LEWISBURG, Pa. – The No. 17-ranked Bucknell men’s water polo team turned a slim 4-3 second-quarter lead into an easy 14-5 victory over Johns Hopkins Saturday morning at Kinney Natatorium. The Bison ended the game on a 10-2 run and a strong defense limited the Blue Jays to just one goal in a span of more than 19 minutes before they capped the game’s scoring in the final minute.
Rade Joksimovic totaled a game-high seven steals, Charlie Niehaus (7) and Alex Pullin (4) combined for 11 saves in goal and Bucknell (15-11, 8-0 MAWPC) forced 17 Johns Hopkins (15-13, 1-7 MAWPC) turnovers to remain perfect both in league play and at home this year.
The game was close early on, but Bucknell scored three consecutive goals in the second quarter and then tallied the first seven goals of the second half. Johns Hopkins, which scored its fewest goals since a 10-4 loss to Navy on Oct. 1, would have posted a scoreless second half without the final-minute goal by Jono Gillette.
Hagen, one of four seniors who will be honored during Senior Day ceremonies prior to Bucknell’s second game of the day (5 p.m. vs. Navy), helped the Bison open up an early 2-0 lead with the game’s first two goals. All three of his goals came in the first half.
Thanks to his seven saves, Niehaus eclipsed the 800-save plateau for his career. He is the fourth Bucknell player to reach that mark.
The Bison, who own a 14-game home winning streak, will cap their home schedule Saturday evening at 5 p.m. vs. Navy. Hagen, Niehaus, Tommy Stupp and Jordan White will be honored during Senior Day ceremonies prior to the contest. Bucknell has won the last four meetings with the Mids, who are 8-13 this season.