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BRONX, N.Y. — With today being Halloween, it was certainly a party atmosphere at the Messmore Aquatic Center, as the No. 17-ranked Fordham University Rams hosted the defending Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Champion Bucknell University Bison in a key East Region match-up.

There were plenty of momentum shifts and scary moments, which was capped by Jacopo Parrella scoring his sixth goal of the game and giving Fordham a 14-13 sudden death overtime win versus Bucknell.  With the win, Fordham improved to 20-4 on the season, 8-0 in league play.

After falling behind on a penalty shot goal, the Rams answered with three straight goals in the first quarter to grab a 3-1 edge and finish the period up 5-2.

Bucknell closed to within two, 7-5, by halftime, and then took control with a five-goal third quarter to grab a 10-8 lead.

The Bison would still have a two-goal lead late in the period, 12-10, with a chance to make it a three-goal lead with a penalty shot with 1:03 left.  However, Bailey O’Mara stopped the penalty shot by Ethan Jones to give the Rams a chance at a late rally.

Fordham was then able to draw an exclusion and get an extra-man goal from Parrella to make it a 12-11 score with 47 seconds left.  The Rams then got a defensive stop and got the ball back with 15 seconds remaining.

Following a timeout, the Rams would pull the goalkeeper for the extra attacker were rewarded, as Parrella scored on a skip shot inside the left post with five seconds left to tie the game at 12 and force overtime.

In the first three-minute session, the Rams went back on top, 13-12, on an extra-man goal by Lucas Nieto Jasny, but Bucknell tied the game on the next possession.  Each team would get extra-man chances in the remaining time but none were converted, forcing the game into a sudden death session overtime.

Bucknell got the first possession, but O’Mara came up with a save to give Fordham the advantage.  The teams then exchanged defensive stops with Fordham regaining possession with 1:47 left.  The ball eventually found Parrella on the right side, who fought off cramping as well as a Bucknell defender to net the game-winning goal with 1:22 left in the period.

This was Fordham’s first sudden death overtime win since 2015 at Iona College.

For Fordham, Parrella finished with a season-high six goal to go with two assists and three steals, while Nieto Jasny had two goals and two assists.  Jason Hiremath also netted a pair of goals with the remaining markers coming from Hans Zdolsek, Christos Loupakis, George Papanikolaou and Nacho Ariste

In net, O’Mara had 14 stops, including a penalty block, to go with one steal.

Release courtesy Fordham University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association