Men’s water polo shines with 3-0 season start

Billy Tyler

Senior Writer

The men’s water polo team opened its season this past weekend with three wins at the Navy Invite. This is the team’s third 3-0 start in its three years under Head Coach John McBride.

The tournament and season began with a thrilling contest against Notre Dame (Ohio) on Sept. 7. Despite leading 6-5 at halftime, the Bison found themselves facing an 11-8 deficit entering the fourth quarter. A quick flurry of three goals in the quarter’s opening minutes eliminated this difference and posed a back and forth battle to the game’s end. With the Bison down 14-13 in the game’s final minute, Mike Kimble ’14 found the back of the net with 22 seconds remaining to tie the game. Then with the game seemingly headed to overtime, Stefan Aleksic ’16 took a shot with 1.6 seconds left on the clock that snuck past the Notre Dame goalkeeper to seal the win.

In addition to his last second heroics, Aleksic ended the game with three goals and four assists. Other key contributors to the big win for the Bison were Jack Else ’14, who had a team-high four goals as well as Ratimir Babic ’17 and Sean Daley ’17, who tallied two goals apiece.

The next game of the tournament against Gannon proved an easier contest than the season opener. The Bison had a solid first half, leading 8-4 at the break. But their strength showed in the third quarter, as they outscored Gannon 6-2. RJ Moore ’17 led this offensive explosion, as he scored six goals in only his third collegiate start. The Bison offense received production from Babic, Else, Julian Colina ’14, and Alex Nowlin ’14 with multiple goals.

The Bison succeeded in carrying the momentum gathered in the tournament’s first two games into its final one against Iona. This 12-7 victory followed a similar pattern to the victory over Gannon; a halftime edge of 6-4 was turned into a 9-5 lead, following a great third quarter. The star of this game was goalkeeper Keegan Williams ’15, who recorded a career-high 15 saves in only his fourth career start. This added to his total of seven against Iona to complete an impressive day of work between the pipes.

The Bison will now look to match last weekend’s strong performance this weekend. The team hosts the Bison Invite from tonight through Sept. 15 and will play five games during this three-day period.

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