 20 minutes to send the Bison on their way. Lehigh outshot Bucknell 12-8, but Kathryn Sutton was stellar in goal with seven saves.
- In 2007, Lehigh handed the Bison their only Patriot League regular-season loss, a 3-1 decision in Lewisburg. Jen Fetsick scored twice for the Mountain Hawks, who also benefited from an own goal after the Bison had closed within 2-1. Kelliann Doherty scored Bucknell's goal, with Brooke Stokes and Christa Matlack assisting.
- The Leopards are 3-7-2 on the season, with the wins coming against Delaware State (4-0), Drexel (2-1 2OT) and NJIT (1-0). In its Patriot League opener on Saturday, Lafayette fell 1-0 at home to Holy Cross. Shelby Stand scored the only goal 14 minutes in, and the two teams combined for only 11 shot attempts all day.
- Lafayette has been much improved defensively over the last two weeks. After allowing 18 goals in their first eight games, the Leopards have surrendered only one in their last four outings. Prior to the 1-0 loss to Holy Cross last time out, Lafayette pitched three straight shutouts. The Leopards played scoreless ties with St. Peter's and Wagner, along with the 1-0 win over NJIT.
- Lauren Smedley was the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week after posting the three straight shutouts. She has 56 saves and 14 goals against in 10 games.
- Dana Moyer and Jill Dozier share the team scoring lead with five points on two goals and an assist. Olivia Hawes and Bridget Becker also have two goals apiece.
- The Mountain Hawks are 6-2-3 on the season after playing Columbia to a 1-1 tie on Monday night. Lehigh also tied Army 0-0 on Saturday in the Patriot League opener, and it is 5-1-2 in its last eight games. Lehigh will play at Colgate on Friday night before traveling to Lewisburg.
- Lehigh opened the season with a 3-1 win over Nebraska, and since then they have beaten Albany (1-0), Cornell (4-1), Quinnipiac (2-0), Monmouth (2-1) and Fairleigh Dickinson (1-0).
- The Mountain Hawks are 4-0-1 on the road this season.
- Natalie Hojnacki is the team's top scorer with three goals and two assists for eight points. Liz Carlos (2-3-7) and Glynn Fitzer (2-2-6) have also shouldered much of the scoring load.
- The Mountain Hawks have outscored their opponents 14-7, getting goals from 10 different players.
- Lauren Mains has played every minute in goal this season, and her 0.59 goals-against average ranks second in the Patriot League.
About the Bison
- Bucknell now has a 5-6-1 record after the 3-1 loss to American on Sunday. Including this weekend's matches, the Bison have six regular-season dates remaining, all of them against Patriot League competition.
- Christa Matlack, who had two goals and an assist in the win over Cornell, shared the team points lead with Caitlin Holtz with seven apiece.
- Holtz, who has been primarily a defender throughout her Bucknell career but is now playing more at midfield, had not scored a goal since th 2007 season, but now she has a goal in each of the last two games. Her tally against American on Saturday came on a penalty kick. Holtz also leads the team and ranks ninth in the Patriot League with three assists.
- Megan DeGennaro picked up her second goal of the season in the Cornell win.
- Chelsea McGorry was named the team's Player of the Month at Wednesday's Bucknell Women's Sports Luncheon.
- Last week Matlack was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, while Sutton was named the Damon's Bison Athlete of the Week. Sutton was also named to the CollegeSoccer360.com Team of the Week after her shutout of Penn State.
- Matlack continues to lead the Patriot League in shots per game (4.5), and she also ranks in the top 10 in goals and points.
- Matlack needs one more goal to become the 10th player in program history with 20 in her career, and she needs two more points to become the eighth Bison with 50 in a career.
- After this weekend's games against Lafayette and Lehigh, Bucknell will host Navy in another key Patriot League showdown on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. That game will air live on Bison Vision.