Bucknell vs. Army
April 7, 2012
The Game Story:

Jackson Place

April 7, 2012

Final Stats

LEWISBURG, Pa. - The 15th-ranked Bucknell men's lacrosse team saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end when Army's Devin Lynch bounced in a shot 30 seconds into the second overtime period, handing the Black Knights a 6-5 victory in a tightly contested defensive struggle. The Bison fell to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the Patriot League, but they are still very much alive in the race for the regular-season title.

Kyle Feeney (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) led a terrific defensive effort with 13 saves, but Bucknell's highly ranked offense was slowed down for the first time all season. The Bison had not scored fewer than nine goals all year, and they came into the game ranked first in the nation in shooting percentage (.402) and eighth in goals per game (12.6). Todd Heritage (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) scored twice, giving him 32 goals and 40 points on the season, while 50-plus point-scorer Billy Eisenreich (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) finished with a goal and an assist.

Despite combining for only 11 goals, the Bison and Black Knights (5-6, 2-2 PL) engaged in a wild finish that featured plenty of end-to-end action and some huge saves in key spots by Feeney and Zach Palmieri. Neither team led by more than one goal all day, as these two teams played a one-goal game for the 12th time in the last 18 meetings.

The contest was deadlocked a 1-1 after one quarter and 2-2 at the half. Eisenreich and John Glesener traded goals to start the third period before Bucknell took a 4-3 lead with 9:16 left in the quarter. Billy Mattimore (Tiburon, Calif./St. Ignatius Prep) intercepted a pass near midfield on an Army clearing attempt and then passed ahead to Heritage for the go-ahead goal.

Just 1:43 into the fourth, a Palmieri save triggered a fastbreak for Army, and Garrett Thul finished it off to knot the game at 4-all. Just over four minutes later, the Black Knights took their first lead since 1-0 when Conor Hayes fed James MacGibbon for his second goal of the day and fourth of the season.

Army had a couple of great looks to make it a two-goal game, but Feeney robbed MacGibbon twice, the latter coming with 4:20 to play. Bucknell cleared, but Eisenreich had his pass intercepted by Brian LoRusso. At the other end, defenseman Jackson Place (Wayne, Pa./Episcopal Academy) made a great play to strip Hayes near the end line and give the Bison another possession with 2:03 to play.

David Dickson (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) bounced a tough-angle shot wide, and Heritage ran down the loose ball at the far sideline, he was pushed from behind by Drew Kearns. That gave Bucknell a 30-second man-up opportunity with 1:26 to play. Just after the re-start, the Bison flipped a hidden ball trick behind the goal, and Eisenreich found a cutting Chase Bailey (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) for the tying goal with 1:16 left in regulation.

The final minute of regulation was very frenetic, as Army won the faceoff but turned it over right away. Bucknell then lost possession but Jason Neithamer (Alexandria, Va./St. Stephen's & St. Agnes) took the ball back as Army could not connect on a clearing pass.

With 23 seconds left Palmieri made a good save on Nick Gantsoudes (Redding, Conn./Avon Old Farms) and then an even better one on Heritage's rebound attempt. At the other end, Feeney gobbled up Tim Henderson's 45-yard shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

More craziness ensued in extra time. Right off the faceoff, Henderson, Army's all-star long-stick defensive midfielder, walked in and fired a shot off the post. He nabbed his own rebound and fired again from point-blank range, but Feeney made the save. Bucknell cleared and then Gantsoudes rang a shot off the underside of the crossbar. The ball caromed all the way out the sideline, where Army was closest when the ball crossed the line.

Racing back the other way, Feeney made another save on Lynch and Place nabbed the ground ball. Peter Burke (Walpole, Mass./St. Sebastian's) ripped a shot from the right wing that missed wide into the outside netting. The Black Knights called a timeout with 37 seconds left to set up for a possible winning shot, but the Bison defense held strong and did not even allow a shot attempt.

In the second overtime period, Bucknell took possession when Army was called for a hold on the faceoff scrum, but the Bison immediately threw the ball away before they could even get it in the box. After the change of possession, Lynch sprinted into the Bucknell area and bounced a shot past Feeney for the game-winner.

With that goal the nation's fourth-longest active winning streak came to an end. The eight-game run was also tied for the third-longest winning streak in Bucknell history.

Bucknell had also won 11 straight Patriot League games dating back to a loss at Army in the 2010 Patriot League Tournament, and the Bison had won seven straight Patriot League home games dating back to a 7-6 overtime loss to the Black Knights during the 2010 regular season.

Bucknell outshot Army 34-29, while the Black Knights led in ground balls (36-30) and faceoffs (9-7). Bucknell had 22 turnovers, including 10 in the third quarter, while Army had 19 miscues. Of the 41 combined turnovers in the game, 26 were caused by the defense.

Place had a huge game for the Bison with six ground balls and four caused turnovers. Mike Huffner (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame) helped hold 30-goal scorer Thul to two goals, both of which came in unsettled situations.

Feeney recorded double-digit saves for the fifth straight game and ninth time this season, while Palmieri finished with 10 saves.

With Colgate beating Lehigh in overtime later in the day on Saturday, Bucknell, Lehigh and Colgate are all tied atop the Patriot League standings at 3-1. Navy (3-2) and Army (2-2) are close behind in the battle for spots in the four-team Patriot League Tournament.

After hosting Penn on Tuesday night, the Bison play at Lehigh and at home against Colgate to close out the regular season.

Tuesday's contest against the Quakers gets underway at 7 p.m., and will air live on Bison Vision.