Men’s soccer defeats Navy in PL quarterfinals, falls to Lehigh in semifinal

Stephen Olick-Sutphen, Senior Writer

On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Bison men’s soccer team took on Navy in Annapolis, Md. in the Patriot League tournament quarterfinals. The Bison avenged their loss to Navy from earlier in the season and earned a playoff win for the first time since 2016, defeating the Midshipmen by a score of 2-0. The Bison then fought hard in the semifinals against Lehigh, but lost 1-0.

In the first half of the quarterfinal matchup, the Bison registered one shot after Matt Thorsheim ’21 was brought down in the penalty box. Thorsheim stepped up to take the penalty kick for the Bison and converted to give the lead to the Bison. Thorsheim’s goal proved to be the difference in the first half as the Bison went into halftime up 1-0. The Orange and Blue stymied Navy’s offense in the first half, limiting the Midshipmen to just six shots.

Thorsheim proved to be the difference again in the second half, as he doubled the Bison’s lead from a free kick. Luke Smith ’23 came up big for the Blue and Orange as he saved a penalty kick and prevented Navy from getting back into the game. Navy was unable to score in the final minutes of the game, giving the Bison their first win over the Midshipmen in two years.

The Bison advanced to play Lehigh on Nov. 12. This was the second time in three games that the Bison played Lehigh, with the previous meeting ending in a 1-1 draw. The Orange and Blue pressed Lehigh all game, allowing few chances in front of goal.

Smith came up with several big saves in the first half to deny Lehigh from gaining the lead. Ultimately, Lehigh scored off a deflection in the 76th minute. The Bison searched for the game-tying goal, but were unable to find one as they lost 1-0 to the Mountain Hawks.

This was the second time in four years that the Bison advanced to the Patriot League semifinal, with this year’s senior class making the tournament three out of four years. The team will now look to develop in the upcoming Spring season.

“It was a tough end to what was a great season. The chemistry within the team this year was amazing and made this year the most enjoyable of my four. I’ll carry the good memories from these four years forever,” Nick King ’20 said.

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