The Bucknellian

Men’s lacrosse secures share of regular season Patriot League title, falls in quarterfinal game

Cecily Ho

Cecily Ho

Brittany Willwerth, Sports Co-Editor

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The No. 10 Bison men’s lacrosse (11-4, 7-1 PL) team battled Lehigh (8-6, 5-3 PL) in front of large crowd consisting of alumni, parents, and fans on April 20. With a final score of 14-7, the team claimed a portion of the 2018 Patriot League regular-season championship title, its first since 2011.

Prior to the start of the Lehigh game, the team honored the talented Class of 2018. Over the course of the past four years, senior teammates Benny Borgognone ’18, Matt Gilray ’18, Sam Hahn ’18, Joe Kazar ’18, Matt Linden ’18, Brac McKee ’18, Lukas Munoz ’18, Sean O’ Brien ’18, Connor O’Hara ’18, John Reed ’18, Duke Repko ’18, and Will Sands ’18 joined forces to lead the Bison to a 35-22 record.

Going into the Lehigh matchup, the team had won seven of its last eight games, including victories over three-straight nationally ranked opponents. With the win against Lehigh, the team set a new record for the most Patriot League wins in program history in a single season.

Early in the game, Lehigh quickly proved their determination and tenacity. After Tommy Sopko ’21 scored the first goal at 12:31, the Mountain Hawks responded with two goals to retake the lead. After battling back and forth, the Bison went on a 5-0 run in the second quarter to propel the team to a 8-6 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Orange and Blue’s stifling defense held Lehigh to only one goal. In this span, the Bison scored an additional five goals. During this spark, O’Brien scored three goals and one assist, while Repko recorded his first career goal in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we played a really complete game. It was just a matter of time before we ran away with it, which ultimately shows in the final score,” Kazar said.

Sands, a top player among the league, once again put on a show, dishing out assists for half the goals. With these seven assists, he set a new school record for career assists (139) and single-season assists (53). Recently chosen by the Boston Cannons, he joins teammates O’Brien, Gilray, and O’Hara in the select group of Bison chosen in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse draft.

The team suffered a heartbreaking loss on April 24 to Boston University in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals by a score of 11-12, in which they battled until the very end. Going into the second half up 7-4, the team looked to finish the job, ultimately falling just short. Despite the Orange and Blue’s advantage in shots (38-25) and face-offs (14-for-26), the Bison left the field eliminated from the Patriot League Tournament.

However, with an impressive record of games, the Bison will now patiently wait until May 6, when the NCAA selection committee announces its choices for the Division 1 tournament, keeping hope they can attain an at-large bid.

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Men’s lacrosse secures share of regular season Patriot League title, falls in quarterfinal game