Fast Start Helps Bucknell Men's Water Polo Defeat No. 16 Princeton, 10-9
Oct. 14, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -Senior Brian Barron capped a 17-goal weekend with a team-high four goals against No. 16 Princeton as the Bucknell men's water polo team completed a solid 3-1 weekend with a 10-9 victory over the nationally ranked Tigers Sunday evening at Kinney Natatorium. Bucknell led the game 5-0 in the first half and held off Princeton in the final minutes to snap a three-game losing streak to the Tigers.
Bucknell (9-10, 3-5 CWPA Southern Division) led nearly wire-to-wire as it tallied the first five goals in the game. The Tigers did not net their first goal until 90 seconds before halftime, and even then it was on a five-meter penalty shot.
Princeton (10-10, 4-3 CWPA) came all the way back to tie the score at 9-9 in the final minute of regulation. With 49 seconds remaining, Tommy Donahue skipped a shot in just ahead of the shot clock buzzer on a quick restart that surprised the Bison defense.
Bucknell's Jack Else drew a five-meter penalty shot on the next Bison possession and Barron, who connected on a penalty shot in the first quarter, converted the opportunity to give Bucknell the 10-9 lead with 36 seconds to play.
Princeton still had one shot to tie the score, but freshman Nick Hale intercepted a Donahue pass and the Bison were able to melt away the final 15 seconds to earn their first win over a ranked opponent this year.
Barron, who was honored along with co-captain Matt Napleton during Senior Day ceremonies on Saturday, had a huge weekend for Bucknell. He entered the weekend with 19 goals in the season's first 15 games. He nearly doubled that output with his 17 in four games. He now has 130 goals and 202 points in his four-year career.
Napleton, who posted 13 saves against Princeton, also had a stellar weekend. He stopped 55 shots, including four double-figure save outings, and allowed 44 goals. He now has 195 saves this season and 11 games with at least 10 stops.
While Barron's four goals led the way for Bucknell, a balanced scoring attack was used by the Bison as six other players found the back of the net once.
"This weekend was huge," commented Bucknell second-year head coach John McBride who led the Bison to wins over league foes Johns Hopkins, George Washington and Princeton. "The guys worked hard all week. It's not easy to prepare for four different teams in a weekend. We executed well and needed the wins. We came into the weekend with no league wins and now have three. I told the guys this is the start of the season and they responded."
Else, who earlier in the day in a win over George Washington tied his own program single-season record for ejections drawn, drew four more opposite the Tigers to break the career record in that category. He now has 187 ejections drawn in his career, one more than previous record holder Richie Hyden.
Thanks to its 3-1 record this weekend, Bucknell is now 5-1 at Kinney Natatorium this year. The Bison have won seven of their last nine games in their home facility.
Bucknell has just one more weekend of regular season play ahead of it. The Bison will make their annual trip to California for the Santa Clara Rodeo Oct. 19-21. They will then begin preparations for the Southern Championships, which will take place in Kinney Natatorium the first weekend of November.
PRINCETON 0 2 3 4 -9
Goals: Barron (4), Else, Aleksic, Hale, Nowlin, Colina, Kimble.