UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY PRESS RELEASE:
No. 18 Army Advances To Patriot League Championship With 9-7 Victory Over Bucknell
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army senior attackman Tyler Seymour scored career-highs with five points and four goals to lead the Black Knights to a 9-7 come-from-behind victory over Bucknell in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament at Michie Stadium.
Army will take on Navy on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. for the Patriot League Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The fourth-seeded Bison opened a 4-0 lead with 12:15 left in the second quarter, but top-seeded Army outscored the visitors 5-1 over the next 26:20 to tie the score, 5-5, after three quarters. The Bison again looked to take control with a pair of goals in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but four unanswered Black Knights tallies over the final 13:03, including three-straight by Seymour, put Army in its first Patriot League Tournament championship game since making back-to-back appearances in 2005 and 2006.
Junior goalkeeper Tom Palesky made 17 saves, including 11 to keep it close in the first half, while junior Jeremy Boltus logged a goal and three assists in the squad's sixth-straight victory.
"Today was a great win for our guys," said Army head coach Joe Alberici. "I'm really proud of the way they hung in there all the way through. I thought a critical point was the third quarter that gave us a little confidence when our offense had been sputtering to that point. When we went down, 7-5, I think a lot of people counted us out because they thought, maybe, we had done what we could to get back into the game, but didn't have much left. I was really proud of the men that are in our locker room and how they continued to battle. The defense really clamped down, Tom (Palesky) was nothing but spectacular in goal, and then we got things going on the offensive end. "
It was all Bucknell in the early going. Junior midfielder Ryan Klipstein scored a man-up goal following an Army slashing penalty at 13:19 as the Bison controlled possession for most of the first quarter. Sophomore attackman Billy Eisenreich bulled his way through three Army defenders and stuffed home a goal with 5:55 on the clock. Sophomore midfielder Nick Gantsoudes finished off a six-yard run at 2:58 to stake the Bison to a three-goal edge after the first quarter.
An unassisted goal by senior attackman Austin Winter after juking out an Army defender made it 4-0 in favor of Bucknell with 12:15 on the second-quarter clock.
Boltus took a feed from Seymour on the Bucknell crease and scored Army's first goal at 10:19, before sophomore midfielder Devin Lynch finished a strong run with a goal with 4:45 left in the quarter.
Bucknell would re-take a three-goal lead into halftime on a shot by Klipstein that looked to be saved but trickled behind Palesky with 3:34 on the clock.
Thul started a 4-0 Black Knight run to start the third quarter with a 12-yard shot that went through Bucknell freshman goalkeeper Kyle Feeney's legs at 13:46. Just over a minute later, sophomore midfielder Sean O'Sullivan struck on a 15-yard shot off a pass from senior attackman Tyler Oates to pull Army within one, 5-4, with 12:36 to play in the quarter.
Seymour took a Boltus feed from behind the crease and scored on a seven-yard shot with 55 seconds showing to tie the game, 5-5, and set up the wild fourth quarter.
Bison senior midfielder Chris Palmer scored from close range at 14:07, before sophomore midfielder Charlie Streep scored on a 10-yard laser a minute later to put the visitors back up 7-5 with 13:03 remaining.
The Black Knights answered less than a minute later as Seymour scored a pair of goals off Boltus feeds only 54 seconds apart to knot the game back up, 7-7, with 11:00 to play. The first goal came in transition following a big save by Palesky, before the second came on an eight-yard shot from the left side of the cage.
Seymour gave Army its first lead of the game with his fourth tally of the afternoon, stuffing a shot from close range past Feeney with 4:59 to play in the game. Junior midfielder Rob McCallion added the insurance goal with 1:54 remaining to seal the win. Feeney came out of the crease on a re-start to help double-team Boltus, but Boltus rolled a pass to McCallion 10 yards in front of the cage that he scooped up and zinged into the empty net for the game's final strike.
BLACK KNIGHT NOTES: Army improved its all-time record against Bucknell to 25-9 ... it was the third straight season the two teams had met in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals as Bucknell had won the previous two showdowns ... the Black Knights defeated the Bison in overtime, 7-6, earlier this month on the road to snap a five-game skid against Bucknell ... the visitors won 16 of 20 faceoffs during Friday's game ... Army junior attackman Jeremy Boltus leapt three spots to 14th place on the Academy's all-time scoring list with 136 points to date ... his three assists also moved him into seventh place on the career list with 75 ... Army fell to Navy in the 2005 Patriot League Tournament Championship game, 15-8, a year before also falling in the final game, 8-5, to the Mids in 2006 ... Black Knight senior defenseman Sam Harrison led the Black Knights onto the field before the game, carrying the American Flag.
Photography by Zach Babo.
|Tyler Seymour||(4, 1)|
|Jeremy Boltus||(1, 3)|
|Devin Lynch||(1, 2)|
|Tyler Oates||(0, 1)|
|Garrett Thul||(1, 0)|
|Sean O'sullivan||(1, 0)|
|Rob Mccallion||(1, 0)|
|Tom Palesky||17 (0.708)|