Bison water polo splits tough weekend at Navy Invitational

Laurel McHale, Staff Writer

The 17th ranked Bison headed to the Navy Invitational this past weekend, where they had competitions against Cal, Iona, UC Davis, and Salem. 

In the first match, the Bison tied the game at one with 5:50 left in the first period on a goal by Andu Vlasceanu ’23, but the Golden Bears stood strong. The Orange and Blue quickly fell into a deficit, as the third ranked Golden Bears started off strong, leading 14-3. Cal continued to plug away to a 20-8 victory against the Bison. 

Although the first match was tough, the Bison came together to beat Iona. The Orange and Blue capitalized on 6-1 run to start the game and never looked back. The first goal of the game was at the 5:39 mark of the first period on a goal by Bison senior Josh Yardley, who had four in this game. Two straight goals from the Gaels pulled Iona to within three at the 4:10 mark of the second period, but three straight goals from Ethan Jones ’24, Hasan Mogultay ’25 and Vlasceanu restored a six-goal advantage going into halftime. The Bison went on to win this game 16-11. 

The Bison went 1-1 again on the second day of competition. 

UC Davis came out strong with a 5-2 run against the Bison. The Orange and Blue managed to close the gap by halftime and only allowed one goal in the second period for the Aggies. The Bison continued its momentum from the first half to open the second, with Doruk Ozar ’24 and Yardley each scoring once to make it four unanswered goals to tie the game at seven. The Aggies managed to send the game into overtime, making the score 11-11 with 42 seconds left in regulation. UC Davis scored two more goals to open overtime and take an 13-11 lead, before the Bison pulled within one with 1:27 to go. However, the Aggies would respond seconds later to take a 14-13 win. 

The Bison came back from their second loss on the weekend to score a win against Salem before heading back to Lewisburg. The Orange and Blue trailed entering the second period to the Tigers, 4-3, but a goal from Yardley and two by Mogultay gave the Bison a 6-4 advantage with three unanswered tallies. The Bison soon added four unanswered goals, and maintained their lead. The final score of this game was a commanding 15-10 win for the Orange and Blue. 

“I believe the team played very well for our first weekend. In our first day against Cal and Iona we were able to get everyone in the water and see how people played together helping to build the team chemistry. And then on our second day we scratched the surface of our teams potential playing a one goal game against a top 10 team in Davis,” Jack Otto ’22 said. 

The Bison will travel to Princeton, N.J. for the Princeton Invite on Sept.11, starting the weekend off with a matchup against California Baptist.  

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