Emmitsburg, Md. (August 24, 2018) – The Mount St. Mary's University men's soccer team, playing in its first Division I competition since the 2012 campaign, fell to Bucknell in the season opener by a 2-0 final on Friday night in front of a record-setting sold out crowd of 1,200 at Waldron Family Stadium. The crowd was the largest ever at a soccer match in the stadium's history.
"To see the fan base and all the alumni at the game who worked just tirelessly to get this started, it was so surreal," said first-year Head Coach Bryan Cunningham, who's leading the revival of the men's soccer program at the Mount after spending 10 seasons as head coach at the University of Central Florida. "Just being there and knowing this was six years in the making for a lot of our fan base and alumni was so special."
Bucknell (1-0) had the game's first true scoring opportunity in the 26th minute of play as Trevor Wiggins got his head on a cross sent to the middle of the box, sending it towards the far post. Mount St. Mary's goalkeeper Bobby Edwards was able to preserve the stalemate with a diving stop to his right.
With just under 17 minutes remaining in the opening half, Bucknell was able to capitalize for the first goal of the match. Off a corner kick, Wiggins sent a header back across the box, where it deflected off Tyler Peterson's chest and into the back of the net, giving the Bison a 1-0 advantage.
The Mount (0-1) registered its first shot of the tilt just over a minute later off a set piece. Freshman Jonathan Godette fired a shot on target, but the effort was turned away by keeper Ryan Ott.
Bucknell doubled up on its lead with 15:07 left in the first half on an own goal. Jacob Mittman crossed it inside the six-yard box, and Mount defender Bilal Hassane attempted to clear it out of danger, but his lunging header ended up in the back of the Mountaineers' net, giving Bucknell a 2-0 lead.
The Bison took their 2-0 advantage into the halftime break after outshooting the Mount by a 7-2 margin in the frame.
One of the Mount's best scoring opportunities of the game came 17 minutes into the second half. Off a set piece, Miguel Lucero sent a dangerous ball inside the box. McKenzie Ali settled it and fired a shot from just outside the six-yard box, but a Bucknell defender was able to step in front of the shot and deflect it away to keep the Mount off the board.
The Bison defense held strong for the remainder of the second half to go on for the 2-0 victory, despite Mount St. Mary's holding a 7-2 shot advantage in the period.
The teams were even in shots, 9-9, in the game, and Bucknell held a slight 6-4 advantage on corners.
Ott posted the shutout win for the Bison with a pair of saves to move to 1-0 on the year, while Edwards collected three saves in net for the Mount.
Mount St. Mary's travels to Baltimore for its first road test of the season, taking on Loyola on Monday, August 27 at 7 p.m.