Patriot League Field Hockey Preview…Bucknell Bison

Bucknell ended their season on a high note in the Patriot League Tournament, defeating American University in the semi-final in a shoot out, only to lose in the championship game 2-1 to Boston. The Head Coach, Jeremey Cook has been a regular visitor to the PL championship during his 10 year career at Bucknell. In 10 seasons he has been there 10 times with his Bison Team. The 2014 team was undefeated and hosted the Patriot League championship.  Cook’s overall record is  95-95. That record qualifies him in 2018 as having the second most wins in program history. He has extensive playing and coaching experience internationally.

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Stephanie Dressler graduated last year but the Bison return their top scorers

Last year Bucknell scored 41 goals against 44 scored by their opponents. Their shot percentage was 18.4%, They had 135 penalty corners agains 109 against them. They lost to graduation, Emilly Finn, who was their fine goal keeper who had a 70 percent save percentage.

What is remarkable about this team is that they return their 3 leading scorers Brittany Willwerth ( 20 pts 7 goals 30 pct shot percentage), Lexi Quick (18 points, 5 goals, 15 pct short percentage) and M.C. Evans (14 pts, 4 goals, 25 pct shot percentage). In the goal, will be Junior Oliva Harris. Harris was picked for the US Indoor Team and was one of three players picked for the Young Women’s National Championship at Spook Nook. The other two are sophomores Sarah Dimock and Kaelyn Long.

In addition, Bucknell will be playing on new turf which according to one Bison in the program, “will make practicing corners possible.”

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Their out of conference schedule looks quite manageble but sprinkled with JMU, Syracuse, and Penn State. Aside from the Patriot League schedule, common opponents include Cornell, Richmond, and Monmouth. The showdown with Lafayette occurs at 2 pm Oct 27, as the last game of the season. In a conversation with Jeremy this summer in Spooky Nook, he remarked these Lafayette games are always important.

This is another game against a well coached team on the rise and will decide a Patrtiot League Tournament berth. Given Bucknell’s last season success in 2017, this could be a VERY dangerous game!!

 

Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 20 year fan of Division one field hockey

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