ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Bucknell men’s water polo team relinquished a 4-2 halftime lead and lost to Princeton, 8-6, in Sunday’s Southern Championships title game. The second-place showing equals the Bison’s best-ever showing at the event, which began in 1993.
Bucknell (12-14), the fourth seed in the 10-team field, defeated Mercyhurst and No. 15 Navy on Sunday to advance to the championship game. The Bison had finished either third or fourth at the Southern Championship each of the last 10 years. Princeton was the second seed in the field and claimed its second title in three years.
Richie Hyden (Melbourne, Australia/Greenwich (Conn.)) and Howie Kalter (Durham, N.H./Phillips Academy Andover) combined for 10 goals and 10 assists in Saturday’s two games, but the Tigers held the two seniors to just one goal and two assists on Sunday. Brian Barron (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) ended with a team-high two goals, while four other Bison posted one goal apiece.
With his two assists, Hyden moved into a tie for sixth place on Bucknell’s all-time scoring list with 386 points. He is also fifth in assists (160) and sixth in goals (226).
Miles Gilhuly (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte), who had 10 saves in the win over Navy on Saturday, posted five saves in the first half. Matt Napleton (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) played the second half and registered three saves and one steal.
Bucknell is now 1-3 against Princeton this season. Each team won at home during regular-season league play, but the Tigers claimed victories at the ECAC Championship and now the Southern Championships.
Both the Bison and Tigers entered the weekend tied for 17th in the national rankings. Five of Bucknell’s last six games have been opposite ranked opponents.
Next up for the Bison is the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship, which will take place Nov. 19-21 at Kinney Natatorium. Bucknell earned a berth in the eight-team field on the basis of its top-four showing this weekend.
Release courtesy Bucknell Athletic Communications