They really had it all today. Apparently a game winning goal by Army’s Chris Larson with 21 seconds to go wasn’t enough. Army started out the game honoring Bucknell coach Sid Jamieson for 38 years as the Bison leader by giving him a saber on his last trip to West Point. Then there was the split time in goal for Army between senior Matt Darak(broken thumb) and freshman Adam Fullerton. The tooth and nail battle pitting leading Bucknell scorer Chris Cara vs Army Cadet Matt Luyster was the perfect microcosm of the game. Throw in a 3 minute non releasable penalty for an illegal stick against Bucknell middie Daryl Seymour to start the fourth quarter for good measure. Of all things, the stick was 43” making it too long. All this only sets the stage for next weeks Army Navy game. The Cadets control there own destiny. With a win against Navy they’ll get the automatic bid for the Patriot League. A loss will turn the conference into a three way tie breaker with Bucknell, Navy, and Army all having one loss.
The history between Bucknell and Army is staggering considering Jamieson’s 38 years and Army Head Coach Jack Emmer’s 26. Jamieson accepted his honorary saber from Army players before giving an impromptu speech with no mic to the fans just before start time.
The tempo of today’s game would belie the low score. There was no Princeton style ball control on either side, just really good defense and some nice saves. Bucknell definitely had the advantage in chances and possession, but in the end the sharp shooting of Army’s two snipers was the difference. Both Army attackmen John Walker and Jim Wagner had excellent shooting days. Bucknell’s defense made Army’s attack look positively anemic in settled situation. Army’s goals came on killer outside shots, feeds to guys who were covered on the crease, and in transition. Bucknell had better luck dodging, but the Army defense got the nick of time check in over and over.
The story within the story was the match-up between Bucknell leading scorer Chris Cara and Army defenseman Matt Luyster. Chris Cara is listed at a generous 5-8 170 lbs. Luyster weighs in at 225 and stands 6’2”. Luyster stayed step for step with Cara all day and stayed out of the penalty box miraculously. Cara with all of his talents was seemingly always close to making things happen, but Luyster was relentless causing errant passes as well as poor shots. Cara did have his opportunities including a 1 on none in transition, but he was unable to make an impact for a player of his caliber. Late in the fourth quarter Luyster looked to be tiring a bit, but it truly was a clinic in disciplined defense.
Bucknell’s Ryan Goodman had an incredible day at the face-off X due mostly to procedure calls which had to account for at least 1/3 of the draws. Bucknell had the first possession to set up sophomore middie Brian Gargan. He tested the waters with a split dodge from the top only to have Adam Fullerton deny him. Army cleared for sophomore Justin Bokmeyer too see what he could do. Absolutely nothing was the case. He had the ball stripped, regained possession and then got stripped again. Bucknell cleared and Cara took his first crack at the cage. He drove from X, had a step, but his stick got checked as he was unloading. Army cleared and stepped out of bounds. The clear would provide Emmer with headaches all day. The Bison were throwing a ten man ride at the Cadets and it was very successful.
The Bison started the scoring at the 11:22 mark of the first. Lane drove down toward goal line extended to the goalies left before turning and hitting Kirk Klett. Klett scored on a left handed shot along the left pipe from 10 yards out to the goalie’s left, 1-0. Goodman won the next face on procedure. At 9:27 Brian Gargan capatilized on being at the right place at the right time. Cara worked from X and drove to his right, but Luyster got him to cough it up. Gargan scooped it up along goal line extended and beat Fullerton on a low angle shot from 7 yards out to goalies right, 2-0. Later, Bucknell middie Nicholas Marks drew a one minute penalty on long stick middie E.J. Brendhardt for an illegal check.(which in lacrosse nowadays players get for looking at a guy the wrong way) Marks made him pay personally putting the Bison up 3-0 on a man-up conversion. It was the most saveable goal of the day. A waist high crank from 16 yards out to the goalies left with clear line of sight.
Army won their first face off on the ensuing draw which led to their first goal. They tru it around the horn for a bit before feeding Wagner. Johnnie Walker was approaching goal line extended to the goalie’s right when he found the lefty Wagner cutting toward him. Although Wagner was marked step for step Walker whipped it in the box and Wagner released a quick shot before being checked, 3-1. Army face off specialist Erik Mineo was called for procedure again on the next face giving Bucknell the free possession. Cara took it to X again and looked determined to put Luyster in his place. Cara got a step coming in front of the cage to his right, but shot high. On the in bound he came out to his left and got stuffed by the Army goalie.( We apologize for not knowing which Army goalie was in at the time, they were switching back and forth). There was some sloppy play in a clearing attempt before Bison senior attackman Patrick Christiansen found himself with the ball high in the crease. He got stoned on a point blank shot as well. Army went out of bounds again during the clear. On a side note, the Army turf is a couple of years old now but it seems to cause a lot of sloppy play once the ball is on the ground. The players try to scoop one handed because they’re on an artificial surface, but that field is like glue out there. It looks like its grabbing a hold of the ball and player’s sticks.
Sophomore middie Steve Case struck for the Bison at the 4:53 mark to make it 4-1. He split two defenders from the top of the box to reach the soft spot and take a lefty bounce shot. On the next face off Bucknell’s Goodman got called for procedure. Bison defender Michael Abou Jaoude doubled an Army attacker to the side of the goal and stripped the ball before clearing. After a long Bucknell possession, Luyster returned the favor by stripping Cara clean and clearing. Walker ripped a shot wide and Bucknell cleared. On the next possession, Army took the ball away from Bucknell but in a failed clear attempt Cara wound up one on one with the goalie on the run. After a few shoulder jukes he missed wide along the right pipe. The first quarter ended 4-1. Bucknell totally dominated every facet of the game up to this point.
Erik Mineo picked up the second quarter where he left off with a procedure call on the face. However, it would be Ben Harrow scoring for Army next at the 14:12 mark. In transition Army had numbers. He hustled down the field to his right, froze the defense with a fake pass, and ripped a waist high shot on the run past Baran, 4-2. Erik Mineo took a pushing penalty moments later to put his team down a man at the 14:04 mark. Bucknell squandered the opportunity by forcing a pass into the crease. Army cleared, but threw it out of bounds on Bucknell’s end line. Bucknell started a long possession that included a timeout, but Army’s defense wasn’t allowing anything. Luyster cleared the ball himself with a nice spin move at the mid line. Army got a break at the 8:15 mark when John Salvesen took an illegal check penalty. Like Bucknell they forced the ball in to a covered Wagner on the crease. The ball went to the ground, but Army possessed the ball again. This time Walker through a deceptive pass which caught Wagner off guard and wound up out of bounds.
Bucknell’s next possession was thwarted when Luyster checked Cara’s stick as he tried to feed the crease sending the ball out of bounds. Luyster was really feeling it at the time and took a shot from his side of the field . The goal was empty due to the ten man ride, but his shot was high and wide.
Army came alive with the next goal they scored. Another goal in transition came with under 5 minutes to go in the first half. The ball was passed to Walker in the low righty spot and he quick sticked it across to Wagner. The lefty took a sweet sidearm lefty shot that beat Baran waist high just inside the pipe to the short side, 4-3. Army looked like a new team after that. Bokmeyer almost tied the game, but Baran’s face mask got in the way. Bucknell cleared and Cara drew a penalty on the rush. Kirk Klett threw a great ball fake to get the defense out of position and hit the crease attackman. The point blank shot was denied. Bucknell retained possession and had the ball at the top of the box. When the penalty was released the Army defender came in and stripped the unsuspecting Bucknell middie. In transition Ben Harrow stung the right corner to tie it, 4-4.
Bucknell started the scoring in the second half. At the 13:36 mark of the third the Bison defense snagged a lazy pass to X and cleared. The ball was thrown up field and Klett managed to get possession at the mid line while fighting with his defenseman Andrew Yakulis. During the fight, Yakulis got out of position and lost a couple of steps to Klett on the way to the goal. Klett froze the D with a fake and buried the shot low and away along the left pipe, 5-4.
Army got it back on the shot of the day. Walker got the ball from Matt Scheel in the high righty crank spot. He had just enough time to get off a low to high shot before his defenseman got there. From 20 yards out the goalie didn’t have a chance. That ball was cruising, 5-5.
During the intermission after the third quarter, Daryl Seymour’s stick was found to be a full inch longer than the 42” allowed. The penalty was 3 minutes non-releasable. Walker tried again from way outside. This time he came overhand and the save was routine. On the clear, Cara made a great catch under pressure and drew a penalty when he drove the goal. Brian Gargan was content to just kill the clock on the offensive side. When Army regained the man-up and started to double the ball Ben Harrow got flagged for a slash. Gargan took the ball behind again and nothing came out of all the penalties. Moments later Cara got back in front of the cage, but senior goalie Matt Darak didn’t need his thumb to make a ridiculous right foot kick save. Darak made another save on the rebound and shortly after picked off Cara’s feed attempt. Army took it’s first lead of the game with 10:15 to go. Once again in transition Wagner got the ball in his sweet spot. Ten yards out to the goalie’s left he dropped the stick head low and stayed low with the shot through the legs, 6-5.
Cara finally broke the ice with 9:43 when he got one to go from behind, 6-6. With 6:25 left to go, Steve Case scored the go ahead goal only to have it wiped away by a crease violation. Army had another golden opportunity with a man up with 5:25 left. John Salvesen’s feet got tied up with Walkers and a trip was called. Jake Couch drilled the left pipe and Bucknell cheaped it down field. Klett made a nice play to come up with it and move it to Cara. Cara coughed it up again when he tried to feed, but when Army got back on offense they forced it to Wagner on the crease again. The Bison cleared and Steve Case got in shooting position only to shoot wide. Cara then fed Klett but he got stuffed with 1:50 to go. Army got a free clear for goalie interference. Chris Larsen inverted and took a short stick from X. He beat his man, but his shot bounced off the far right pipe as he emerged to the goalie’s right. Wagner tried to bury the rebound, but it bounced over the goal and out of bounds. On the in bound Wagner had the ball in the low lefty wing. Larsen cut toward him got the pass while covered and muscled an overhand shot as he was running out of angle low and away. With 21 seconds to go Army was up 7-6. Erik Mineo came through in the clutch by controlling the face off. However, he had the ball on the wrong side of the field and rather than heave it down field he tried to beat two guys. He lost and Bucknell called time with possession with 5 seconds left. They came out with the ball near the sideline above the box. Cara had the ball and after the whistle blew Bucknell called time again. With 4 seconds left they came out and threw the ball toward the goal but way wide as time expired
|Jim Wagner||(3, 1)|
|John Walker||(1, 2)|
|Matt Scheel||(0, 2)|
|Ben Harrow||(2, 0)|
|Chris Larsen||(1, 0)|
|Adam Fullerton||10 (0.714)|
|Matt Darak||6 (0.750)|