Men's Water Polo Stages Late Rally to Defeat St. Francis in Overtime

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 11/19/2011
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Drew Hoffenberg scored four goals in the win.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (11/19/11) - Down by three goals with four minutes to play, the 19th-ranked Princeton men's water polo team rallied to force overtime and then defeat 16th-ranked St. Francis 13-11 on Saturday afternoon in the semifinal round of the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championship.

St. Francis led throughout the game and took a 9-8 lead into the fourth quarter. The Terriers then scored the first two goals of the final period to lead 11-8 with 4:22 remaining in regulation. Princeton rallied though with the clock winding down. Drew Hoffenberg, Princeton's leading scorer with four goals on Saturday, scored a man-up goal at 4:06 to make the score 11-9.

The Tigers would then draw even on a pair of 5-meter penalty shots. First Tim Wenzlau converted on a shot at 2:33 and Hoffenberg drew Princeton even with 36 seconds remaining in the game. Wenzlau struck again with a second 5-meter goal with 49 seconds left in the first overtime to put Princeton ahead by a goal and a man-up goal from Hoffenberg gave Princeton an insurance goal with 1:54 left in the second overtime period.

The game was a struggle between both program's six-on-five squads as the Terriers converted on six-of-16 advantage chances, with the Tigers netting five goals on 14 opportunities.

St. Francis jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period and led 5-3 after eight minutes of play. The teams then traded two goals each in the second quarter as St. Francis led 7-5 at the half. Princeton trimmed a goal off the lead in each of the third and fourth quarters to force overtime.

Princeton goalie Ben Bearborn made 14 saves to earn Player of the Game honors. His performance included a save on a 5-meter shot in the fourth quarter. Hoffenberg, named a second-team All-South player on Friday night, scored a team-high four goals and contributed two assists, four steals and five drawn ejections. Chris Cottrell, Wenzlau and Matt Weber each scored twice and Sam Butler added two assists.

Princeton will now play 15th-ranked Navy on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. of the CWPA Eastern Championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Princeton last played in the Eastern title game in 2009 when it defeated Navy in the championship game by a 5-4 score at MIT. Princeton and Navy have played three times this season. Princeton won the two regular season games in overtime, but lost to Navy in the Southern Championship game last weekend. Princeton is now 21-9 overall.

Princeton 3 2 3 3 - 1 1 - 13
Navy 5 2 2 2 - 0 0 - 11

Goals: Hoffenberg 4, Cottrell 2, Weber 2, Wenzlau 2, Nelson, Shannon, Tifft
Assists: Butler 2, Hoffenberg 2, Helou, Wenzlau
Saves: Dearborn 14

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