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LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Division III No. 10-ranked Johns Hopkins University water polo team dropped a pair of matches to top-15 teams on day one of the 2019 Bucknell University Invitational as the Blue Jays fells to No. 12 Harvard University, 16-5, and No. 14 St. Francis College Brooklyn, 16-13.

Hopkins opened the day against the undefeated Crimson as Harvard jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game’s opening 14 minutes.

Hopkins got on the board with a goal from sophomore Jacob Whitaker with 1:30 remaining in the second quarter. However, the Crimson answered before a John Murphy strike in the final 22 seconds made it an 11-2 game at the half.

The teams traded scores for the remainder of the game as Harvard took the 16-5 win.

Sophomore Jayden Kunwar led the Blue Jays with a pair of goals and three drawn ejections versus the Crimson, while Whitaker had a trio of steals to go with two points (one goal, one assist).

The Blue Jays nearly pulled off an upset of St. Francis Brooklyn in the afternoon, but fell just short.

Hopkins struck first, when Kunwar scored less than two minutes into the contest. St. Francis answered, however, with three straight goals to go up 3-1 with 1:53 to go in the quarter. Back-to-back five-meter goals by Murphy pulled the Blue Jays within one at 4-3.

St. Francis responded with four straight goals to go up 7-3 midway through the second quarter. Kunwar ended the run with his second of the afternoon in the final minute to make it a 7-4 game at the half. The teams then traded goals over a three-minute span and it was 9-6 St. Francis with 3:04 to play in the third frame. Freshman Chris Freese scored 90 seconds later and the deficit was down to two.

The Terriers came back with three goals in the final 67 seconds to build its margin to 12-7 heading into the final quarter.

The Blue Jays opened the fourth with back-to-back goals to pull back within three. The Terriers scored three goals in a 62-second span to take a 15-9 lead.

Hopkins wasn’t going away, however, as the Blue Jays scored four goals in two minutes and 10 seconds to make it a two-tally game with 42 seconds to play. That’s as close as they would get however, as St. Francis tacked one more on before the final horn to collect a three-goal win.

Kunwar had a game-high five goals against the Terriers, while senior Finn Banks handed out four assists to go with six steals, three drawn ejections and a goal. Banks moved into a tie for 10th in school history with 96 career assists. Murphy is now tied for 25th with 39 career helpers.

Release courtesy Johns Hopkins University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association