Behind six Drew Hoffenberg goals, the No. 13 Tiger men's water polo team defeated Cal Lutheran 14-10 to kick off the 2012 season and the program's annual Princeton Invitational. The Tigers closed out day one action with No. 3 California live on ESPNU. The Golden Bears were able to take control early and defeat Princeton 16-4.
First game jitters were apparent early on for the Tigers, as Cal Lutheran opened the contest with the offensive upper hand and a 4-2 lead after the first quarter.
Princeton fought back in hopes of taking control before halftime. The Tigers rallied back to even the score, 6-6, off a freshman Bradley Wachtell goal with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but their late rally was superseded by Kyle Norheim's go-ahead goal five seconds before the quarter expired.
Following halftime Princeton appeared to have found its rhythm and took control quickly. Hoffenberg added his second and third goals of the game to open up the third quarter and give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 8-7, at 6:24. Princeton would go on a 7-0 uncontested run to hold a 13-7 lead at the end of the quarter.
Senior Billy Tifft added his second goal of the game at 4:48 to lift Princeton to a 14-7 lead. Cal Lutheran closed out the game with three consecutive goals.
Sophomore Hoffenberg's six goals in the game eclipsed a career-best mark.
Making their first career start in goal was freshman Alex Gow, who played the entire first half and had three saves and a steal. Junior Ben Dearborn and sophomore Brendan Byrne split time in the cage in the second half. Dearborn collected seven saves, while Byrne had one over his 4:48 minutes of work.No. 13 Princeton: 2 - 4 - 7 - 1 -- 14
Cal Lutheran: 4 - 3 - 0 - 3 -- 10
Goals: Buchbinder 2, Butler 1, Hoffenberg 6, Still 1, Tifft 2, Wachtell 1, Wenzlau 1
Assists: Buchbinder 1, Butler 3, Dearborn 1, Galainena 1, Hoffenberg 1, Wenzlau 3
Steals: Amina 1, Buchbinder 2, Butler 1, Dearborn 1, Gow 1, Hoffenberg 3, Still 1, Tifft 2, Wachtell 1, Wenzlau 2
Saves: Gow (16:00) 3, Dearborn (12:12) 7, Byrne (4:48) 1
After putting together a come-from-behind victory over Cal Lutheran, the Tigers took on third-ranked California under the bright lights of the national spotlight. An early offensive surge from the Bears would provide the momentum needed to come away with a 16-4 victory.
Cal opened up action riding a 3-0 run, including converting a penalty corner, but the Tigers worked to get on the board. With 3:27 left in the first quarter, Hoffenberg made it a two-goal game, 3-1.
Matt Weber opened up the second quarter with a goal at 6:12 to make it a 4-2 game, but it would be the closest the Tigers would be for the remainder of the contest. The Golden Bears managed to deflect Princeton's ensuing offensive attempts and put distance between them and the Tigers. UC Berkeley went into halftime holding an 8-2 advantage.
Following the break, Cal went on an 8-2 run to close out the contest. Princeton's two goals came in the third quarter from Buchbinder and Tifft, off a lobbed shot over the Bear goalie Justin Parson's head.
Similar to game one, Princeton employed two goalies in the game. Dearborn started and played the first half, making eight saves. Gow came in for the second half and had five saves, including stopping a 5-meter penalty shot, and a pair of steals.
Princeton will next face MIT at 10 a.m. and Harvard at 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 8 in day two action at the tournament.
No. 13 Princeton: 1
- 1 - 2 - 0 -- 4
No. 3 California: 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 -- 16
1, Hoffenberg 1, Tifft 2
Assists: Kuprenas 1, Tifft 1, Wachtell 1, Wenzlau 1
Steals: Buchbinder 1, Butler 2, Gow 3, Hoffenberg 2, Kuprenas 1, Ruth 1, Still 1, Wachtell 1, Wenzlau 1
Saves: Dearborn (30:00) 8, Gow (30:00) 5