April 26, 2013

Bailey, Dickson Lead Bucknell Past Army

from press release

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Chase Bailey scored four goals and David Dickson passed out five assists in support of some stellar defensive work as 13th-ranked Bucknell ran past No. 19 Army 12-9 on Friday in the first semifinal game of the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament presented by Rockin' Refuel. The second-seeded Bison are now 12-3 on the season, and they move on to the championship game for the fourth time, where they will face either Lehigh or Colgate at 3 p.m. Sunday on CBS Sports Network.

Dickson shattered the Patriot League single-season assist record, as his five helpers give him 47 for the season, nudging him past Army's Jeremy Boltus (2011) and Jeff Bryan (2003), who had 45 each. Dickson also scored a goal, giving him a six-point evening. His five assists were one shy of the Patriot League Tournament record.

Bailey scored four straight Bucknell goals in one key stretch, tying his career high for goals in a game. Todd Heritage added three goals and an assist, and Tom Black handed out two assists as Bucknell became only the second team to post more than 10 goals against Army's vaunted defense. It was the most goals allowed by the Black Knights (8-5) since their season-opening 16-9 loss to Massachusetts.

Bucknell's defense was just as big a story. All-league defensemen Mike Huffner and Jackson Place kept the high-scoring duo of John Glesener and Garrett Thul in check, and goalie Kyle Feeney made 11 saves. The Bison kept Army scoreless for a span of 33:04 while piling up a commanding 12-6 lead with 3:44 to play.

Bucknell had to play a lot of defense, as Army won 20 of the 24 faceoffs, but the Bison forced 20 turnovers, 14 of which came on direct takeaways. Place had four caused turnovers and three ground balls, while Huffner had three caused turnovers and four ground balls.

Glesener, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, came in with 29 goals and 27 assists. The Bison held him to two of each, but three of his four points came in the final 4:35 of the game after Bucknell had built a commanding six-goal lead. Thul had 37 goals coming in, but he was limited to two, the last of which came with 2:08 to play.

The first half consisted of major momentum swings, as Bucknell scored the game's first three goals, Army netted the next four, and the Bison answered back with another three in a row.

"We were outstanding in every phase of the game except faceoffs, and that was a big key for us," said head coach Frank Fedorjaka afterward. "We got some great looks early in the game, looks that we didn't have the first time we played Army. Even though we missed some good chances that might have given us an even bigger lead and then Army came back on us, I wasn't all that concerned because I liked the shots that we were getting. Jackson Place and Mike Huffner did a great job forcing Army's big guns in the direction that we wanted them to go."

Up 6-5 at halftime, Bucknell was able to stretch its lead through Bailey and Heritage early in the third period. Bailey scored his fourth Bison goal in a row off a feed from Brock Ghelfi just 1:01 into the quarter, and then the EMO unit struck for a third time in the game with Heritage ripping a low-to-high shot off a pretty pass from Black.

Dickson already had four assists under his belt before his unassisted goal coming out from behind the cage made it 9-5 with 1:35 left in the third quarter. Two straight strikes by Heritage to start the fourth quarter made it five straight and eight out of nine goals for the Bison, who posted an 8-1 run for the second game in a row.

The Black Knights had not scored since the midway point of the second quarter until ending that 33:04 scoring drought with an Alex Van Krevel shot from the left flank. But less than a minute later, Heritage slipped a pass to Patriot League Rookie of the Year Sean Doyle to push the lead back to a half-dozen at 12-6.

Some faceoff wins and two failed clears led to three straight Army goals that made things a bit tense on the Bison sideline, but two ground balls by Huffner helped them drain the last of the clock.

The opening five minutes were all Bison. After Lehigh won the opening draw, Place's takeaway set up a Ghelfi goal off a nice drive and dish by Dickson. Billy Mattimore and Peter Burke made it three goals on three shots, all from the middies, to put the Bison ahead 3-0 after only 4:34.

Behind first team all-league faceoff man Alex Daly, Army controlled possession for the final six minutes of the opening quarter. The Black Knights outshot the Bison 8-1 and outscored them 4-0 over that span. Will Mazzone scored two of those goals, the last of them giving Army its first lead of the day at 4-3.

Bucknell went up a man early in the second period and cashed in on Bailey's quick-stick goal off Dickson's feed. On Bucknell's next possession, Army goalie Sam Somers made a nice save, but Bailey smothered his outlet pass right in front of the crease and stuck the ball right back in. Less than two minutes later the Dickson-to-Bailey combo struck again on the EMO to make it 6-5, giving Bailey three straight goals in a span of only 3:24.

Army pulled one back on Glesener's sharp-angle goal with 7:39 left in the period. Feeney made the lead hold up for the rest of the half with five saves, and the Bison led 6-5 at the break.

Army finished with a narrow 42-41 shot advantage and led 34-27 in ground balls, with many of those pickups coming on faceoffs. Daly had 12 GBs himself. Bucknell went 3-for-4 on extra man and had only seven turnovers until late in the game when it had five more.

Bucknell has now won 12 games in a season for the third time in program history. The Bison will be looking for their second Patriot League Tournament title, with the other one coming in 2011. They also played in the championship game in 2008 and 2009.


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