BALTIMORE – Bucknell University built a 12-8 lead midway through the fourth quarter, and despite three Loyola University Maryland goals over a three-minute stretch shortly thereafter, the Bison held on for a 12-11 Patriot League victory on Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Alex McGovern took an Aidan Olmstead pass to score with 3:03 left in regulation, bringing the Greyhounds (5-3 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) within one, but Bucknell held off any further scoring.
Loyola had two shots in the final two minutes, the second of which was saved by Bucknell’s Christian Klipstein with under 40 ticks left. The Greyhounds, however, took possession back after causing a turnover on a mishandled clearing pass.
With the ball on the ground, the play was blown dead due to a loose ball penalty, and the Bison intercepted a Loyola pass on the restart, clearing to their offensive end in order to run out the clock.
The Greyhounds took a 7-6 lead 3:10 into the second half as John Duffy ran down the left side and stuck a high-to-low shot through Klipstein’s legs, breaking a 6-6 tie that the teams took into the locker room at halftime.
Bucknell, however, responded with the next two goals and four out of five scores to push ahead by as many as four. The Bison equalized the game at 7-7 with a Will Sands unassisted goal 50 seconds after Duffy’s, and Conor O’Hara tallied a score at 8:26, giving the Bison an 8-7 advantage.
Loyola knotted the game at 8-8 just 80 seconds later as Pat Spencer dodged from the top left, drew a slide and threw to his right to Aidan Olmstead. The freshman shot opposite stick-side to the far post and scored from 12 yards out for the Greyhounds.
That goal, however, would be Loyola’s last for more than 16 minutes as Bucknell tallied four in a row. Tommy Sopko scored on the right side after dodging from behind the goal at 3:55, and O’hara recorded his fourth of the day 48 seconds later, catching a Sands pass after an inside roll to put the Bison in front, 10-8.
Reed Malas opened the fourth-quarter scoring at 9:03, slipping past the defense from the right side to get to the crease for his third score, and O’Hara made it 12-8 Bucknell with 8:21 left in regulation as he tallied an extra-man goal off a Sands feed.
Loyola started its late run on a Kevin Lindley goal with 5:47 to play. The Greyhounds worked the ball around the top of the box with Duffy throwing a pass to Olmstead on the low right side. He then quickly redirected it with a toss to Lindley on the inside, and Lindley scored his team-best third of the game.
After the Greyhounds caused a turnover on the defensive side, Pat Spencer finished the transition with a goal at 3:44, making it a two-goal game, 12-10.
Bailey Savio won the next faceoff to himself, and after the Greyhounds settled into six-on-six offense, Olmstead worked topside form behind the cage, dodged back toward goal-line and therw across the defense to McGovern for a low-to-high shot that went in at 3:03, pulling the Greyhounds within one.
Bucknell took possession after a loose-ball foul on the faceoff, but Jacob Stover saved an O’Hara shot at 2:11, and Loyola cleared the ball to the offensive end.
Brian Begley took a shot at the end of the clear that went high, and Klipstein then saved a McGovern look with under 40 seconds left before the teams traded turnovers to end regulation.
Lindley finished with a team-high three goals for the Greyhounds, while Olmstead set career-highs with four assists and six total points after adding two goals. Jay Drapeau had two goals and an assist, and Spencer scored once to go with two assists.
The Greyhounds embark on a two-game Patriot League road trip, starting with a Saturday, March 31, game at Colgate University.