LEWISBURG, Pa. — The La Salle Universty men’s water polo had one of its most successful days in team history when it recorded wins over Mercyhurst University, 12-8, and Washington & Jefferson College, 12-5, on the first day of the 2019 Bucknell Universty Invitational.
The 2-0 start to the Bucknell Invite marks only the second time that the team has tallied multiple victories in a day.
Junior Cole Strohson was a major force over the pair of contests, accounting for a third of La Salle’s offensive output by scoring eight times.
Taking on Mercyhurst, Explorers and Lakers traded goals twice to begin the quarter locked at 2-2. Freshman Derek Allen broke the deadlock off of an assist by junior Daniel Domotor and La Salle had a lead after one quarter of play.
Mercyhurst opened the second frame with a pair of goals to retake the lead, but La Salle responded in kind through Strohson and classmate Ash Lyne. The Lakers would tie the game again, and again the Explorers scored – this time via sophomoreTyler Williams – and head into the half with a one-goal lead.
The second half began with a test of La Salle’s resolve, one that it would answer. Mercyhurst scored twice to retake the lead, but four-straight goals from the Explorers meant that the Blue & Gold had a 10-7 advantage after three.
In the fourth quarter, senior Derek DeFusco got on the board and put La Salle up by four on the way to victory.
The game was a tale of two halves as the Explorers held a slim 6-5 advantage after two quarters, but battened down defensively afterwards while maintaining consistency on the offensive end. They outscored Mercyhurst 6-3 over the third and fourth quarters.
Strohson struck for six goals in this game, while Williams was the other Explorer with a multi-goal game (two). Further, Domotor and sophomore Josh Delillo were the joint-top providers in this game with each player assisting twice.
Senior Luke Weachter had a solid overall game: scoring once, assisting another, tallying a field block and tallying a team-high four exclusions earned.
Freshman goalkeeper Adriano Zunino had a stellar game in net, recording eight saves on ten shots.
Taking on W&J, La Salle jumped out of the gates with a 5-2 lead after the first quarter. The Explorers extended that advantage with three scores in the second quarter while shutting out the Presidents.
With a solid 8-2 lead through the first half, the Explorers were in cruise control and split the third frame with both teams finding the back of the cage once.
La Salle finished out the contest by outscoring Washington & Jefferson, 3-2, over the final eight minutes to cap the win.
Freshman Callin Chimilar was La Salle’s top goal scorer versus W&J with a hat-trick. Strohson and Waechter were again on the board as each recorded a brace with pairs of goals.
Delillo had a strong contest overall by scoring once, assisting another, tallying two steals and one block. Domotor and Joey DeFusco both added pairs of assists.
Zunino made six saves on eight shots to earn the win while splitting time with junior Cameron Schiable. Schiable notched four saves on seven shots with an assist and a steal.
Release courtesy La Salle Universty Athletics Communications