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Nicolao Earns 300th Career Win, No. 13 Menís Water Polo Beats JHU & Navy

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 09/21/2013
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Jamie Kuprenas had five steals, two goals and an assist Saturday.
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The No. 13 Princeton men’s water polo team extended its unbeaten streak to five after opening Southern Division play with a sweep Saturday on the road. The Tigers opened the day with a 15-10 win over Johns Hopkins, marking 16th-season head coach Luis Nicolao’s 300th career victory at the helm of the men’s program. Princeton concluded things with a 12-7 win over Navy to improve to 5-0, 2-0 Southern on the year.

The Tigers will conclude their weekend road trip at George Washington on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

On the day, the Tigers were paced by Drew Hoffenberg’s seven goals, with Kayj Shannon and Jovan Jeremic connecting five times with the back of the net. Defensively, Thomas Nelson and Jamie Kuprenas tallied six and five steals, respectively.

Princeton kicked off play at Johns Hopkins, taking a 5-2 advantage in the first quarter. The Blue Jays attempted to swing the momentum in the second, but the Tigers responded to their five-goal effort with four goals. Princeton finished the game outscoring JHU 6-3 en route to its conference-opening victory.

Shannon had a team-best four goals in the contest, while the Tigers amassed 15 steals to stymie the Blue Jay offensive drives.

In goal, Ben Dearborn (2-0) made 14 saves over three quarters of work and Alex Gow closed out the match with a three-save one-steal fourth quarter.

Gow earned his fourth victory of the year between the pipes versus Navy in the evening behind his nine-save complete game win.

The Midshipmen proved more problematic for Princeton early on, as the game was played fairly evenly over the first half. Both sides netted goals twice in the first quarter and the Tigers managed to go into halftime with a one-goal advantage, 4-3.

A needed offensive surge in the second half was what Princeton produced to remain undefeated. The Tigers went on to outscore Navy 9-4 over the third and fourth quarters to earn the win.

Hoffenberg finished with team-bests in goals and assists with four and three, respectively, and Kuprenas had four steals. 

No. 13 Princeton: 5 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 15
Johns Hopkins: 2 – 5 – 2 – 1 – 10

Goals: Nelson 1, Fink 2, Shannon 4, Hoffenberg 3, Buchbinder 1, Jeremic 3, Kuprenas 1
Assists: Nelson 1, Galainena 1, Fink 1, Butler 2, Hoffenberg 3, Buchbinder 2
Steals: Nelson 4, Fink 1, Butler 2, Hoffenberg 1, Buchbinder 3, Jeremic 2, Kuprenas 1, Gow 1
Saves: Dearborn (24:00) 14, Gow (8:00) 3

No. 13 Princeton: 2 – 2 – 4 – 5 – 12
Navy: 2 – 1 – 1 – 3 – 7

Goals: Nelson 3, Butler 1, Shannon 1, Hoffenberg 4, Jeremic 2, Kuprenas 1
Assists: Hoffenberg 3, Buchbinder 2, Kuprenas 1
Steals: Nelson 2, Fink 1, Butler 1, Shannon 3, Hoffenberg 3, Buchbinder 1, Hinrichs 1, Jeremic 1, Kuprenas 4, Gow 2
Saves: Gow 9

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