Bucknell vs. Air Force
March 17, 2007
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Brian Gargan (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph's)
scored three goals to headline a big offensive day for the
midfielders, and Nick Sciubba (Sea Cliff, N.Y./Salisbury School)
backstopped a suffocating defensive effort with 13 saves to lead No.
11 Bucknell to an 8-3 victory over Air Force Saturday afternoon at
frosty Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.



Even though a rare mid-March storm produced nearly a foot of snow in
Lewisburg, the Bucknell facilities crew did yeoman's work clearing
the playing surface for the game, and the Bison paid thanks with a
big first half. The hosts scored three times in the first seven
minutes of the game and led 5-0 before the Falcons finally put one in
just as the halftime horn sounded.



The victory lifted Bucknell to 6-1 on the season with two key Patriot
League games looming next week, while Air Force fell to 1-4.



Seven of Bucknell's eight goals came from middies, including the
first six. Michael Cooke (Phoenix, Md./St. Paul's) produced the
initial tally of the day off the first of three assists from Austin
Winter (Boonton Twp., N.J./Mountain Lakes) just 3:44 into the game.
Bucknell's riding unit forced a turnover inside the Air Force box,
and Winter spotted Cooke alone in front of the crease for the
sophomore's first career goal.



Gargan then made it 3-0 with two goals in only 53 seconds, the latter
coming off nice feed from Tim Brandau (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh).



Perry Menzies (Upperco, Md./Hereford) and Nick Marks (Barrington,
Ill./Salisbury School) both scored on hard outside shots in the
second quarter to make it 5-0. The Bison seemed poised to carry a
shutout into the locker room for the second straight home game - they
led Penn 7-0 at the half on March 6 - but on a quick re-start with
just two seconds left Will Meister fed Michael Weber, who beat the
buzzer to put the Falcons on the board for the first time.



The frigid temperature and stiff winds disrupted the flow of the game
in the second half, when there were numerous turnovers and loose ball
scrambles. Neither team scored for more than 10 minutes into the
third period until Meister finished a Kevin Crumrine feed with 4:50
left to make it a three-goal game at 5-2.



Gargan's third goal of the day, this one coming just at the end of an
EMO possession, made it 6-2, but Just Kuchta scored with a hard shot
just under the crossbar with eight seconds remaining in the period to
pull the Falcons within 6-3.


The Bison ended any thoughts of an Air Force comeback with two quick
goals to start the fourth quarter. The EMO unit produced its second
tally of the day when Joe Mele (Westbury, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial)
scored his league-leading 18th of the year with a rocket shot just
before getting leveled by a defender with 11:18 to play. Just 56
seconds later, the second middie line finished off the scoring when
Doug Buckley (Wantagh, N.Y./Chaminade) from behind the goal fed John
Schlicher (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) for a slam dunk and an 8-3 lead.



Bucknell's close defense unit of Evan Burns (Baltimore, Md./Boys
Latin), Billy Haire (Darien, Conn./Darien) and Greg Sowyrda (Hingham,
Mass./Hingham) was magnificent all day, forcing numerous turnovers
while combining for 10 ground balls. Sciubba stopped 13 of 16 shots
to up his season save percentage to .673, and he also intercepted
three passes.



Bucknell outshot Air Force 24-10 in the first half and 31-22 overall.
Both teams registered 29 ground balls, while Air Force won 8 of 14
faceoffs.



The Bison open Patriot League play on Tuesday with a 4 p.m. game at
Lafayette, then they return home on Sunday, March 25, for a showdown
with Navy at 1 p.m.