Setting the Scene
What: Princeton Invitational
When: Saturday, Sept. 9 to Sunday, Sept. 10
Where: Princeton, N.J. (DeNunzio Pool)
Tournament Information: GoPrincetonTigers.com
Game One: No. 16 Bucknell (1-3, 0-0 MWPCA) vs. No. 4 UCLA (2-0, 0-0 MPSF)
When: Saturday, Sept. 9 – 7:30 a.m.
Video: Ivy League Network
Game Two: No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn (0-4, 0-0 NEC) vs. No. 16 Bucknell (1-3, 0-0 MPSF)
When: Saturday, Sept. 9 – 3 p.m.
Video: Ivy League Network
Game Three: No. 10 Harvard (2-2, 0-0 NEWPC) vs. No. 16 Bucknell (1-3, 0-0 MPSF)
When: Sunday, Sept. 10 – 10 a.m.
Video: Ivy League Network
No. 16 Bucknell at a Glance
• The Bison are celebrating their 40th season of competition.
• Bucknell moved from 14th to 16th in the CWPA Poll after posting a 1-3 record at the Bruno Classic on Sept. 2-3.
• The Bison played four ranked teams at their season-opening tournament: then No. 5 Pacific (5-23), then No. 19 St. Francis Brooklyn (12-11), then No. 7 Pepperdine (9-15) and then No. 16 California Baptist (13-14). They are set to play three more ranked teams this weekend at the Princeton Invitational in No. 4 UCLA, No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn and No. 10 Harvard.
• Bucknell last played four ranked teams in a row from Oct. 24-26, 2014. While at the Santa Clara Rodeo, the Bison took on No. 15 Santa Clara (9-8), No. 13 Air Force (9-7), No. 19 California Baptist (13-10) and No. 12 U.C. Davis (11-10). They also toppled Fresno Pacific, 9-8, in Santa Clara Rodeo action and ultimately went from unranked to No. 12 in the following week's CWPA Poll.
• Cooper Dolan paced Bucknell offensively at the Bruno Classic, scoring 11 goals on a staggering .786 shooting percentage. With 13 points, he finished the tournament second on the team to Rade Joksimovic (9g-15a). Marko Djordjevic (7g-4a) rounded out the Bison top three in points.
• Dolan, who was a key reserve as a freshman in 2016, entered the 2017 campaign with 30 points (19g-11a). He shattered his previous career-high of three goals (set against Navy on Oct. 8, 2016) to lead the Bison to victory over the Terriers, enjoying an eight-point (7g-1a) outing.
• In net over the course of the tournament, Charlie Niehaus made 15 saves.
• Joksiovic and Tommy Stupp tied for the team lead with five steals while Logan Schofield drew the most exclusions with seven. Joksiovic (19) and Dolan (14) were the only Bison who reached the double digits in shots.
Joksiovic Closes in on 200 Career Points
• On the strength of his 14-point performance at the Bruno Classic, Joksiovic enters the Princeton Invitational two points shy of 200 in his Bucknell career.
• As a freshman in 2016, Joksiovic totaled 184 points (154g-30a), finishing fourth in program history in single-season points and tied for second in single-season goals.
• Joksiovic appears four times on Bucknell's leader board in single-game goals, including at the top thanks to his 14-goal outing against Connecticut College on Nov. 18, 2016.
No. 4 UCLA at a Glance
• UCLA posted a 25-3 (2-1 MPSF) record in 2016. The Bruins ultimately fell to California, 9-8, in the NCAA semifinals.
• UCLA began 2017 with commanding victories over Ponoma-Pitzer (16-5) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (19-2) at the UCLA Invitational.
• The Bruins will also face George Washington, St. Francis Brooklyn, Brown and Princeton at the Princeton Invitational.
• In 2015, UCLA went 30-0 (9-0 MPSF) en route to its 10th NCAA title. It was the fourth undefeated season in NCAA men's water polo history and second for the Bruins. UCLA's 57-game winning streak was snapped by an 8-7 loss to No. 2 USC on Nov. 12, 2016.
• The Bruins lost nine seniors to graduation, including five 2016 All-Americans. UCLA returns two honorable mention All-Americans in Max Irving and Alex Roelse.
The Bison vs. the Bruins
• The Bruins lead the all-time series, 7-0.
• Bucknell and UCLA last met on Sept. 13, 2009 at the Princeton Invitational. The Bruins, then ranked No. 4, downed the Bison, 15-3.
• Bucknell scored its most goals against UCLA in their 1979 meeting, a 17-7 defeat.
No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn at a Glance
• The Terriers went 0-4 at the Bruno Classic to start the 2017 campaign, falling to then No. 15 Brown (11-12 3OT), then No. 14 Bucknell (11-12), then No. 3 Stanford (5-21) and then No. 5 Pacific (7-18).
• St. Francis Brooklyn finished 13-14 (5-5 NEC) in 2016.
• The Terriers will also face UCLA, Chapman and Navy at the Princeton Invitational.
The Bison vs. the Terriers
• The Terriers lead the all-time series, 31-7, but the Bison have won three of the past four meetings.
• Bucknell and St. Francis Brooklyn met at this year's Bruno Classic. Cooper Dolan’s seven-goal outing led the Bison to a 12-11 victory over the Terriers. Bucknell opened a 9-7 lead in the third quarter after Caio Jordao, Marko Djordjevic and Rade Joksimovic combined to score three unanswered goals. That buffer proved to be the difference, as the teams traded strikes the rest of the match.
• At last year's Bruno Classic, Bucknell downed then No. 20 St. Francis Brooklyn, 7-6, behind Rade Joksimovic's last-minute goal. The Bison outscored the Terriers, 4-0, in the second half to secure the comeback win.
No. 10 Harvard at a Glance
• Harvard went 27-7 (7-3 NWPC) in 2016. The Crimson advanced to the NCAA Final Four, where it fell to eventual champion USC, on the strength of overtime victories over Bucknell (13-12) and U.C. Davis (16-15) in the play-in games.
• Harvard went 2-2 at the Bruno Classic, falling to then No. 3 Stanford (5-21) and then No. 7 Pepperdine (7-16) and dispatching McKendree (19-5) and Wagner (14-9).
• Harvard will also take on George Washington and Chapman at the Princeton Invitational.
• For his efforts at the Bruno Classic, Dennis Blyashov was named the NWPC Rookie of the Week. He totaled five goals, six assists and seven steals.
The Bison vs. the Crimson
• Bucknell leads the all-time series, 20-10.
• The Bison won eight games in a row from 2004 to 2012, but the Crimson have taken three of the past four meetings, all of which were decided by two or fewer goals and two of which went to overtime.
• Bucknell played Harvard twice in 2016: in the Harvard Invitational (11-13) and the NCAA play-in game (12-13 3OT). In the play-in game, Rade Joksimovic scored the game-tying goal with 16 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Bison erase a four-goal deficit in the final quarter, but Harry Tafur scored the game-winning goal just under two minutes into the sudden victory overtime period to lift the Crimson to victory.
• The Bison host the Bison Invitational on Sept. 15-17 at Kinney Natatorium. They will face La Salle (Sept. 16, 11:45 a.m.), Mercyhurst (Sept. 16, 4:45 p.m) and Salem International (Sept. 17, 1 p.m.). The La Salle and Mercyhurst games will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network.