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Men's Water Polo Team Looks to Defend Southern Title This Weekend at Home

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 11/03/2011
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Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

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PRINCETON (11/3/11) - The 15th-ranked Princeton men's water polo team looks to defend the Southern title this weekend when it hosts the 11-team CWPA Southern Championship at DeNunzio Pool. Princeton was the regular season champion and enters the weekend as the tournament's top seed.

Princeton enters the weekend though off a loss last weekend to Brown at the Ivy Championships. The Tigers defeated Columbia in an exhibition game in the Ivy semifinals before falling to Brown in the championship game. Matt Weber scored three goals in the game, while Connor Still and Tim Wenzlau each added one.

The Tigers will look to bounce back this weekend with a tournament title. Princeton was the Southern regular season champion by virtue of a 6-2 record in its eight league games. The Tigers finished a game up on second-place Navy, which finished tied with Bucknell but earned the second seed based on goal differential. Princeton split with both Bucknell and Johns Hopkins in the regular season. The Tigers swept Navy and George Washington.

The Southern Championships feature the five teams from the Southern Division's East Region, as well as the six teams from the West Region. The East Region took the top five seeds in the event and the West makes up the bottom six seeds. Mercyhurst went 10-0 in that region to be the overall sixth seed in the 11-team field.

Last season Princeton went 3-0 at Southerns to win the Championship as the event's second seed. Princeton beat Gannon, Johns Hopkins and Bucknell to earn its sixth overall Southern title and its second in a three-year span. Princeton also won the Southern Championship in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2008.

This year's tournament features 11 teams and set up with four brackets. Princeton's bracket includes just one other team while the remaining three brackets have three teams in it. Those brackets will play round-robin games within their brackets to determine the teams that finish first, second and third. Princeton's bracket will feature just a single game with the winner advancing directly to the semifinal round.

Princeton begins its defense of the title on Friday night against the tournament's eighth seed Washington & Jefferson. The Presidents went 6-4 in the Western Region to finish third. W&J is 7-9 overall and have dropped their last two games to Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame College.

The top four Southern finishers will advance to the Eastern Championships the weekend of Nov. 18-20 at Harvard to play for the CWPA's NCAA berth.

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