On Sept. 14-15, the Bison men’s water polo team traveled to New Jersey to compete in the Princeton Invite. Despite the team suffering their first loss of the season against No. 9 UC San Diego, the team finished the tournament with two huge wins against No. 19 Brown and host team No. 12 Princeton.
The Bison battled hard in their first game against UC San Diego but ultimately came up short. The Bison went goal-for-goal with UCSD early in the game and were able to keep the score within one going into the second period. Still, the Orange and Blue struggled to come back after the Tritons went on a 6-1 run in the second period to shift the game’s momentum.
Logan Schofield ’20, Andu Vlasceanu ’23 and Matt Blackwell ’21 all contributed goals for the Bison during this run. However, with momentum on their side going into the last periods, the Tritons clinched a 14-7 victory over the Orange and Blue.
In the second game of the weekend, the Bison were motivated to turn things around with a win against host team Princeton. Rade Joksimovic ’20 was active early in the matchup, scoring two of his four goals for the game in the first period. The Orange and Blue knew it would be a hard battle when Princeton returned the favor with two goals of their own to bring the score to 2-2 in the first period. The teams continued to perform point-for-point, finishing the first half at 5-5 and the third period at 8-8.
The Bison’s defense stepped up their game going into the final moments of the game, with a huge field block by Cooper Dolan ’20, and several saves from goalkeeper Jack Otto ’22. Dolan and Vlasceanu teamed up to secure not only three goals for the Bison, but also an 11-8 victory over the Tigers.
The Orange and Blue kept the winning streak alive in their last game of the tournament against Brown University. Although Brown kept things close early on in the game, the Bison were determined to get another win on the road and beat Brown with an 11-6 win before heading back to Lewisburg.
The Orange and Blue’s strong third period gave them control of the game and a comfortable lead over Brown. Jack Lewis ’22 and Joksimovic combined for three goals, while Dolan continued his strong performance with two goals and three assists. Vlasceanu also capitalized on one of Dolan’s assists for another goal for the Bison. Jack Otto played the full time for the Bison in the cage, notching 14 saves and a .700 save percentage during the matchup.
“I am super proud of the way the team competed this weekend, especially after starting with a tough loss to UCSD. The hard work we have been putting in during practices is starting to come together and we’re excited to have a chance to compete at home this weekend,” senior captain Joksimovic said.
The Bison are off to a 6-1 start this season after the win. The team will return to action at home this weekend for the Bucknell Invite, where they will begin their weekend with a Saturday contest against Fordham at 1 p.m. The team will go on to face Mercyhurst, Wagner and La Salle.