Solid Defense Guides Women's Water Polo to 9-5 Victory over Iona at NCAAs
An impenetrable fourth quarter defense by the No. 10 Princeton women's water polo team guided the Tigers to a 9-5 victory over Iona in the consolation game of the NCAA Championship Saturday. With the win, Princeton advances to the fifth place game on Sunday, May 13 at 4:45 p.m. ET.
At 6:46 in the first period, Brittany Zwirner found the back of the net to give the Tigers the early advantage and nearly three minutes later Katie Rigler netted her first of three goals in the game to lift Princeton to a 2-0 lead. Iona responded with a pair goals of its own over the final three-and-a-half minutes of the quarter to knot the score 2-2.
The Tigers remained poised, despite giving up their initial lead. At 5:32 in the second quarter Saranna Soroka sliced in the ball into the cage to help Princeton retake the lead. From that point forward the Tigers controlled the scoreboard, as Rigler and Molly McBee extended Princeton's scoring rally to make it a 5-2 game heading into halftime.
Following the break, Iona went on a 3-1 scoring run to open the third quarter to make it a one-goal game, 6-5.
In the fourth quarter the Tiger defense was stellar, preventing Iona from carrying over its third period momentum. As the defense deflected Gael opportunity after another, the offense added insurance goals. Soroka scored from the corner at 6:37, and Zwirner and Rigler each notched goals over the final three minutes in regulation.
Goalie Kristen Ward made 10 saves to bring her all-time career total to 894, surpassing Natalie Kim (2005-08) for second in Princeton history.
Princeton (29-5) will face Loyola Marymount in the fifth place matchup.Princeton: 2 - 3 - 1 - 3 - 9
Iona: 2 - 0 - 3 - 0 - 5
Goals: McBee 1, Rigler 3, Soroka 2, Zak 1, Zwirner 2
Assists: Dunstan 1, Holechek 1, Hooks 1, McBee 2, Rigler 1
Steals: Hatcher 1, Holechek 1, Hooks 1, Rigler 2, Zwirner 2
Saves: Ward 10