Bucknell Tops Saint Francis to Win Third in a Row

LEWISBURG, Pa. Ryan Wenk and Katelyn Miller recorded hat tricks and Madison Hurwitz scored once and handed out four more assists, leading a resurgent Bucknell to its third win in a row, 9-7 over Saint Francis (Pa.) at Graham Field on Tuesday night.

While Wenk, Miller and Hurwitz handled the bulk of the offensive load, the Bucknell defense had one of its best games of the season. The Bison came up with stops at key junctures of the game, and Adrienne Wendling, Andrea Feldman and company kept Saint Francis' 28-goal scorer Olivia Pittman off the scoresheet.

Bucknell came up with 12 caused turnovers on the Red Flash's 16 total miscues, with Miller and Cori Thielemann recording three each and Wendling two. Miller, Thielemann and Wendling led the way with three ground balls apiece, and Caroline O'Neill made five saves in goal, four coming in the first half.

Bucknell (5-11) got off to a bit of a slow start, as the Red Flash (4-11) jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The Bison finally got on the board 10:43 into the contest when Miller beat a defender one-on-one, and then Thielemann grabbed her own rebound after an initial shot was saved, got fouled and scored on the free-position attempt to tie it at 2-2.

Saint Francis would take 3-2 and 4-3 leads before Bucknell went ahead for the first time in the final six minutes of the opening half. Hurwitz found Wendling wide open in front of the goal to tie it at 4-all, and then the first of three Hurwitz-to-Wenk combos gave the Bison a 5-4 edge with 4:36 left.

Bucknell would take that one-goal lead into the locker room, but the Red Flash would tie it up at 5-5 4:30 into the second stanza on a Rebecca Meyer goal. Katie Schaaf picked up one of her four assists in the game on the play.

Saint Francis had a good chance to take the lead back when Bucknell defender Alex Wallace was sent off with a yellow card. But O'Neill came up with a big save on Christina Fini, and then Liz Gauf made a nice stick check to force a turnover. Bucknell cleared, evaded a few double teams, and Hurwitz found Wenk for a shorthanded goal with 22:31 to play.

After a Thielmann caused turnover, Hurwitz hid out behind the cage for several minutes before finally finding space to come out and score herself, which gave the Bison a two-goal advantage for the first time all night. Miller won the ensuing draw control and the Bison chewed four more minutes off the clock until Wenk batted in a feed from Hurwitz to make it 8-5 with 7:38 to play.

Saint Francis got one back on a Rachel Larson goal with 6:42 left, and then the Red Flash won the draw. Wendling picked up a ground ball after an errant pass, Bucknell cleared and tried to run some more clock, but Hurwitz slipped on the rain-soaked turf and the Red Flash regained possession. They could not clear it, though, as Kerri Althouse forced a turnover at midfield, and that led to Miller's game-clinching empty-net goal with 2:31 left.

Bucknell outshot Saint Francis 26-17 and led 20-10 in ground balls and 10-8 in draw controls. Savannah Shores stopped eight shots for the Red Flash.

Hurwitz had her second straight four-assist game and her third in the last five outings. The senior has 14 goals and 12 assists during Bucknell's current 4-1 stretch. Hurwitz now has 23 goals and 21 assists on the season. Her 42 career assists are tied for fifth-most in program history, and her 21 helpers in 2013 rank seventh on the single-season chart.

Miller is also on quite a scoring surge. She has seven straight multi-goal games and has 15 goals and nine assists in the last five games. Miller has tied her career high with 35 goals on the season.

Seniors Hurwitz, Wenk and Wendling were victorious in their final career games at Graham Field.

Bucknell has one game remaining in the 2013 campaign, at Marist on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.


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