As the regular season winds down in the next two weeks, teams are now positioning themselves for their championship tournaments. In the Patriot League, American and Lafayette have already qualified while Bucknell is at 3-1, Holy Cross at 2-2, and Boston University at 1-3 are still vying for the last two spots. Boston really needs to sweep their last two games from HolyCross and Lehigh to get in. Holy Cross could split and get in with a win at Boston and maybe Bucknell. Bucknell could lock up a spot with a win and maybe even host, depending on the outcome of the American/ Lafayette game.As for American and Lafayette, if either team wins their last two games it’ll be home field advantage for the playoffs for the winners.
Each of the games this weekend has their own little story. Do not discount a Holy Cross win at Boston. A win by Holy Cross would probably knock Boston out of the playoffs for the first time since joining the league. This is a rivalry game and Holy Cross has an excellent goalkeeper, and has been playing better of late. American probably has the easier task to beat Colgate this Saturday.
Which brings us to the game Leopard fans are interested in. It is a home game. A win keeps Lafayette in the hunt for home field and the number one seed. A loss would drop Lafayette to a two or three seed with home field going to either American or Bucknell depending on the final week of games. However, if the Leopards lose to Bucknell but beat American and their is 3 way tie at 4-1, Lafayette is the host to due to the Richmond win whom Bucknell and American lost to.
Bucknell games are traditionally close, hotly contested affairs with the Leopards. Lafayette holds the edge all time with Bucknell at 36-15-2 although in more recent games the record 2-4 in Bucknell’s favor the last six years. Last year’s game at Bucknell was to end 4-1 in favor of the Bison in a driving cold rain. The previous year at Lafayette, the Leopards prevailed 1-0.
The Bison are 8-6 to Lafayette 9-6. Lafayette. has had a stronger schedule ranked 40 to 63. Lafayette has played 4 nationally ranked opponents beating one in overtime and losing to two others in overtime. Bucknell has played one, Syracuse, and lost 1-3.
Taking into account that Lafayette has played one more game, the Leopards have scored about the same goals per game 2.40 to 2.43 for Bucknell, but have held opponents to 1.53 goals per game vs 1.64 for Bucknell. The Bison take 11.5 shots per game and have given up 13 shots per game, Lafayette has 13.5 shot per game while given. up 10. Sarah Park at goalkeeping has about a 73% save percentage and Bucknell has 78% save percentage.
Goals have been spread around for Bucknell with 6 players having 4 or more goals, Lafayette has four players with 4 or more goals.The breakdown on common opponents has Lafayette beating the aforementioned Richmond against Bucknell’s loss in the common game with a different outcome. Bucknell’s leading goal scorer is Emily Doyle, with 7 for the year and Lafayette has sophomore Molly McAndrews with 8. Lafayette averages 9 corners per game while Bucknell average 8.
All in all, this is a game with consequences, Lafayette will want to stay in the hunt for the home field, and Bucknell would like to lock up a tournament berth. All the elements for a contested match on Saturday at 12 noon.