When: Tuesday, September 12, 3:00 p.m
Where: Stokes Soccerplex, Loretto, Pennsylvania
Streaming: NEC front row
Live stats: SFUAthletics.com
Army West Point (1-3-0, 0-0-0 PL) at Bucknell (1-2-1, 0-0-0 PL)
When: Saturday, September 16, 7:00 p.m
Where: Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium, LewisburgBye.
Live stats: BucknellBison.com
Bucknell in a nutshell
- The Bison have two games left this week: a non-league road game against undefeated Saint Francis on Tuesday, then Saturday night at home against Army West Point in the Patriot League opener.
- Bucknell turned in its best defensive performance of the season during Friday’s 0-0 home draw against George Mason. The Bison limited the Patriots to just five shots on goal and just one on goal. Second defender Jackson Sullivan earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday.
- Bucknell opened the season with a 2-1 victory at Mount St. Mary’s. This was followed by a 2-0 loss to West Virginia and a 3-2 loss to Robert Morris.
- Charlie Holmes he scored two of Bucknell’s four goals in the first four games. Defense Aidan Kieffer AND Ben Sheffield have the other two.
- With one game before he had given up only five shots to George Mason, Bucknell had only given up four to Robert Morris, but that night the first three found the net.
- Waldemar Kattrup, MJ Kuczura, Kasper PielaAND Marco Valentine everyone has assists this season.
- Second year head coach Dave Brandt will have a young team in 2023, with 10 freshmen and eight sophomores on a 27-player roster. The team is particularly green on offense, with four sophomores and four freshmen leading the forward corps.
- The Bison have a more experienced defensive line, with senior Kuczura, Mateusz OwusuAND Collin Murphy everything in rotation. Both sophomores Sheffield and Sullivan saw significant playing time last season, and on opening night they flanked another sophomore center in Kieffer.
- Bucknell went 3-12-2 in a rebuilding year in 2022, but played very well throughout. The Bison lost a hard-fought 2-1 game to No. 4 Syracuse, the eventual national champion, and then finished with a 4-1 victory over Holy Cross and tied with Colgate and Loyola, two of the better Patriot League teams.
- Bucknell was ranked ninth in the Patriot League preseason poll. Defending champion Navy was picked as the preseason favorite, just four points ahead of Boston University and five points ahead of American.
- Dave Brandt is Bucknell’s 14th full-time head coach and only the third, dating back to 1967. Brandt brought with him a remarkable career record of 354-86-40 with Messiah, Navy and Hope. His .779 winning percentage was 20th best in NCAA men’s soccer history among coaches in all leagues with at least 10 years of experience. Brandt won six Division III national championships at Messiah and led Navy to the 2013 Patriot League title and a first-round NCAA Tournament victory.
Saint Francis in short
- The Red Flash opened the season with a 2-1 victory over Canisius and has since drawn three times against Fordham (1-1), Wright State (3-3) and Robert Morris (2-2). Saturday’s match of St. Francis with St. Bonaventure was canceled due to unfavorable weather.
- In all three connections, Saint Francis was left behind. Joschi Schelb’s goal with 57 seconds left gave Red Flash a draw with Robert Morris. Schelb also scored the final goal in the 51st minute of a 3-3 draw with Wright State. Torren Aikens equalized in the 69th minute against Fordham.
- In addition to his two goals, Schelb has three assists, giving the German newcomer seven points in four games. Schelb is already a two-time NEC Rookie of the Week.
- Alvaro Planas also scored two goals and Aikens had one goal and an assist.
- Saint Francis went 6-6-4 overall and 3-2-3 in the Northeastern Conference last season. Red Flash qualified for the NEC tournament, but lost to Sacred Heart 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
- Head Coach Mads Keizer is entering his first season as head coach after previously serving as an assistant coach at Loretto. He welcomed back 20 players returning from last season, including NEC Rookie of the Year Jordaine Jaeger.
Bucknell-Saint Francis Series
- Bucknell is 12-10-2 in a series dating back to 1997.
- Saint Francis has won the last two meetings, including a 4-1 verdict last season at Emmitt Field. The Red Flash scored the final three goals of the night to open the score 1-1. Nico Stoddart scored two of those goals.
- Bucknell’s last win was a 3-0 home decision in 2019. Nick King, Trevor Wiggins and Matt Thorsheim scored goals in the second half of this one.
- The Bison have lost three in a row at Loretto, with their last win there coming in 2014 by a 2-0 margin.
West Point Army in a nutshell
- The Black Knights started the season with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over service academy rival Air Force, but have since lost three straight games by one goal to La Salle (1-0) Michigan State (2-2). 1) and Saint Joseph (3-2).
- Army hosts UAlbany on Tuesday and then travels to Lewisburg for the first round of Patriot League play.
- Last time Army led 2-1 at halftime against Saint Joseph, but the Hawks scored in the 75th and 83rd minutes to take the points. Blake Driehuis scored all three of Saint Joe’s goals, the last one from the penalty spot.
- The Black Knights have scored six goals in four games this season, two from Jubril Bamgbala, one each from Joey Hickson, Drew Clement and Gage Lyons, as well as one own goal. Hickson and Nick Atkinson each have two assists.
- Goalkeeper Harrison Faulkner has saved seven goals so far, while conceding eight goals.
- A year ago, Army finished the Patriot League season with a record of 8-4-5 and 5-1-3. The Black Knights were the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, but lost to the Americans 3-1 in overtime. The Eagles handed the Army both defeats last season in matches against PL.
- Atkinson and Cooper Warren were named to the preseason All-Patriot League team. In the pre-season poll, the Black Knights finished sixth, despite receiving four first-place votes.
- Bucknell is 17-23-1 all-time against Army. This included eight straight early series losses from 1931 to 1943, and the two teams did not face each other again until 1990 when the Patriot League was formed.
- Bucknell won four in a row and 15 of 19 before Army posted three wins and a tie in its last four games.
- Army scored its final four goals last season, winning 4-1 at Clinton Field. Mon high he scored from the penalty spot in the 16th minute, but two goals from Nick Atkinson and one each from Dylan Mitchiner and Joey Hickson helped Army pull away from 10-man Bucknell.
- The two teams have met only once in the postseason, and that was a 4-2 overtime victory for Army in the 1993 Patriot League championship game.
Next in line
- Bucknell has another two-game week ahead, with both matchups taking place on the road. The Bison will travel to Seton Hall on Tuesday, September 19, and will travel to Navy the following Saturday.
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