This past weekend Saturday Sept. 11, No. 16 ranked Bison men’s water polo traveled to Princeton, New Jersey to face some of the country’s top competitors.
“We had some tough games this weekend against teams that we will likely see in the playoffs. The results weren’t what we were looking for but there’s lots we can learn from these losses and move forward with further in the season. I am excited for the future as we have a young core and we will only get better the more we play together” Ethan Jones ’24 said regarding the team’s performance this weekend.
The Bison started off their weekend strong with a win against No. 14 California Baptist. The third quarter propelled them forward, with four consecutive goals from Hasan Mogultay ’25, Josh Yardley ’22 and Shay Gillearn ’25, changing their 8-7 deficit to an 11-8 lead. California Baptist retaliated with two goals of their own, but a last minute goal from Mogultay secured the 12-10 win for the Bison.
In their next game against No. 18 Harvard, the Bison and Crimson were neck and neck for most of the first half. Despite Bison efforts, the Crimson broke the 3-3 tie giving them a 7-4 lead at the half. Harvard continued their scoring streak with the Crimson in the lead 11-10 with 5:08 to go. They kept the Bison off the board the rest of the way, resulting in a loss of 14-10. Yardley had four goals while Doruk Ozar ’24 and Andu Vlasceanu ’24 each had two.
Sunday, Sept. 12, the Bison competed hard against No. 12 Princeton and No. 3 Stanford. The Tigers began the game with a 9-1 run holding a strong lead over the Bison for the remainder of the game. Yardley scored 3 times, while Jones and Vlasceanu each added two goals. The Orange and Blue just could not hold the Tiger’s strong offense, resulting in an 18-10 loss.
In the Bison’s last game of the invitational, they suffered a tough 16-4 loss against the Stanford Cardinals. Mogultay scored three of the Bison four goals in the defeat, while Yardley added the other goal.
“There is no doubt that Stanford is one of the strongest and most successful teams in the US. Although we lost, I think it was a good experience for us to play against a stronger team,” Mogultay said.
The team will make its season debut at Kinney Natatorium next weekend when it hosts the Bison Open on Saturday and Sunday in Lewisburg.
“We are preparing hard for these games. Our goal is to finish this weekend without any defeat. Our goal is to play our best water polo and make it to the NCAA championship in December,” Mogultay said.