PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Newly named all-conference selections Jack Else and Stefan Aleksic scored four goals apiece and the Bucknell men’s water polo team held off a fourth-quarter comeback by Brown and defeated the host Bears by a 9-8 score Friday evening on the first day of the CWPA Championship. The Bison will now play No. 13 St. Francis in Saturday’s semifinal in a rematch of last year’s title game.
Bucknell (14-9) outscored Brown 4-0 in the second quarter to take a 6-2 lead into halftime. The Bison still led 7-4 entering the final period, but the Bears were able to come back and tie the score at 8-8 with 3:07 to play. After a timeout by Bucknell head coach John McBride, Else scored what proved to be the winning goal on the Bison’s next possession.
A second-quarter goal by Mike Kimble rounded out the scoring for Bucknell, which is ranked 20th nationally and has guaranteed its fourth top-four finish in the last five years at the CWPA Championship.
The Bison defense totaled seven steals and five field blocks as junior goalie Keegan Williams was called upon to make just four saves to help preserve the win.
Aleksic added two assists to go along with his four goals, boosting his season point total to a team-best 75 (40g, 35a).
Brown (21-13), which is ranked 19th nationally, will face George Washington Saturday at 1:40 p.m. The Bears, who earlier in the day Friday defeated Fordham, can still finish as high as fifth in the 12-team field.
Saturday’s Bucknell-St. Francis Brooklyn game is slated for 4:20 p.m.
BUCKNELL 2 4 1 2 -9
BROWN 2 0 2 4 -8
Goals: Else (4), Aleksic (4), Kimble.
Assists: Aleksic (2), Hale (2), Colina.
Field Blocks: Aleksic (2), Moore, Daley, Kimble.
Ejections Drawn: Else (3), Colina (2), Daley (2), Nowlin, Norton.
Saves: Williams (4 svs., 8 ga., 32:00 min.).
Steals: Hale (2), Else, Aleksic, Nowlin, Thayer, Daley.
Sprints: Hale (1-3), Hunter (0-1).
Bucknell Record: 14-9.