Army vs. Bucknell
April 29, 2005
The Game Story:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Patriot League Rookie of the Year Matt Scheel had three goals and three assists, including the game-winning goal 1:47 into sudden-death overtime, lifting ninth-ranked Army to a 9-8 victory over No. 14 Bucknell in a Patriot League Tournament semifinal game Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. The Bison, who were short two starters due to illness, made a valiant comeback from two goals down with a pair of goals in the last three minutes of regulation. They are now 8-5 on the season and must wait nine days for the NCAA Tournament selection committee to determine if they are worthy of an at-large bid.

Bucknell senior attack Chris Cara, already the school and Patriot League all-time leading scorer, had a goal and three assists and tied Pete von Hoffmann's Bucknell career assist record with 138. If this was Cara's final contest, he concluded a brilliant career with 249 points.

The Bison have a victory over then-second-ranked Navy to present to the NCAA selection committee, as well as three close losses to top-10 teams - two to Army and one to Maryland. The 16-team field will be announced on Sunday, May 8 on ESPN News. An NCAA Tournament bid would be the second ever for Bucknell, who last went in 2001, and it would extend the career of legendary head coach Sid Jamieson, who is retiring at the end of this season, his 38th.

The Black Knights (11-3) defeated Bucknell for the fourth straight time, with each game decided by one goal. Army won 7-6 on a goal with 21 seconds to play earlier this season at West Point.

Trailing 8-6 late in the contest, Kirk Klett finished a transition goal to bring the Bison within one. Bucknell had a golden opportunity to tie it seconds later when Cara picked up a loose ball near midfield but fired just wide of an empty net. Bucknell forced another turnover, though, and in a set offense, Brian Gargan maneuvered around a defender that had gone for a steal and scored with a point-blank shot, tying the game at 8-8 with 1:15 to play.

Army won the ensuing faceoff, but the Bison defense, which was terrific all day despite playing without starter Chris Carillo, kept the Black Knights away from the crease over the final minute, sending the game to overtime. In particular, junior defenseman Michael Abou Jaoude, a First-Team All-Patriot League selection, had a stellar day defensively, holding Army all-star John Walker to just a single goal.

Ryan Goodman won the overtime faceoff and on the opening possession Nick Marks got a decent look from the right side, but his bounce shot was corralled by Army goalie Adam Fullerton. At the other end, Scheel took advantage of some space on a defensive switch and bounced the game-winner past Matt Baran from a sharp angle.

Klett, Gargan and Patrick Christensen all scored two goals apiece for the Bison, while Jim Wagner collected four for Army.

Bucknell jumped out to a good start in this one, grabbing a 2-0 lead on goals by Klett and Gargan, both assisted by Cara. Army answered with three straight, taking its first lead on Wagner's shot five minutes into he second period. Christensen scored two straight to put the Bison back in front 4-3, but Scheel's unassisted tally with 4:36 left in the half tied it.

Still tied at 4 in the opening minute of the second half, defensive middie T.J. Wallace put Bucknell back in front with a long clearing run down the right side, followed by a low shot just as he was hit by a defender. For Wallace, a senior co-captain, it was his first goal of the season and second of his career.

Army seemingly took control with a three-goal outburst late in the third quarter. The sequence started with Fullerton's point-blank save on Klett, which led to Wagner's tying transition goal at the other end with 3:37 left in the third. Just eight seconds later, long-pole Jay Larson fed Scheel for the go-ahead goal, and 50 seconds after that Wagner made it 7-5 with a 10-yard shot.

Cara finished a Klett feed in the final 30 seconds of the quarter to make it 7-6, but Walker restored Army's two-goal lead with 10:53 left in the regulation, setting the stage for Bucknell's spirited comeback.

Both goalies were terrific, particularly with the game on the line in the second half. Baran made seven of his 10 saves in the second half, while Fullerton made five of his nine stops after intermission.

Army had the best of the faceoff game, winning 13 of 20, including 5 of 6 in the third period. The Black Knights outshot the Bison 38-34 and held a 41-27 edge in ground balls.

Bucknell also played without starting midfielder Steve Case, the team's fourth-leading scorer, who joined Carillo on the sideline with an illness.

Army advances to Sunday's Patriot League championship game against host Navy. The Midshipmen defeated Lehigh 10-6 earlier in the day.