LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell University’s Quinn Collison picked up a loose ball and fed Will Sands on the left side of the crease, giving Sands room to score the double-overtime game-winner Saturday afternoon as Bucknell University defeated Loyola University Maryland, 9-8, in Patriot League action.
The Greyhounds (5-4 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) appeared to have gained possession as Jared Mintzlaff knocked down a Tom Smith pass, and Foster Huggins picked it up in front of the crease. Connor O’Hara, however, checked it away from Huggins as he tried to weave away from trouble.
Collison grabbed the groundball near the top of the box and sent a pass to Sands just off the crease on the left side. Sands was alone and shot-faked before scoring low from the doorstep to give the Bison (3-5, 2-3) an overtime win.
Loyola had led for nearly the entire game before Bucknell scored three-straight fourth-quarter goals all involving Sands. He first scored unassisted at 6:42 to get the Bison within one, 7-6, and he assisted on a Collison tally 55 ticks later to tie the game for the first time since it was 1-1 in the first quarter.
Sands then sent a pass to Sean O’Brien on the high right side, and he converted for the Bison at 4:34 to give Bucknell its first advantage of the game, 8-7.
Loyola tied the score at 8-8 with 2:18 left in regulation when Romar Dennis tallied his third goal of the game on a Zack Sirico assist. Sirico caught the ball in traffic and ducked out of danger, flipping a pass to Dennis on the right where he went opposite post to beat Bucknell goalkeeper Christian Klipstein.
Neither team scored in the final minutes, and the game went to overtime for the third time in four meetings between the programs.
Brian Begley picked up the groundball on the first overtime’s faceoff, but the Greyhounds gave the ball back to Bucknell with a turnover 1:04 into the frame. Bucknell cleared the ball and after a minute of running settled offense took two shots that went wide. Huggins raced to the far sideline to win possession for Loyola on the second, and the Greyhounds went back on offense.
Bucknell caused another turnover – both teams had 17 turnovers in the game – and the Bison came away with the ball 15 seconds before the end of the period. They were unable, however, to manage a shot, and the teams headed to a second extra stanza.
The Bison came away with the second overtime’s first possession after a loose-ball push on the faceoff, and they worked in six-on-six offense. O’Hara had a shot that went wide at 2:32, seconds before the final flurry that provided the game-winner.
Bucknell scored the game’s first goal as Reed Malas tallied a Bison goal at 11:57 in the first quarter, but Loyola went on extra-man after the next faceoff, and Alex McGovern caught a Sirico pass to tie the game 23 seconds later.
McGovern then put Loyola up, 2-1, at 10:43 off a Pat Spencer assist, the second of four-straight Loyola goals.
Spencer scored unassisted at 7:32 in the first quarter, and McGovern used another Spencer feed to tally his first hat trick as a Greyhound with 5:27 left in the second quarter. That capped a 4-0 run during which Loyola held the Bison scoreless for nearly 26 minutes.
O’Hara broke through for the Bison with 58 ticks left in the first half, but Dennis struck with his first of the game 19 seconds before the break, sending the teams to halftime with Loyola in front, 5-2.
Bucknell, however, scored 46 seconds into the third quarter on an O’Hara goal, and he struck again at 10:19 in the third to make it a 5-4 game.
Spencer got his second goal of the game, catching a McGovern feed to score at 4:50, and Loyola was back up a pair. Bucknell cut the margin to one again with 3:56 left in the third as Tom Smith tallied a Bison goal, and the Greyhounds went into the fourth up 6-5.
Dennis scored an extra-man goal for Loyola at 10:06 in the fourth, staking them to a two-goal lead, but Bucknell ripped off three-straight to take a lead late.
Loyola outshot Bucknell, 42-34, but Klipstein made 15 saves. Grant Limone (five) and Jacob Stover (three) combined for eight for the Greyhounds.
Graham Savio gave the Greyhounds a decided advantage at the faceoff ‘X,’ winning 13-of-20, and he had a game-high nine ground balls.
Spencer finishd with two goals and four assists, while McGovern had three and one for Loyola. Dennis scored three times, and Sirico added two assists for the Greyhounds. Sands led all players with two goals and five assists, while O’Hara scored three goals for the Bison.
Loyola returns to Ridley Athletic Complex for its final two home games of the 2017 regular-season starting on Saturday, April 1, when they will face Colgate University in a 2:30 p.m. game.