Bucknell Stops PSU-Behrend, Falls to St. Francis in Regular Season Finale
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell men's water polo team concluded its regular season on Sunday afternoon at Kinney Natatorium and went 1-1 against a pair of non-league opponents. The 18th-ranked Bison opened the day with a 25-0 win over Penn State Behrend. Less than an hour after the conclusion of that contest Bucknell faced No. 19 St. Francis (N.Y.) and lost 14-9.
The Bison are now 14-11 this year and will await next weekend's Southern Championships, which will take place at Kinney Natatorium. Complete seedings for the Southern Championships will be announced early this week.
In its opener, Bucknell posted its first shutout since a 16-0 victory over Queens in 1999 and scored its most goals since defeating Slippery Rock 25-21 in 1998. Eleven different Bison netted goals, including freshman Brian Barron (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick), who registered a team-high four. Classmate Sam Fiske (La Jolla, Calif./The Bishop's School), who entered the game without a goal this season, tallied three times and dished out three assists. The Bison played their reserves much of the game and backup goalie Matt Napleton (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) played the whole contest in cage and stopped a career-high 10 shots.
The Bucknell-St. Francis game was a different story as it was close the whole way with neither team leading by more than one goal until the Terriers took a 10-8 advantage in the fourth quarter. St. Francis, which has not lost to the Bison since 1998 - a span of 20 meetings - scored seven of the game's final eight goals. Bucknell managed just one goal over the final 11-plus minutes.
The two teams alternated goals over the majority of the first half until Bucknell scored twice within a minute late in the second quarter to take a 6-5 lead into halftime. The Terriers came out of halftime strong with two goals in the first two minutes of the second half, but Bucknell came back with two more goals to take its final lead at 8-7.
Johnny Stupp (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Institute), who did not play earlier in the day against Penn State Behrend, netted a team-high three goals, while Andrew Nelson added two, giving him six points in the two games. Richie Hyden (Melbourne, Australia/Greenwich (Conn.)) dished out three assists.
Nick Donahue (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lawrenceville) played well in goal in the first half, recording four saves and yielding five goals. Miles Gilhuly (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) played the second half and St. Francis netted nine goals during that span.
Bucknell will host the Southern Championships next weekend, Nov. 6-8. The three-day, 17-game tournament begins Friday night with a pair of games between the bottom four seeds in the 10-team field.