Water polo cruises to 4-0 weekend

Anna Carroll, Senior Writer

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The Bison men’s water polo team got off to a hot start this season, bringing home a 4-0 record for their opening weekend of games at Brown University. Through their games, the Bison fought hard all weekend, securing victories against MIT, Cal Baptist, St. Francis Brooklyn and host team Brown.

The Orange and Blue wasted no time in their first game against MIT, pulling ahead with a 6-2 lead in the first period of the game. After an initial goal scored by the Engineers, Cullen Jacuzzi ’20 found the back of the cage to tie it up. Shortly after, yet another MIT goal sparked a 5-0 rebound from the Bison – a rebound that included three goals from Andu Vlasceanu ’23, the first collegiate points of his career.

The Bison carried their 10-4 lead into the second half, scoring four more goals in the second period, two of which came from Rade Joksimovic ’20. Proving to be resilient and keeping their feet on the gas in the third and fourth periods, the Bison secured a 15-9 win for their season opener.

The Bison continued their winning streak in a close, heavy-scoring second game against Cal Baptist. Both teams fought back and forth early on, but the Bison were able to finish the first period of the game with an 11-7 lead over the Lancers. Joksimovic sparked the Bison’s offensive game, scoring six of the eight total goals he would have for the game within the first period. However, the game switched from heavily offensive to defensive in the next period, with both teams buckling down and allowing zero goals from the opposing team.

In the third period, Cal Baptist pulled within two goals of the Bison after outscoring them 6-4, going on to pull within one goal in the fourth period after outscoring the Bison 6-5. However, a goal from Vlasceanu brought the Bison back to a three-goal advantage with a 19-16 score later in the quarter. After a flurry of activity, goalie Jack Otto ’22 saved a shot from the Lancers in the final seconds of the game, giving the Bison a close 20-19 victory in the second game of the weekend.

The men continued their strong start to the season in their third game of the weekend against Brown on Sunday morning with a 17-9 win. The Bears stayed in it up until the second half with just a three-goal difference between them and the Bison. However, the Bison turned it on in the last period of the game and scored five goals in a row to secure a comfortable victory over Brown.

Determined to depart Brown with a sweep for the weekend, the Bison put up a fight going into their last game against St. Francis Brooklyn. Even after an early deficit in the first period, the Orange and Blue battled back, finding the back of the net eight times in the second and third periods to outlast the Terriers. Logan Schofield ’20 led the charge and created momentum for the Bison with his first goal of the game as well as by drawing an exclusion just a minute prior. Goals from Jacuzzi and Colby Paine ’23 also helped the Bison seal the win over St. Francis Brooklyn and secure a 4-0 sweep on the weekend. Otto and Adrien Touzot ’23 made 12 saves in the cage for the Bison.

“We’re excited to be coming home 4-0, however, this weekend showed we have a lot of things to improve upon. Our fitness and defense are two of the most notable, and next weekend is going to test us,” Jared Stanley ’21 said.

“The weekend was an incredible start to what could be an amazing season. I couldn’t be more proud of the team and how we fought through adversity this weekend. Without our head coach and with only a little time in the pool together so far, this weekend was a success,” team captain Joksimovic said.

The Bison will be on the road again next weekend to take on UC San Diego, Princeton and Brown.

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