ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Rade Joksimovic scored a career-high nine goals, Ratimir Babic added five and the Bucknell men’s water polo team won for a fifth straight game as it defeated Navy 20-11 Saturday evening. Joksimovic’s nine goals were the most by a Bison played since 1999, and the Bison are now off to their best start to a season since opening the 2007 campaign 9-1.
Bucknell, which is ranked 13th nationally, matched the most goals ever scored in the series. The Bison also scored 20 against the Mids in a 20-19 overtime victory back in 1993. Bucknell (7-1, 1-0 MAWPC) has now defeated Navy (5-5, 0-2 MAWPC) in five of the last seven meetings.
Joksimovic, who has scored a whopping 42 goals already this year, tied for seventh on the program’s single-game goal list. The last person to score more goals in a game was Josh Watts, who established the program record with a 13-goal performance against Washington & Jefferson in 1999.
Bucknell outscored Navy 14-4 in the middle two periods on Saturday with Joksimovic tallying six of his goals during that stretch. The Bison went from trailing 4-2 in the first period to leading 18-8 after three quarters.
Babic had a strong all-around game as he added three steals and a team-high four ejections drawn to go along with his five goals. Sean Daley added one goal and four assists in the win, while Mark Djordjevic had three assists.
Charlie Niehaus was strong on the defensive end for Bucknell, totaling 12 saves and three steals.
Bucknell will continue its league-opening weekend on Sunday with road games at George Washington (10 a.m.) and Johns Hopkins (3 p.m.).
BUCKNELL 4 7 7 2 -20
NAVY 4 2 2 3 -11
Goals: Joksimovic (9), Babic (5), Dolan (2), Hunter, Moore, Daley, Schofield.
Assists: Daley (4), Djordjevic (3), Stupp, Moore, Dolan, Jacuzzi, Joksimovic.
Ejections Drawn: Hunter (4), Babic (4), Hagen (2), Stupp, Djordjevic, Schofield.
Steals: Babic (3), Niehaus (3), Hunter (2), Moore (2), Dolan (2), Daley (2), Stupp, Djordjevic, Joksimovic.
Saves: Niehaus (12 svs., 11 ga., 32:00 min.).
Sprints: Daley (1-2), Djordjevic (1-2).
Bucknell Record: 7-1, 1-0 MAWPC.