|BUCKNELL MEN'S LAX STIFLES No. 17 ARMY, 8-5
Cara's Four Goals Leads Bison to First Win of Season
LEWISBURG, Pa. Freshman Chris Cara scored a career-high four goals and junior Justin Sussman backstopped a stifling Bucknell defensive effort with 19 saves as the Bison knocked off 17th-ranked Army 8-5 Saturday afternoon at blustery Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium.
Bucknell won its Patriot League opener and stopped a four-game losing
streak to start the season. The Bison won their third straight against
Army. The Black Knights, who already defeated Hobart this season and would have become prohibitive favorites to win the Patriot League championship with a win over Bucknell, fell to 3-2 overall, 2-1 in league play.
Marko Kostovic led Army with three goals, while Tim Pearson added two goals and two assists. Dennis Geraghty (2 goals, one assist) and Andrew Sanders (one goal, two assists) both had three-point games for the Bison, who never trailed in the game.
Six of the game's 13 goals came during a frenzied opening quarter. In the game's first 3:20, Cara and Sanders staked the Bison to a 2-0 lead by scoring goals in similar fashion, coming from behind the net to beat Army netminder Dominik Nogic with low shots. Kostovic put Army on the board 4:07 into the contest. Geraghty gave the Bison a 4-2 lead, sandwiching two goals around a Pearson tally.
After the fast-paced opening period, nearly 15 full minutes passed before either team could dent the twine again. Army closed within 4-3 on Pearson's unassisted tally with 6:17 left in the second quarter, but Cara answered with 3:04 left. The Bison took their first three-goal lead of the day 2:11 before halftime, as Geraghty followed an Army turnover with a pretty open-field pass to Cara, who scored into an empty net.
Bucknell's man-down unit logged the only goal of the third quarter, and it was a backbreaker. With 6:09 left in the period, Andrew Copelan took a clearing pass at midfield and found Justin Slama breaking for the goal. Slama fired over Nogic's right shoulder for his first goal of the season, giving Bucknell a 7-3 lead.
Kostovic ended Army's 29:46 scoring drought with 6:31 left in the fourth period, but Cara ended the Black Knights' comeback hopes by converting a Sanders feed for an 8-4 Bison lead with 5:15 to play. Kostovic added an extra-man goal with 4:25 to play.
Sussman turned in his sharpest performance of the season, recording 11 of his season-high 19 stops in the second half, while yielding only two goals over that span. He also helped limit Army to its lowest goal total ever in a Patriot League game.
Nogic finished with 13 saves for Army. The Black Knights outshot Bucknell 36-31, but the Bison gained a 52-36 edge in ground balls.
Army won 12 of 17 faceoffs but received a blow when freshman faceoff
specialist Erik Mineo left with a knee injury in the second quarter. Mineo had won 8 of 9 draws before the injury.
Bucknell returns to non-league action on Wednesday at Mount St. Mary's, while Army hosts Ohio State next Saturday.