Field Hockey wins first Patriot League title

Laurel McHale, Staff Writer

For the first time in program history, the Bison field hockey team has been crowned the Patriot League Champions after defeating top-seeded Boston University, 2-1 in overtime.

The game started quiet, as neither team could even find a shot within the first 15 minutes. Boston U. didn’t attempt its first shot until the third quarter as the Bison defense clamped down. It looked like the game would enter the fourth quarter still scoreless, but a Boston U. penalty corner in the waning seconds of the third resulted in a goal with just one second remaining.

Kari Melberger ’24 rocketed a shot from the top of the shooting circle, tying the game with just 5:50 left to play. Erin Zielinski ’22 and Kayla Kisthardt ’23 assisted this goal.

The Blue and Orange were dominant throughout the afternoon, outshooting the Terriers 15-6 and earning 14 penalty corners to Boston’s five. The Bison were awarded three consecutive corners in the extra period, and it was on the third that Kaelyn Long ’21 fired the game-winning shot.

Long scored the game-winning goal with 2:31 left in the overtime period on a penalty corner, receiving the assist from Sara Dimock ’21.

“It felt so surreal moments after realizing we won the Patriot League tournament. I almost felt emotionless because I didn’t know how or what to feel! I am so proud to be a member of this team…our motto all season has been to make it fun and control what we can control and we did just that on Saturday with our big win,” Long said.

Following the game, Long was named the Tournament MVP. Kisthardt, Zielinski and Clara McCormick ’23 were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

Long said, “I am super grateful for the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament and represent Bucknell at a higher level…VCU will be a tough matchup as they have been undefeated in their conference this season…but we look forward to giving it all we got against a good team at a competitive level of play!”

The Bison now receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They will play VCU at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex in University Park, Pa. on Friday, April 30 at 12 p.m. for their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

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