Men’s Water Polo’s undefeated weekend

Lauren Medeiros, Contributing Writer

Over the weekend in Erie, Pa., the Bison competed against Salem and Mckendree on Saturday, and Mercyhurst and Gannon on Sunday. After the first day of play, the Bison were 2-0, heading into Sunday’s games with motivation. 

Game one on Saturday was a success for Bucknell, as they defeated Salem 15-8. The Bison offense dominated the game, scoring five goals in the first eight minutes, taking a lead of 5-2. Out of the first five goals, Jack Lewis ’23 scored three, while Doruk Ozar ’24 and Aleksa Stefanovic ’26 both scored one. 

Heading into halftime, the Bison were up with a score of 7-3. Only minutes later at the 5:50 mark of the third quarter, Lewis added his fifth goal to the board. Continuing to the end of the third quarter and fourth quarter, the scoring was non-stop from Lewis, Ian Shultz ’26 and Jack Murad ’26. 

During this game, two orange and blue players hit personal records and season records. Both Shultz and Lewis majorly contributed to Bucknell’s win with a career best of three goals for Shultz, and for Lewis, his seven goals were a career high and the most by a Bison player this season. 

“It was a great feeling to hit new records,” Lewis said. “However, it was even better that our team was able to adapt to the other team’s defense, successfully finding places where we could excel.”

On Saturday, Bucknell’s second matchup was against McKendree, and resulted in a Bison victory of 12-3. 

Within minutes into the first quarter, the Bison got the ball rolling with scores from Stefanovic and Andu Vlasceanu ’23. The team closed down on defense and attacked strongly, propelling their lead even further.

The second quarter was a huge scoring period for the Bison. In total, Vlasceanu, Stefanovic, Hasan Mogultay ’25, and Murad found the back of the cage five times, creating a comfortable 7-1 lead for the team heading into halftime. 

The Bison didn’t let the intensity drop in the third and fourth quarters, and continued to add more tallies to the score and even shut-out the fourth quarter. For goalie Adrien Touzot ’23, he totaled a season-best of 16 saves. 

The Bison only let up one goal in each of the first three quarters. 

Heading into Sunday’s matchups, Bucknell held a 2-0 record and were looking to continue their winning streak against Mercyhurst and Gannon. 

“Our team wanted to keep our momentum going and had our eyes set on two more wins to achieve the 4-0 weekend,” Lewis said.

At the start of the game against Mercyhurst, Bucknell was down 2-0, but the tables turned very quickly. Within the next twelve minutes, the Bisons scored eight unanswered goals to take an 8-2 lead at the 5:01 mark of the second quarter.  

Around the 4:31 mark of the second quarter, Mercyhurst added another goal. However, the Bison responded immediately with four unanswered goals, two scored by Matt Ryckman ‘25 and one each by Touzot and Stefanovic. With halftime in front of the teams, Bucknell led the game 12-3 at the break. 

The Bison kept working hard during the final two quarters, adding eleven more goals to their score. There were ten different orange and blue players that contributed to the score. In total, the twenty-three goals scored during this game is a season-best for the team. Against Mercyhurst, the final score resulted in a Bucknell victory of 23-12. 

Finally, the fourth and last game of the weekend was a back and forth battle between Bucknell and Gannon. Going into their last game, the Bison were on a hot streak with three straight wins.

The Bison came out with a slower start to the game, allowing Gannon to score three straight goals. However, they shortly overcame this start when Vlasceanu broke the scoreless streak at the 3:24 mark of the first quarter and scored two straight goals, tightening the gap of 2-3. Before the end of quarter one, Gannon added two more unanswered goals, continuing to keep the team only one goal behind, as the score stands 4-5. 

During the second quarter, Bucknell turned the game around and began to take control. The Bison found the back of the cage seven times this quarter and managed to take the lead for the first time this game. 

Throughout the third and fourth quarters, Bucknell managed to keep a nine minute scoreless streak for Gannon and a multiple-goal lead, which ultimately helped lead to a 18-13 win for the Bison

Touzot made seven saves for the team, while Vlasceanu scored a career-best six goals, Stefanovic scored five goals, Lewis scored three times, and Ryckman and Mogultay each scored twice. 

“In preparation for the games we just had, we worked on communication and adapting our offense and defense to fit the specific teams we play,” Lewis said. “Overall, we were all satisfied with the weekend, but now our focus is to bring last weekend’s momentum into this upcoming game against GW.”

The Bison now currently have a 9-6 season record. On Saturday, October 1st, Bucknell will face off in Washington, D.C. against George Washington University. 

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