LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women's water polo team claimed fifth place at the CWPA Championship for the second time in three seasons behind Sunday's 9-4 victory over Brown at Kinney Natatorium.
The fifth-seeded Bison, who went 3-1 at the three-day tournament, outscored their final three opponents by a combined 35-13 margin to wrap up their 2018 campaign with a 16-18 record. Their lone loss at the CWPA Championship came to fourth-seeded Indiana, the nation's 14th ranked team, by a slim 5-4 margin.
Against the Bears, Ally Furano paced the Bucknell attack with four goals, two of which came on penalty shots in the third quarter. Marta Considine added a pair of tallies while Emily Konishi registered a goal and two assists. The Bison never trailed during the contest and, at one point, held a seven-goal advantage.
At the end of the first quarter, Bucknell held a 3-1 lead, bolstered by back-to-back lob shot goals by Furano and Colleen Barron at the 3:12 and 2:07 marks. After spending much of the second stanza locked in a defensive stalemate, the Bison broke through with two power-play goals in the final 1:06, with Konishi finding Sarah Mooney and Considine to make it a 5-1 game at halftime.
Bucknell extended its lead to 8-2 in the third quarter. Kali Hyham drew the Bison's first penalty shot after making a great play to corral a pass under significant pressure; Furano converted on that one and the second, which was drawn by Considine just over a minute after the Bears snapped a nearly 18-minute scoring drought with a power-play goal.
After Konishi added a goal to her two assists with 2:12 left to play in the third quarter, Considine made it a 9-2 game with a man-advantage strike at the 5:51 mark of the final frame. The Bears ultimately netted the final two goals of the contest to bring the final score to 9-4.
Manuela Herrera finished her final collegiate game with six saves, none more impressive than her lunging stop on a Jessica Heilman power-play bid with 2:37 on the clock in the first quarter. At the time, the Bison were nursing a 2-1 lead; thirty seconds after Herrera deflected Heilman's bullet off the crossbar and out, Barron found the back of the net to make it a 3-1 game.
Herrera didn't have to face many shots because of Bucknell's strong defensive play in front of her. Five different Bison registered at least two steals: Furano (4), Barron (3), Considine (3), Mooney (2) and Shyla Lintz (2). Furano's four steals matched Bucknell's best CWPA Championship total, set by Nina Benson in Saturday's 10-5 victory over No. 23 Harvard. Hyham (3) and Lintz (2) also drew multiple ejections.
In 2016, the Bison toppled then No. 18 Harvard, 11-7, to take fifth at the CWPA Championship. That fifth-place finish was their highest since they also placed fifth in 2010. Last year, they claimed sixth after falling to then No. 16 Indiana, 14-9, in the fifth-place game.
This year, the CWPA Championship returned to Bucknell for the first time since 2014. The Bison hosted the CWPA's premier event for the second time; previously, they hosted five ECAC Championship (1999, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011), four Southern Championships (2003, 2005, 2008, 2012) and the 2004 Eastern Championships.
Following the CWPA Championship, Considine and Hyham were named to the All-Tournament Second Team for their efforts in leading the Bison to their fifth-place finish. It was the first All-Tournament Team nod for both.
BROWN 1 0 1 2 - 4
BUCKNELL 3 2 3 1 - 9
Goals: Furano (4), Considine (2), Barron, Konishi, Mooney
Assists: Konishi (2), Benson
Ejections Drawn: Hyham (3), Lintz (2), Mooney, Considine
Steals: Furano (4), Barron (3), Considine (3), Lintz (2), Mooney (2), Benson, Hyham
Saves: Manuela Herrera, 6 svs., 4 GA, 32:00 min
Sprints: Barron (0-2), Benson (1-1), Konishi (1-1)
2018 CWPA Championship Major Awards
Most Valuable Player: Julia Selllers, University of Michigan
Rookie of the Tournament: Marissa Webb, Princeton University
Doc Hunkler Coach of the Tournament: Becca Dorst, Princeton University
CWPA Championship All-Tournament Teams
Jessica Gaudreault (Goalie), Indiana
Haley Wan, Princeton
Chelsea Johnson, Princeton
Maddy Steere, Michigan
Julia Sellers, Michigan
Zsofia Polak, Hartwick
Lena Kotanchyan, Hartwick
Marisol Dakan (Goalie), Brown
Jessica Heilman, Brown
Joelle Nacouzi, Indiana
Kelly Matthews, Indiana
Marta Considine, Bucknell
Kali Hyham, Bucknell
Kristen Hong, Harvard