Hooks Scores Game-Winner to Guide Women's Water Polo to Eastern Title Game
Freshman Camille Hooks scored not one, but two crucial goals to help guide the Tigers to the Eastern Championship game with a 7-6 overtime victory over Brown. Hooks found the back of the net with seconds remaining in regulation and capitalized on a man-up opportunity in overtime to help advance the Tigers to the title game.
While the final minutes of the game went in favor of Princeton, the Bears came out of the gate as the aggressors. Brown took control immediately, holding a 5-2 advantage heading into halftime.
In the third quarter, goalie Kristen Ward made a pair of saves, while Katie Rigler tallied three field blocks to prevent Brown from adding to its early lead. During that span the Tiger offense responded with a three-goal rally. Saranna Soroka scored on a Brown ejection, Jessie Holechek made it a one-goal contest, scoring on a man-up opportunity as the cage was open, and Hooks knotted the score, 5-5, with 1:44 remaining in the period on a counterattack.
With a chance to play in the Eastern title game at stake, the final eight minutes of regulation proved to be a gritty defensive battle. Emily McNamara scored the go-ahead goal for the Bears two minutes in and Brown would hold the lead until the final seconds of regulation. In a last ditch effort, Princeton received the ball with eight seconds left in the game. The Tigers found Hooks on the wing and the rookie sent a perfect shot that skipped under Bear goalie Evan Cranston's lunging body to send the game into extra periods.
In only Princeton's second overtime game of the year, Hooks again found an opening. In a 6-on-5 opportunity in the first overtime period, she sailed the game-winner over Cranston's shoulder with 2:07 remaining and went on to be named Player of the Game by the CWPA.
This is the second time this year Princeton employed last second heroics to edge past the Bears. The Tigers defeated Brown 9-8 with 2.4 seconds left in regulation en route to the Southern Division Championship on April 15.
Ward had 10 saves in the game, and Hooks and Rigler each had three steals apiece.
Princeton (27-4) will face Maryland in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, as the Tigers vie their second Eastern Championship and first berth into the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships. In their first meeting this season, the Tigers dropped a 7-6 heartbreaker at Maryland on Mar. 31.Princeton: 1 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 1
Brown: 3 - 2 - 0 - 1 - 0
Goals: Dunstan 1, Holechek 1, Hooks 3, Rigler 1, Soroka 1
Assists: Gross 1, Hooks 1, McBee 1
Steals: Dunstan 1, Gross 1, Holechek 1, Hooks 3, McBee 2, Rigler 3, Soroka 1, Zwirner 1
Saves: Ward 10