Justin Koss - The Bucknellian
The Bison men’s lacrosse team took a break from league play on April 8 and came up with a 15-10 win over Mount St. Mary’s. With this win, the Bison improved to 7-4 on the season. Despite a close first half, the Bison finished strong, collecting the game’s final seven goals and outscoring Mount St. Mary’s 9-2 in the second half.
The Bison’s midfielders contributed eight out of the 15 goals, and Jarett Witzal ’19 had a record-setting day at the face-off. Witzal broke the University single-game record for face-off wins, coming up with 21 of 27 draws. Thomas Flibotte ’16 and Kyle Shanahan ’16 both set their season-high goals-per-game, Flibotte with four goals and Shanahan with three. Both players also contributed one assist apiece. Midfielder Tommy O’Connor ’17 also recorded a goal and an assist.
The attackers contributed to the Orange and Blue’s efforts as well. Will Sands ’18 added four goals and two assists for the Bison. Sean Doyle ’16 contributed two goals and an assist.
The Orange and Blue held a 4-1 lead over the Mountaineers after Quinn Collison ’17 scored a goal for the Bison off of Doyle’s feed with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter. However, the Mountaineers soon brought the score to a 4-4 tie. With just over a minute left, a goal by Shanahan helped the Bison regain the lead.
Sands jolted the Bison’s momentum early in the second quarter after scoring on a Mount St. Mary’s offside error. This momentum was short-lived, as the Mountaineers scored four more goals, bringing the score to 8-6 at the half.
It appeared as if a new team stepped onto the field for the Bison at the start of the second half, as the Orange and Blue quickly tied the game. Shanahan scored less than a minute into the third quarter. Minutes later, the Mountaineers found themselves three men down as three different flags were thrown on one play. Doyle took advantage of this six-versus-three situation, sending a rocket into the back of the net. The Mountaineers soon retaliated with a two-goal flurry, regaining their lead and then some. The Orange and Blue remained composed and added three goals to the scoreboard with over five minutes left in the quarter. O’Connor added another goal off of Shanahan’s feed. O’Connor sent Doyle the ball, and Doyle sent another shot to the back of the net. With just over a minute left in the third quarter, Shanahan brought the score to 11-10 off of another unassisted goal.
Flibotte had a big fourth quarter, scoring three goals in just under three minutes. Sands gave the Bison their final goal of the game with over a minute left in the quarter.
“We went into this game feeling confident, but knew we had to respect them after last year’s loss. It was a great team win from top to bottom and everyone knew what we had to do to be successful. A couple individuals definitely stepped up and facilitated our team’s momentum, but all and all we are happy about the win,” Grayson Helm ’17 said.
The Bison came up with a 36-34 shot advantage and dominated in groundballs (32-24). In addition to his big game on the draw, Witzal tallied a total of six ground balls and won 10 of the first 11 draws in the second half aiding in the Bison’s comeback. In addition, Alex Spring ’16 had a game-high of eight ground balls and Matt Gilray ’18 came up with four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
The Bison men’s lacrosse team has two remaining regular season games, both against Patriot League competitors. The Orange and Blue will take on Lafayette on April 15 at 7 p.m., where there will be a tailgate from 4 p.m. until game time.