Athlete of the Week: Jeff Hagen ’18, men’s water polo

Lauren Whelan, Sports Co-Editor

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In his third year on the team, Jeff Hagen ’18 is proving to be a serious competitive force for the men’s water polo team. Hagen’s success in the pool helped lead the Orange and Blue to their victory against George Washington on Sept. 25, when he scored four goals in the second half to push the Bison ahead. Hagen also was a huge contributor to the Bison’s match against Johns Hopkins on the same day, when he tallied a goal, two assists, five ejections drawn, and a steal to help the Bison to a 12-11 victory.

“We’ve worked hard this year, and it’s great to see it start to pay off‚” Hagen said.

Hagen’s career thus far for the Bison has been nothing short of impressive; currently, he ranks ninth in career ejections drawn with 108. Additionally, Hagen appeared in all 31 games his sophomore season, contributing 59 goals and 21 steals. With only 11 ejections committed, Hagen was a dominating force in the pool.

“I’ve had a great career so far at Bucknell. I’d have to say my favorite part was our team trip to Serbia and Greece the summer between my freshman and sophomore year. It was an amazing experience being able to play overseas and to see a part of the world I had never been to before,” Hagen said.

It is not always easy, however, for Hagen to find the success he does. The pressures of being a student-athlete are difficult.

“The biggest challenge during the year is staying focused every day. It’s a long and pretty grueling season and its pretty easy to forget that every practice matters. Sometimes with everything outside of water polo going on it is hard to come to practice every day with a high level of intensity. But it is definitely a challenge that needs to be overcome for myself and the team to be successful,” Hagen said.

Despite these challenges, Hagen and the men’s water polo team are focused and ready to take on the rest of their season. With end of season tournaments in mind, Hagen noted that the team is using these as motivation to keep working every day.

“Our main goal is to win Mid-Atlantic Conference championships and go to the NCAA tournament. It would be nice to keep our winning streak going and get ranked in the top 10, but our only focus really is making NCAAs. I think we have a really good team this year with the opportunity to do something special, and I’m really excited to see it all play out,” Hagen said.

STATS:

Ninth in career ejections drawn- 108

2015- Outstanding Recognition on the ACWPC All-Academic Team

2014- CWPA Southern Division Rookie of the Week

2014- selected to play in the USA Water Polo Men’s National League

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