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No. 16 Men's Water Polo Falls in Opening Games at SoCal Tournament

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 09/29/2012
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
The Tigers will look to rebound Sunday versus No. 17 Santa Clara.
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On the first day of the SoCal Tournament Saturday, the No. 16 Princeton men's water polo team suffered a pair of losses to top-15 opponents. A second half rally fell short in a valiant effort versus No. 3 Stanford, 13-6, to open the day and the Tigers wrapped up action with a 10-5 loss to No. 11 UC San Diego.

Despite coming up short versus the Cardinal, the Tigers put together one of their best efforts versus a top-three team and saw significant strides made.

The game remained within range for much of the 32-minute battle, as Stanford only held a 4-1 advantage entering halftime. Princeton's first half goal came from Tim Wenzlau.

Freshman goalie Alex Gow tallied five saves and two steals over the first 16 minutes, making several critical blocks to prevent Stanford from finding a momentum surge.

He would finish with 17 saves and three steals.

The Tigers would come as close as 8-6 in the second half, but the Cardinal were able to rattle off five fourth quarter goals to hold a fighting Princeton team off.

Wenzlau and Matt Weber finished with two goals, and Sam Butler and Kayj Shannon each had a goal apiece.

Defensively, Drew Hoffenberg tallied a team-high five steals, while Kurt Buchbinder, Butler, Jamie Kuprenas and Wenzlau each had two.

The Tigers looked to respond versus 11th-ranked UC San Diego to conclude the day in Santa Barbara, Calif., opening up action even keeled, as both sides notched two goals apiece in the first quarter.

From there it would unravel for Princeton, as the Tritons held a 4-1 advantage in the second quarter to put distance between them and the Tigers.

UCSD managed to stay in control and hand Princeton its third consecutive loss, outscoring the Tigers 4-2 in the second half.

Butler led the offense versus UC San Diego with two goals, and Shannon, Weber and Wenzlau each found the back of the net once as well.

Goalie Gow had eight saves in the contest, bringing his total on the day to 23.

Princeton (7-7, 2-1 Southern) will return to action Sunday to face No. 17 Santa Clara at 12:20 p.m. ET. A final game of the tournament for placing will be determined following the Tiger-Bronco matchup.

No. 16 Princeton: 0 - 1 - 3 - 2 - 6
No. 3 Stanford:  2 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 13

Goals: Butler 1, Shannon 1, Weber 2, Wenzlau 2
Assists: Butler 2, Hoffenberg 1, Wachtell 1
Steals: Buchbinder 2, Butler 2, Donahue 1, Gow 3, Hoffenberg 5, Kuprenas 2, Tifft 1, Wachtell 1, Wenzlau 2
Saves: Gow 17

No. 16 Princeton: 2 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 5
No. 11 UC San Diego: 2 - 4 - 2 - 2 - 10

Goals: Butler 2, Shannon 1, Weber 1, Wenzlau 1
Assists: Buchbinder 2, Wachtell 1
Steals: Butler 3, Hoffenberg 2, Ruth 1, Wenzlau 1
Saves: Gow 8
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