PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Julian Colina scored three goals and four other Bison netted one apiece, but the No. 20 Bucknell men’s water polo team could not overcome an early 3-0 deficit and lost to No. 16 Navy by a 10-7 score Sunday afternoon in the CWPA Championship third-place game at Brown. The Bison finished in the top-four at the conference championship for the fourth time in the last five years.
A penalty shot goal and a six-on-five score by Colina early in the second quarter helped trim Bucknell’s deficit to just 5-4, but Navy (19-15) scored two goals in the final 75 seconds of the first half to take a 7-4 advantage into halftime. The Mids extended their lead to as many as four goals in the second half as the Bison could not draw closer than the final three-goal margin.
Colina posted his sixth game this season with at least three goals, but Bucknell was unable to defeat Navy for a third time this season. The Bison swept the regular-season series, but the Mids claimed both postseason matchups as the Southern Championships and now the CWPA Championship.
Bucknell third-year head coach John McBride started all six members of his talented senior class in their final game as Bison. Colina was joined in the starting lineup by classmates Jack Else, Alex Nowlin, Andrew Somers, Stephen Norton and Mike Kimble. That group helped lead Bucknell to 59 victories over the last four years and combined to score 562 goals.
Following the conclusion of the weekend 12-team tournament, Else and sophomore Stefan Aleksic were named to the All-CWPA Championship teams. Else landed on the first-team, while Aleksic was a second-team choice. It is the second straight honor for both players as both were second-team selections a year ago. Aleksic was also the Rookie of the Year in 2012.
With a final 14-11 record, Bucknel finished above .500 for the third straight year and for the seventh time in the last eight campaigns.
BUCKNELL 1 1 2 3 -7
NAVY 3 2 2 3 -10