Alexander Gao - The Bucknellian
By Maddie Liotta, Contributing Writer
The Orange and Blue took on Lehigh and won 4-2 on Sept. 26. On Sept. 29 the Bison moved on to play Lock Haven, and fell in a disappointing 2-1 loss after controlling most of the game.
Sept. 26 had quite the exciting game, as the Bison took on one of their biggest rivals, Lehigh University. This was the first Patriot League game of the season, holding weight for the team before play even began. Lehigh scored the first point of the game after only seven minutes of play. Emily Hitchings ’16 duked it out with a Lehigh player, preventing her from getting any closer to the Bison circle. Immediately after, Anna Wills ’17 forcibly took the ball from Lehigh possession and drove it up the field toward the Lehigh circle. The Bison scored their first goal when Nicole Rupnik ’19 made the shot, assisted by fellow player Emma Fitzgerald ’17 in the 12th minute.
Kiersten Sydnor ’16 had the ball next, and made an offensive drive up the field toward Lehigh’s goal. Lehigh quickly took the ball back, and made a shot which was then blocked by Wills. The Bison failed to score after their first penalty corner, but showed great skill and teamwork while passing the ball from one player to another, while simultaneously avoiding Lehigh. One of Lehigh’s players again attempted to score, but the Orange and Blue goalkeeper skillfully blocked it. Lehigh still managed another goal in the 20th minute. The Bison missed their second penalty corner, while Lehigh also missed theirs. The first half ended with the score 2-1 in favor of Lehigh.
The second half started out with Lehigh keeping the Bison on their toes as they repeatedly shot toward the Bison goal. The tension was at a breaking point, as the ball kept changing hands between teams. The Bison scored their second point as the result of a penalty corner. Kelsey Kauffman ’17 tied up the game for the Orange and Blue. The Bison kept Lehigh guessing as they repeatedly shot the ball toward their circle. They scored their third goal off of another penalty corner. Wills made the shot, while being assisted by Hitchings and Kayla Sullivan ’16. Lehigh put up a strong fight, but the Orange and Blue managed to score their fourth goal with 14 minutes left in the game when Claire Lesher ’19 capitalized on an opportunity. With the game coming to an end, Fitzgerald protected the ball from Lehigh’s reach; allowing the clock to run down, resulting in another win for the Bison.
“I’m glad we won, and that we were able to come back in the second half while also keeping up our aggression,” Lesher said.
“If we play that way in the Patriot League, we’ll definitely be set!” Kauffman said.
In the game on Sept. 29 Lock Haven scored the first goal almost immediately, and their defense was rock solid. It was quite difficult for the Bison to break through and score any goals whatsoever. The Bison responded in kind, scoring their first point only 43 seconds into the second half. Sydnor made the goal, a rebound off of a shot previously made by Abby Watson ’16. Unfortunately for the Bison, Lock Haven was able to both retaliate quickly and keep control of the game. Even though the Orange and Blue fell after a hard fight, the last few minutes of the game showed true promise.
“We got a lot of corners and shots off, we just need to learn to play that way during the entire game,” Kauffman said.
On Oct. 3, the Bison will face Patriot League team Colgate, and on Oct. 4 they will host Saint Joseph’s in a non-conference game.