No. 13 Bucknell Tops No. 19 Army in Patriot League Semifinals

The Black Knights had not scored since the midway point of the second quarter until ending that 33:04 scoring drought with an Alex Van Krevel shot from the left flank. But less than a minute later, Heritage slipped a pass to Patriot League Rookie of the Year Sean Doyle to push the lead back to a half-dozen at 12-6.

Some faceoff wins and two failed clears led to three straight Army goals that made things a bit tense on the Bison sideline, but two ground balls by Huffner helped them drain the last of the clock.

The opening five minutes were all Bison. After Lehigh won the opening draw, Place's takeaway set up a Ghelfi goal off a nice drive and dish by Dickson. Billy Mattimore and Peter Burke made it three goals on three shots, all from the middies, to put the Bison ahead 3-0 after only 4:34.

Behind first team all-league faceoff man Alex Daly, Army controlled possession for the final six minutes of the opening quarter. The Black Knights outshot the Bison 8-1 and outscored them 4-0 over that span. Will Mazzone scored two of those goals, the last of them giving Army its first lead of the day at 4-3.

Bucknell went up a man early in the second period and cashed in on Bailey's quick-stick goal off Dickson's feed. On Bucknell's next possession, Army goalie Sam Somers made a nice save, but Bailey smothered his outlet pass right in front of the crease and stuck the ball right back in. Less than two minutes later the Dickson-to-Bailey combo struck again on the EMO to make it 6-5, giving Bailey three straight goals in a span of only 3:24.

Army pulled one back on Glesener's sharp-angle goal with 7:39 left in the period. Feeney made the lead hold up for the rest of the half with five saves, and the Bison led 6-5 at the break.

Army finished with a narrow 42-41 shot advantage and led 34-27 in ground balls, with many of those pickups coming on faceoffs. Daly had 12 GBs himself. Bucknell went 3 for 4 on extra man and had only seven turnovers until late in the game when it had five more.

Bucknell has now won 12 games in a season for the third time in program history. The Bison will be looking for their second Patriot League Tournament title, with the other one coming in 2011. They also played in the championship game in 2008 and 2009.

* * * *

BETEHLEHEM, Pa. Rookie midfielder Alex Daly went 20 of 24 on face-offs and classmate Will Mazzone recorded his first career hat trick, but 20 turnovers and three Bucknell man-up goals plagued No. 3 Army as it fell to second-seeded Bison in the Patriot League Tournament's first semifinal match-up on Friday afternoon at top-seeded Lehigh's Ulrich Sports Complex.

The first half was a game of runs as Bucknell held a slight 6-5 halftime advantage. The Bison proceeded to score the first five goals of the second half, which extended its lead to 11-5 with less than eight minutes to play in the game and put the contest out of Army's reach.

The Black Knights scored the final three goals of the game, as attackmen John Glesener, Garrett Thul and Will Mazzone each found the back of the net over the final 2:24. The surge was not enough, however, as Army got ousted in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament presented by Rockin' Refuel for the third-straight year.

Army (8-5) owned a 42-41 edge in shots, which included 17 in the fourth quarter, and a 34-27 advantage in ground balls. Daly amassed a career-best 12 ground balls in the setback. Bucknell (12-3) forced 14 of Army's 20 turnovers and was 3 of 4 man-up as it punched its ticket to Sunday's Patriot League Championship.

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2013-04-26



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