Men's soccer digs deep in pair of overtime games

Ajan Caneda

Copy Editor

The men’s soccer team played its first double overtime games of the season two weeks ago. The first was a 1-1 tie at American on Oct. 12. After the draw, Mayowa Alli ’14 capitalized on a golden goal opportunity that lifted the Bison to a 1-0 victory at Rutgers on Oct. 15. In their third game of the week, Austin Lenart ’17 had an early goal that failed to contain Navy, as the Orange and Blue fell 2-1 at home on Oct. 19. The team’s overall record stands at 8-4-1 (2-2-1 Patriot League).

Andrew Leischner ’17  had his first collegiate goal, which forced an overtime against an American squad that nailed an early goal to put pressure on the Bison offense. The Eagles initiated the scoring in the 13th minute, which was the lone goal in the first half.

The Bison equalizer came in the 84th minute when Leischner’s follow-up attempt eluded the goalkeeper after his first shot was ruled short of the goal line. The Orange and Blue controlled the ball in Eagle territory but could not come up with the game winner. Mike Lansing ’16 continued his exceptional goalkeeping, blocking six shots to protect the draw. Both teams combined for six overtime shot attempts. Joe Meyer ’14 earned his first career Brine Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week award after his performance.

“American is a very skillful team that does a great job possessing the ball in the midfield, so it takes a lot of hard work to shut them down,” Meyer said. “Since I have been at Bucknell, we haven’t come away from American’s home field with any points, so to come back from being down most of the game really shows a lot of character.”

The Bison played another extended game against Rutgers, but this one ended in their favor. In the second overtime, Connor Willings ’16 threw the ball into the box and found Alli, who broke away from his defender and headed the ball past the Scarlet Knight goalkeeper. Alli and the rest of the Bison defense hounded Rutgers, limiting the team to four shots on target. This game raised the Bison’s road record to 5-0-1.

“We knew that if we scored a goal during OT the game would be over, so I wanted to draw most of my energy towards the defensive effort and provide support for the offensive players when we were in possession of the ball,” Alli said.

The fatigue from the previous two games carried over against Navy. Lenart’s first career goal in the sixth minute gave the Bison early momentum. Patrick Figgie ’16 dished the ball to Jesse Klug ’16, who found Lenart 25 yards in front of the goal. After the ball was misdirected, Lenart calmly took control and blasted it into the upper right corner. This goal ended Navy’s six-game shutout streak.

“There is no better feeling than scoring a goal, and for it to be my first one of the season was truly a great moment,” Lenart said.

Unfortunately, Navy struck about 10 minutes into the second half after a corner kick attempt led to a headed goal for the Midshipmen. Navy took the lead in the 72nd minute and did not let up. Alli’s pair of late header attempts could not force a third straight overtime game.

Navy’s victory ended the Midshipmen’s 12-year winless streak against the Orange and Blue.

The Bison will remain at home for a match against Colgate tomorrow at 4 p.m.

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