Defense leads Bucknell to home win over Lehigh

Bucknell’s Brandon Sanders runs with the ball after making a catch against Lehigh in 2019.

The Patriot League will hold an abbreviated four-game spring football season with the league breaking into two divisions beginning in March. Other fall sports — men's and women's soccer and field hockey — will also play league-only schedules beginning in February or March.

On Friday, the Patriot League has announced a plan for schedules for baseball, field hockey, football, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball and volleyball during the 2021 spring semester.

According to a press release, "League play will be contingent on the League and its member institutions being able to conduct competitions in ways that protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff members and their communities."

League officials also announced plans as plans to host championships for men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's outdoor track and field, women's rowing, men's and women's swimming and diving and men's and women's tennis.

For football, the league will put Colgate, Fordham and Holy Cross in the North Division and Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh in the South. Teams will play each division opponent and two teams from the other division. Games will begin on March 13 and end on April 17 with a league championship pitting the two division champions against each other. April 10 is an open date for make-up games.

Georgetown has opted out of the spring season, the league said. 

"Consistent with the prioritization of health and safety, the 2020-21 schedule format features a significant reduction in travel and overnight stays," the league said. "No teams will be permitted to fly to games. Instead of the League's traditional formats, teams will play an increased number of games against League opponents in closer geographic proximity."

The Patriot League office will announce detailed schedules at a later date.

Here is a look at the breakdown for other competitions this spring: 

BASEBALL

The Patriot League's six baseball programs will be split into two three-team divisions for the 30-game League schedule in 2021. Army West Point, Holy Cross and Lafayette will play in the North Division, while Bucknell, Lehigh and Navy will play in the South Division. Teams will play divisional 18 games while facing non-divisional competition 12 times.

The season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 13, with regular-season play running through Sunday, May 9. The four-team 2021 Patriot League Baseball Championship is scheduled to start with the best-of-three game semifinal round on Saturday, May 15. The best-of-three championship series is set to take place beginning Friday, May 21.

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY

The 2021 Patriot League Men's and Women's Cross Spring Country Championships are planned for Friday, March 5, at Lafayette's Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex. The League championship was last held at Lafayette in 2016.

FIELD HOCKEY

The Patriot League's seven field hockey programs will play a six-game League-only schedule beginning on Sunday, March 7. The conclusion of the regular season is slated for Sunday, April 18. The 2021 Patriot League Spring Field Hockey Championship begins with semifinal-round action on Thursday, April 22, followed by the championship game on Saturday, April 24.

MEN'S GOLF

The 2021 Patriot League Men's Golf Championship will be hosted by Navy at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club. The championship dates are still to be determined.

WOMEN'S GOLF

The 2021 Patriot League Women's Golf Championship will be hosted by Lehigh at Saucon Valley Country Club. The championship dates are still to be determined.

MEN'S LACROSSE

The Patriot League's nine men's lacrosse programs will be split into two divisions for the 2021 season. Army West Point, Boston University, Colgate and Holy Cross will play in the North Division, and Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola Maryland and Navy will play in the South Division. Teams will play each divisional opponent at least once with limited games against non-divisional opponents. A minimum of seven League games will be played by each team.

The League schedule is set to begin on Saturday, March 6, concluding on Saturday, April 24, with a built-in makeup date planned for Saturday, May 1. The 2021 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Championship is scheduled to begin with the semifinal round on Friday, May 7, followed by the championship game on Sunday, May 9.

WOMEN'S LACROSSE

The Patriot League's 10 women's lacrosse programs will be split into two five-team divisions for the 2021 season. Army West Point, Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross and Lafayette will play in the North Division. American, Bucknell, Lehigh, Loyola Maryland and Navy will play in the South Division. Teams will play each divisional opponent at least once with limited games against non-divisional opponents. A minimum of seven League games will be played by each team.

The League schedule is set to begin on Saturday, March 6, and conclude on Saturday, April 24, with a built-in make-up date planned for Saturday, May 1. The 2021 Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Championship is scheduled to begin with the semifinal round on Thursday, May 6, with the championship game on Saturday, May 8.

WOMEN'S ROWING

The 2021 Patriot League Rowing Championship is scheduled to begin on Friday, May 14 at Cooper River in New Jersey.

MEN'S SOCCER

The Patriot League's 10 men's soccer teams will be divided into two five-team divisions for the 2021 spring season. Army West Point, Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross and Lafayette will play in the North Division. American, Bucknell, Lehigh, Loyola Maryland and Navy will play in the South Division. Teams will play each divisional opponent at least once. A minimum of six League games will be played by each team. The League schedule is set to begin on Saturday, Feb. 27, and conclude on Saturday, April 10. The championship dates are still to be determined.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

The Patriot League's 10 women's soccer teams will be split into two five-team divisions for the 2021 spring season. Army West Point, Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross and Lafayette will play in the North Division. American, Bucknell, Lehigh, Loyola Maryland and Navy will play in the South Division. Teams will play each divisional opponent at least once. A minimum of six League games will be played by each team. The League schedule is set to begin on Saturday, Feb. 27, and conclude on Saturday, April 10. The championship dates are still to be determined.

SOFTBALL

The seven Patriot League softball programs will play a 24-game round-robin League schedule beginning on Saturday, March 27. Each team is scheduled to play every League opponent four times, with the regular-season coming to a close on Sunday, May 9. The 2021 Patriot League Softball Championship is expected to be a four-team, double-elimination format beginning on Thursday, May 13, and concluding on Saturday, May 15.

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING

The 2021 Patriot League Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships are scheduled for four days, beginning on Wednesday, April 21, and competing through Saturday, April 24. Bucknell University is scheduled to host the championship.

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD

The Patriot League's men's and women's indoor track and field programs will compete in the Patriot League Challenge at four different sites on either Saturday, Feb. 27 or Sunday, Feb. 28. Lehigh will travel to Army West Point. Boston University will welcome Holy Cross. Bucknell will host Colgate and Lafayette. American and Loyola Maryland will compete at Navy.

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD

The 2021 Patriot League Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships are planned for two days, beginning on Friday, April 30 and concluding on Saturday, May 1. Army West Point is scheduled to host the championship.

MEN'S TENNIS

The 2021 Patriot League Men's Tennis Championship is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 22, with the competition concluding on Sunday, April 25 at Lehigh University.

WOMEN'S TENNIS

The 2021 Patriot League Women's Tennis Championship is scheduled to begin Thursday, April 29 and finish Sunday, May 2. The U.S. Naval Academy is the scheduled host for the championship.

VOLLEYBALL

The Patriot League's nine women's volleyball programs will play a 10-match, League-only schedule beginning on Friday, Feb. 19. Teams will play five home and five road contests during the regular season, scheduled to conclude on Sunday, March 28.

The top four teams will qualify for the 2021 Patriot League Spring Volleyball Championship with semifinal-round action set for Friday, April 2. The League championship game is planned for Saturday, April 3.

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