The No. 14 ranked Bison men’s water polo team took to the West Coast to play in the Julian Fraser Memorial Tournament in California on Oct. 20-21. On Oct. 20, the Bison lost the first two games of the tournament against No. 15 Cal Baptist and No. 19 San Jose State. On Oct. 21, the Bison wrapped up the weekend with an overtime loss against Santa Clara and a win against Air Force.
Cal Baptist defeated the Bison 16-7. The Lancers jumped out to an early lead, scoring five first quarter goals. Rade Joksimovic ’20 scored the first goal for the Orange and Blue at the 5:08 minute mark of the quarter. By halftime, the Lancers were up 10-4. Marko Djordjevic ’19 contributed two goals and two assists, while Jared Stanley ’21 also tallied two goals. Cullen Jacuzzi ’20 finished with two assists, and Jack Otto ’22 finished with eight saves in net.
Against San Jose State, the Bison put up a tough effort but lost 10-9. Jacuzzi added the only goal for the Orange and Blue in the first half and the team went into halftime trailing 6-1. During their comeback attempt, the Bison outscored the Spartans 4-3 in the third quarter. Cooper Dolan ’20, Jack Lewis ’22, Joksimovic, and Djordjevic each scored a goal in the third to chip away at the deficit.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Spartans led 9-5. During the last quarter, the Spartans scored once more to extend the lead to 10-5, which proved to be just enough to outlast the Bison’s four straight goals to end the game. Otto ended with 12 total saves in the contest.
In the Orange and Blue’s third game, Santa Clara outlasted them 15-14, in overtime. The Bison scored 7 goals in the fourth period to force overtime, but they did not have enough left during the extra periods to come away with the win.
With only one second left on the clock during regulation against the Broncos, Joksimovic’s goal sent the Bison into overtime. Both teams scored a goal a piece during the first period of overtime, but the Broncos scored the game winner with 1:45 minutes remaining in the final session.
In their final game of the weekend, the Bison defeated Air Force 16-13. The Bison led 2-1 after the first period after a goal made by Logan Schofield ’20 with two seconds left in the quarter. The Bison offense carried them to a 12-8 lead entering the fourth quarter. During the fourth, the Falcons came back to score three goals in a row during the first three minutes, cutting the score to 12-11. However, Schofield scored 17 seconds later to give the Bison a solid two goal lead to stamp out the comeback attempt and seal the victory. Joksimovic ended with 11 points on six goals and five assists, while Schofield and Djordjevic added four goals a piece.
“This tournament was very important to us, not because of the rankings but because we wanted to use these stronger opponents to work on our game plan and to get better for our upcoming conference games,” said Joksimovic. “Overall the weekend was a success even though we went 1-3. Not only did we get better but we got a lot closer as a team.”
The Bison will be back in the pool on Oct. 27 when they face Fordham in Bronx, N.Y. at 7 p.m.