PRINCETON, N.J. – The No. 16 Bucknell men's water polo team faced No. 4 UCLA and No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn on its first day at the Princeton Invitational Saturday.
The Bison, who have faced six-straight ranked teams to start their season, fell to both the Bruins (18-8) and the Terriers (7-6).
Against St. Francis Brooklyn (1-5), Bucknell entered halftime down by a 4-2 margin after the Terriers scored three unanswered goals in the second quarter. The Bison regrouped, netting three unanswered goals of their own in the third quarter to take a 5-4 lead.
The Terriers scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to build a 7-5 lead. While Marko Djordjevic took a feed from Borna Bolanca and found the back of the cage with 12 seconds remaining to draw Bucknell within one, Viktor Klauzer blocked two Rade Joksimovic shots in the dying seconds to preserve the victory for St. Francis Brooklyn.
In net, Charlie Niehaus finished with 16 saves. For the Terriers, Klauzer made 12 saves while Luka Budak notched a pair of goals.
The Bison's meeting with UCLA (5-0) was their first since 2009. The Bruins, who had a 57-match winning streak snapped last season, scored six of the game's first seven goals and never looked back.
Bucknell did outscore UCLA, 4-3, in the third quarter, stringing together a 3-0 run on the strength of two Dolan strikes and one Djordjevic tally. UCLA ultimately won the fourth quarter, 6-0, to bring its margin of victory to 18-8.
The Bison's eight goals were the most they have scored against the Bruins in eight all-time meetings. Dolan and Joksimovic each had a hat trick while Djordjevic added a pair. Djordjevic and Joksimovic also recorded two assists each.
Matt Farmer led the Bruins in scoring with four goals while Felix Brozyna-Vilim added a hat trick.
The Bison (1-5) will play their seventh-straight ranked opponent tomorrow at 10 a.m. when they take on No. 10 Harvard in their Princeton Invitational finale.