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Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

2014 Princeton Men's Water Polo Season Preview

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 08/30/2014
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PRESEASON VIDEO PREVIEW

AUDIO PODCAST WITH LUIS NICOLAO

2013 RECAP

Posting a 22-6 (7-1 Southern) record, the Princeton University men’s water polo team placed third at the Southern Division Tournament before finishing as the runner-up at the CWPA Eastern Championship.

Starting the season 7-0, the Tigers dropped three of their next four meetings before stringing together five-consecutive victories. Seeing its win streak snapped at Bucknell, Princeton responded with five-in-a-row before falling to Navy in the Southern Division semifinals.

Rebounding against Mercyhurst in the third-place game, the Orange and Black downed Iona, No. 17 Harvard and No. 16 Navy in the first three rounds of Easterns before closing out its season with a hard-fought 11-9 setback against No. 13 St. Francis in the CWPA title tilt.

KEY RETURNERS

Princeton welcomes a talented crop of veterans back to the fold, led by honorable mention All-America honorees Drew Hoffenberg and Thomas Nelson.

A first-team All-Southern and second-team CWPA All-Tournament selection, Hoffenberg started 27 of his 28 appearances, scoring a team-high 66 goals, while also leading the Tigers with 32 assists. Drawing a squad-best 47 ejections, he also ranked third on the team in steals (40) and tied for second in blocks. Netting a goal in all but three games, he finished with 21 multi-goal outings.

Garnering a spot on the CWPA All-Eastern first team in addition to his All-America accolades, Nelson ranked third on the team in goals (53), while also collecting a team-high 47 steals and 10 blocks. Making 27 starts, he posted 15 multi-goal games, recording three or more goals on nine occasions.

The Southern Division Rookie of the Year and second-team All-Southern performer, Jovan Jeremic will look to build on a stellar freshman season. Tallying at least three goals 13 times, he was second on the Tigers in scoring (61), while also collecting 19 steals and seven assists.

Also back in the mix are Kayj Shannon, Jamie Kuprenas, Sam Butler and Alex Gow. Starting 21 of his 26 appearances, Shannon posted a career-high 43 goals in 2013, while also drawing 38 ejections. Kuprenas got the starting nod in 27 of the team’s 28 games, recording 25 goals, 24 assists, 22 steals, 17 drawn ejections and five blocks.

Making 25 starts, Butler was second on the squad in steals (43) a year ago, while also tying for third in assists. Knotted for second in blocks (6), he drew 16 ejections and scored 14 goals. Seeing the majority of the minutes in net, Gow posted a 14-5 record in 22 appearances. Logging 614:14 minutes he made 225 stops and finished with a .580 save percentage, twice garnering Southern Player of the Week honors before earning a spot on the CWPA All-Tournament second team.

NEWCOMERS

Hoping to make an impact this season are freshmen Eric Bowen, Jordan Colina, Ryan Hammarskjold, Connor McGoldrick and Vojislav Mitrovic.

A three-time all-league selection at Santana High School, Bowen was twice named the conference Player of the Year and garnered a pair of selections to the All-CIF and all-county teams. A youth national team member in 2013, Colina was a two-time Junior Olympic All-America pick as an all-league, all-county and All-CIF performer at Cathedral Catholic.

An All-WBAL and All-CCS Div. II honorable mention selection as a senior, Hammarskjold played for the Menlo School and SoPen Water Polo club team, while McGoldrick was a two-time first team All-Inter-ac and All-Eastern Prep pick at William Penn Charter School. Playing on the Serbian National Team since 2007, Mitrovic helped Serbia capture the FINA World Junior title (U-20) in 2012.

SCHEDULE

Princeton will open its 2014 season against St. Francis and Johns Hopkins on Sept. 6 and Brown and MIT on Sept. 7 as part of its annual Invitational Tournament. After facing Cal Baptist, MIT and UC-Irvine at Brown’s Bruno Fall Classic on Sept. 13-14, the Tigers square off against Johns Hopkins (9/20), Navy (9/20) and George Washington (9/21).

The Orange and Black welcome the Colonials to DeNunzio Pool for the backend of a home-and-home on Sept. 28 alongside Bucknell (9/28) and Navy (10/5). After a trip to the West Coast for a game against UCLA (10/9) and the SoCal Tournament (Oct. 11-12), Princeton will travel to the Ivy Tournament on Oct. 18-19.

Closing out the regular season against Iona (10/25), Fordham (10/25) and Bucknell (11/1), the Tigers host the Southern Division Championship on Nov. 7-9. Navy welcomes the CWPA Championship to its campus on Nov. 21-23.

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