Water polo makes a splash at Bison Invitational

Anna Carroll, Senior Writer

Despite dropping their first game of the Bucknell Invitational to Fordham on Sept. 21, the Bison men’s water polo team proved to be resilient going forward, with three straights wins against Mercyhurst, Wagner, and La Salle. The team now boasts an impressive 9-2 record to start their season.

In the first game of the weekend, the Orange and Blue started strong against Fordham. Rade Joksimovic ’20 scored first for the Bison on a power-play involving fellow senior Logan Schofield ’20. Andu Vlasceanu ’23 and Cullen Jacuzzi ’20 later teamed up for the second goal, put in the back of the net by Jacuzzi.

In the second period, Fordham stepped up, scoring seven goals to the Bison’s five. The halftime break proved to be exactly what Fordham needed to push ahead, as they ultimately collected six more goals in the third to take a more comfortable lead. Joksimovic and Schofield battled hard for the Bison, combining to add three more goals, but still fell short. Fordham pulled away with a 17-15 victory over the Bison, ending their 24 home-game winning streak.

In the second game, the Orange and Blue kept Mercyhurst to just one goal during the matchup. Cooper Dolan ’20 got the ball rolling 18 seconds into the game with a goal for the Bison. Jack Lewis ’22, Jacuzzi and Joksimovic each powered goals into the back of the cage on behalf of the Bison, helping them go into the half with a 5-0 lead over Mercyhurst.

Vlasceanu and Joksimovic were both active in the third period, each contributing goals for a 11-0 lead entering the fourth period.

On Sept. 22, the Bison faced Wagner in their first game, starting off the day on a positive note with its first Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) win of the season.

In a back-and-forth battle between the first and second periods, Wagner pulled within one after Schofield, Vlasceanu and Joksimovic each scored a goal to open the game. However, the Orange and Blue scored the next 14 of 15 goals during play and raced to a 17-3 lead heading into the last period. Wagner finally responded with a goal of its own but proved to be too late as the Bison clinched a 17-5 win in their home pool.

Scott Little ’21 recorded his first goal of the season, Joksmovic scored seven of his own, Vlasceanu added four, and Lewis tacked on multiple goals as well. Adrien Touzot ’23 collected 20 saves for the Orange and Blue in the goal on his second start of the season.

The team wrapped up the weekend on a positive note against La Salle that evening. The Orange and Blue raced to an early 3-0 lead with goals from Jared Stanley ’21, Joksimovic and Schofield. Although La Salle responded with two quick goals of their own, Schofield scored once again on a power-play opportunity.

Four different scorers found the back of the cage for four goals in the second period — Jacuzzi, Lewis, Schofield and Stanley. With the score standing at 8-5 going into the half, the Bison used the third period to pull away from La Salle with an even bigger lead. Goals from Vlasceanu and Joksimovic as well as Stanley and Lewis gave the herd the edge they needed to pull off a 16-10 win to wrap up the weekend.

“Losing at home on Saturday to Fordham was a disappointing way to start the weekend. We were able to step up our game in both offensive and defensive in order to finish the weekend on a high note. It is nice to see our hard work being reflected in our record so far,” Cullen Jacuzzi said.

The Bison will be back in action in two weeks, traveling to Maryland and Washington, D.C. to take on Johns Hopkins, Navy, and George Washington on Oct. 12-13.

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