Water Polo keeps rolling at Bucknell Invitational

Georgia Lewis '22 (Riley DeBaecke)

Justin Schaumberger, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison women’s water polo team kept rolling as they picked up two big wins at the Bucknell Invitational. They knocked off Salem 14-10 on Feb. 7 and St. Francis (Brooklyn) 17-4 on Feb. 8. The Orange and Blue were not able to keep their unbeaten streak, however, as they fell in the finale to 20th ranked Wagner 8-17. The Bison now sit at an impressive 6-1.

To open the weekend, the Bison took on Salem in a battle of the undefeated. The Orange and Blue came out of the gates with something to prove, as they scored four straight goals to open the contest. Ally Furano ’21 scored the first three goals of the game just a week after being named CWPA Division I Player of the Week. Kali Hyham ’21 then got on the scoreboard shortly after to make the score 4-0. After a Salem goal stopped the momentum, Nina Benson ’20 scored a goal off a Paige Furano ’22 assist to restore the four-goal lead. With another goal each from A. Furano and P. Furano, the Bison went into halftime with a commanding 8-4 lead. The Orange and Blue sealed the game in the third quarter by outscoring the Tigers 5-1.  P. Furano found the net twice while Hyham, A. Furano and Megan Lacroix ’23 each scored once. Abbie Coscia ’23 scored her first career goal in the fourth quarter to wrap things up as the Bison triumphed 14-10.

On Saturday, the Bison continued their hot streak, blowing out St. Francis (Brooklyn) by a score of 17-4. The Bison used an 11-0 run to close out the first half and build up a 12-1 lead over the Terriers. Marcela Herrera ’21 opened the scoring for the Bison early on in the match. Despite being beaten early in the first quarter, goalkeeper Georgia Lewis ’22 made several big saves to keep the Bison from falling behind early and finished the match with eight saves. After the Terriers scored to tie the game at one, the flood gates opened. A. Furano scored six times, Hyham scored twice, Benson scored twice and Anna Bautista ’23 chipped in a goal to stretch out a 12-1 Bison lead at halftime. The Orange and Blue did not give up in the second half with Coscia, A. Furano, Bautista and Chloe Smith ’23 all scored a goal apiece on their way to commanding victory.

In their biggest challenge of the weekend, the 23rd ranked Bison took on number 20 ranked Wagner in a top 25 showdown on Sunday. Unlike the previous two matches, the Orange and Blue were not able to build an early lead as they saw themselves starting down a 4-0 deficit. The Bison fought back to bring the score to 4-2 on goals by A. Furano and Hyham. However, the Bison were unable to stop the Seahawks onslaught, as they scored the next four goals of the game to bring their lead to 8-2. P. Furano was able to give the Bison some life with a goal to close the deficit to 9-4, but another Seahawks run saw the lead stretched to 15-7 and were never able to recover. The Orange and Blue fell 17-8, suffering their first loss of the season. Despite the defeat, several Bison players had stellar performances. Hyham scored three goals, A. Furano scored two and P. Furano scored a goal and tallied three assists. Additionally, the Bison will have a chance at revenge when they play Wagner later on in the Harvard Classic.

“This past weekend we had our first loss of the season, which is always hard. But, it gave us a chance to see some of the areas we need to improve upon if we want to continually beat the top-ranked teams. Over the next coming weekends, we are going to be working on some of our weaker areas, communication and defense, so that we can hopefully get better and improve each weekend of games. Our goal this year is to be in the finals of the CWPA championships; something [the University] has not been able to accomplish before,” P. Furano said.

Despite the small blemish, the Bison still sit at an exceptional 6-1 record to start the season. They will look to keep their winning ways going when they travel to the Mercyhurst Invite to take on Gannon, Mercyhurst, McKendree, and Salem. The games will be on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

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