LEWISBURG, Pa. — The No. 13-ranked Bucknell University men’s water polo team dropped the first game of the Bison Invitational at Kinney Natatorium to visiting Fordham University, 17-15, before rebounding with a staunch defensive effort in a 13-1 win over Mercyhurst University.
Bucknell is now 7-2, and dropped its first match in Kinney Natatorium since Oct. 8, 2016. The loss snapped a 24-game home winning streak for the Bison.
The game versus Fordham started positively for Bucknell, as the Bison took a 3-1 lead after one quarter. Senior Rade Joksimovic scored on the power play after fellow senior Logan Schofield drew an exclusion on Fordham’s Joseph Agabs. Cullen Jacuzzi scored the second goal on an assist by Andu Vlasceanu.
Fordham bounced back in the second period, scoring seven goals to Bucknell’s five as the two teams went into the break tied at eight. Matt Blackwell scored the final tally for the Bison of the half on a nice pass from Jared Stanley into the two-meter area.
Fordham added six more goals in the third to take a 14-11 lead as it threatened to pull away. The Rams managed to keep Bucknell at bay in the fourth, even as Bucknell closed the game on a 3-0 run on goals by Joksimovic and Schofield. The Bison drew 19 exclusions in the game, but could only find the back of the cage on six of their 17 power play opportunities.
Joksimovic finished with five goals and two assists, while Vlasceanu added three goals and two assists. Schofield drew a season-high eight ejections, while Vlasceanu added a season-high five ejections drawn.
Jack Otto made six saves in the cage.
Bucknell bounced back strongly in game two, keeping the Lakers off the board until the 1:50 mark of the fourth quarter. The Bison outscored Mercyhurst 11-0 in the first three quarters as they cruised to a 13-1 win in their second game of the day.
Bucknell got on the board early, as Cooper Dolan got the ball rolling 18 seconds in after a nice pass from Joksimovic teed up the senior for his second goal of the day.
Schofield doubled Bucknell’s lead at the 3:04 mark, with Joksimovic playing provider once again on the play. Jack Lewis, Jacuzzi and Joksimovic each found the back of the cage in the second period, as Bucknell took a 5-0 halftime lead with five different goalscorers contributing.
Joksimovic was heavily involved to open the third period, as he scored on an assist from Mitchell Scott before assisting Schofield’s second goal of the day to give Bucknell a commanding 7-0 lead. Four more goals, three by Vlasceanu, gave Bucknell an 11-0 lead entering the fourth period, where the team would eventually cruise to a 13-1 win.
The last time Bucknell allowed one goal or fewer was a 10-1 win over Fordham in 2015.
Joksimovic scored three goals and added four assists, while Vlasceanu also scored three goals. Schofield scored twice, while Will Gildea scored his first career goal for the Orange and Blue.
Adrien Touzot, in his first start of the season, allowed just the one goal while making seven saves.
Release courtesy Bucknell University Athletics Communications