Army vs. Bucknell
April 6, 2013
The Game Story:
WEST POINT, N.Y. - In a game when neither team led by more than two goals, it seemed fitting that the action would go down to the wire. That it did as visiting No. 11/13 Bucknell edged Army, 9-8, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium. The Black Knights had the ball over the final 1:41, but the equalizer would not come as Army dropped to 6-4 on the season and 2-2 in Patriot League play.

Bucknell remained atop the Patriot League standings with 10-2 overall mark to go with a 4-0 Patriot League record.

The Black Knights won nearly every statistical category and hung with the nationally ranked Bison from the opening whistle. Army netted the first two goals of the game and held a 5-3 lead at the half. Bucknell scored the only three quarters of the third quarter, which proved to be the difference.

"This program is not about moral victories, so we are obviously extremely disappointed with today's outcome" said eighth-year head coach Joe Alberici. "That's a top-tier Bucknell program we went toe-to-toe with. We just came up a play short."

Army outshot Bucknell, 38-26, won 12-of-21 face-offs and had 25 ground balls to the Bison's 25. Bucknell senior goalkeeper Kyle Feeney posted 11 saves, including two in the final quarter to help preserve the victory. Army sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers made seven saves, had three ground balls and tallied two caused turnovers on the afternoon.

In a battle of two of the top defensive teams in the country, Army caused 10 of Bucknell's 14 turnovers. Conversely, the Bison registered six caused turnovers on Army's dozen miscues. The Black Knights entered the game ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense, while Bucknell held down the ninth spot.

Senior Garrett Thul and freshman Will Mazzone, both attackmen, paced Army's offense with three and two goals, respectively. It marked Thul's 28 career hat trick, while Mazzone registered a career-best four points on two goals and two assists. Sophomore midfielder Alex Newsome, freshman face-off specialist Alex Daly and senior midfielder Matt Ghidotti added a single goal apiece. Senior Pat Brennan, junior Tyler Kamide and junior David Tarsa - all middies - each tallied an assist.

Bucknell senior Chase Bailey led the Bison with three goals.

Mazzone got Army out to an early lead with a pair of goals in the opening 4:23. The Stony Brook, N.Y., native made his third career start and benefited from a pair of nice looks from Glesener (11:45) and Brennan (10:37) to hit from close-range.

During a span that stretched into the second quarter, Bucknell scored the next three goals unanswered and took its first lead of the day, 3-2, on a David Dickson goal with 8:21 left before halftime. Following Dickson's goal, Daly won the face-off and sprinted to his second career goal just seven seconds later to level the score for a second time, 3-3.

Thul and Ghidotti followed with goals in the final 3:07 as Army entered intermission with a 5-3 advantage. Thul's first goal of the day came on a one-touch off Mazzone's feed at 3:07. Ghidotti's goal came soon after officials issued Army a stall warning. Tarsa earned the assist with 1:50 on the clock.

Bucknell came out of the gate and scored the first three goals of the second half and surged ahead 6-5 after 45 minutes of work. Each team netted a trio of fourth-quarter goals, beginning with Glesener finding Thul for a man-up goal at 10:27. The Bison answered with two goals within a 1:19 span to retake a 8-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

The Black Knights scored two of the game's final three goals, including Thul's third at 6:41 and Newsome's man-up score at 4:08. Those goals sandwiched Bucknell's ninth goal of the game with 5:53 remaining. Following their final timeout, Bucknell failed to add an insurance goal as Brock Ghelfi's shot went wide and allowed Army to clear the ball. Thul and Glesener, Army's top two scorers, each had a shot in the final 18 seconds but could not find the back of the net.

Army shifts is focus to the 92nd meeting with rival Navy next Saturday, April 13, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Black Knights have won the last four meetings in a series that dates back to 1924. The game can be seen live on CBS Sports Network at noon.

"We look at the Army-Navy game as a season unto itself," Alberici said of next week's match-up. "Our job is to flush today's loss away as quickly as we can and pour all of our effort this week on Navy. We don't shy away from the fact that it's the biggest game of the season for us. We embrace that will prepare to play our best."

Game Notes: Senior tri-captain Andrew Boyd led the team onto the field carrying the American flag ... freshman Austin Schultz made his second-straight start on close defense ... Schultz transferred from Bucknell after one season ... Army played in front of a season-high 2,193 spectators ... the last eight Army-Bucknell games have been played within two goals ... sophomore defensive midfielder Al DeStefano led the Black Knights with three caused turnovers and added four ground balls ... Alex Daly's six ground balls led the team.