LEWISBURG, Pa. – The No. 18 Bucknell men’s water polo team challenged itself with seven consecutive games against ranked opponents to start the season. The Bison finally faced an unranked foe in their first game of the Bison Invitational on Saturday at Kinney Natatorium and posted an easy 21-6 victory over La Salle, a second-year varsity program. Rade Joksimovic led the way for Bucknell with a team-high six goals and three assists.
Eleven different Bison players scored goals for Bucknell (2-6), which played mostly its reserves for the entire second half. Freshman Scott Little registered three goal in his home debut, while fellow rookie Jared Stanley netted two goals and three assists. Veterans Marko Djordjevic and Jeff Hagen added two goals apiece.
La Salle (0-5) got on the board first with a goal on its initial possession, but the Bison answered quickly with 11 consecutive goals. Five of those came on six-on-five opportunities, while Joksimovic scored all six of his goals during that run. He also assisted on three others during that span.
The Explorers, who were led by four goals from Daniel Domotor, did tally the final two goals of the first half and the first two of the second half to pull back to within 11-5. Bucknell then went on two 5-0 runs and outscored La Salle 10-1 the rest of the way.
The Bison scored six of their goals on six-on-five chances and Joksimovic converted a five-meter penalty shot in the first half.
The matchup with La Salle was the first of three games at Kinney Natatorium this weekend for Bucknell, which has won eight in a row at home and is 23-4 in its home pool since the beginning of the 2015 campaign. The Bison will take on Mercyhurst in their second game of the day at 4:45 p.m. That contest will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network.
LA SALLE 1 2 2 1 -6
BUCKNELL 6 5 5 5 -21
Goals: Joksimovic (6), Little (3), Djordjevic (2), Stanley (2), Hagen (2), Morton, Stupp, Jordao, White, Blackwell, McClymonds.
Assists: Joksimovic (3), Stanley (3), Hagne (2), Morton, Jacuzzi, Djordjevic, Blackwell, McClymonds.
Ejections Drawn: Hagen (4), Schofield (4), Djordjevic, Little, Joksimovic.
Steals: Djordjevic (2), McClymonds (2), Joksimovic (2), Morton, Stupp, Stanley, Hagen, Pullin.
Saves: Niehaus (8 svs., 3 ga., 16:00 min.), Pullin (7 svs., 3 ga., 16:00 min.).
Sprints: Joksimovic (2-2), Little (1-1), Poland (0-1).
Bucknell Record: 2-6.