LOS ANGELES – The Bucknell University women’s water polo team earned two close wins in overtime over No. 19-ranked San Jose State University, 10-9, and California State University-East Bay, 12-9, to conclude the Loyola Marymount University Invitational with a 3-1 record.
Taking on the Top 25-ranked Spartans, the Bison prevailed in their first overtime game of the season and their second win over a ranked opponent in 2018 with a sudden-death overtime goal from Nina Benson with 1:45 to go in the first period of sudden death.
After trailing 4-2 at the end of the first, the Bison used a big second period with five unanswered goals to take a 7-4 lead heading into halftime. Ally Furano scored three of the goals for Bucknell, including one with just two seconds left, while Sarah Mooney and Kali Hyham also netted goals. The 5-0 run was huge for Bucknell, as SJSU outscored the Bison 2-0 in the third quarter and 2-1 in the fourth quarter to even things up and send things to overtime for Bucknell for the first time all season.
In the first overtime period, Emily Konishi gave Bucknell a 9-8 lead on an assist by Paige Furano. However, the Spartans tied things back up on a goal by Lili Urvari with 1:31 left in the second overtime period to send things into a sudden death seventh period. After an exclusion drawn by the Bison with two minutes left, Benson fired the game-winning goal to break the deadlock and give the Bison their first overtime win since an 8-7 defeat of George Washington University on March 24 of last season. The game was just the third overtime fixture for the Bison in the last two seasons.
Ally Furano scored four times and added an assist for Bucknell, while Hyham notched three tallies for Bucknell.
Georgia Lewis made 12 saves in the cage for Bucknell, just one shy of her personal-best.
It took extra periods once again for Bucknell to take the win against Cal State East Bay, but the Bison outscored the Pioneers 4-1 in overtime to earn a 12-9 win in their second straight overtime win. The Bison last played back-to-back overtime games in the 2009 season, and last won back-to-back overtime contests in 2007.
The game was close in the first half, with the Bison leading 6-5 after the opening 16 minutes. The defense tightened for both teams in the second half, with Cal State East Bay tying things up in the third after almost six minutes of scoreless action for both teams.
The Bison had a huge turning point in the fourth period when Lewis saved a penalty shot taken by the Pioneers’ Cheyenne Pena to keep things tied. Just over a minute later, Konishi fired the Bison ahead on an unassisted goal as Bucknell took a 7-6 lead with 6:20 remaining. The Pioneers did find an equalizer at the 2:35 mark, before taking the lead with 1:14 to go, 8-7. However, Mooney found a goal with just two seconds remaining on an assist from Hyham to send the game into overtime.
It was all Bucknell in overtime, with the Bison scoring three unanswered goals after the Pioneers tied the game at nine to take a 12-9 win. Konishi had three goals, while Paige Furano also found the back of the cage three times.
Lewis notched double-digit saves for the second straight game with ten.
Release courtesy Bucknell University Athletics Communications