A sweep over divisional rivals Mercyhurst and Harvard guided the No. 12 Princeton women’s water polo team to its second consecutive Southern Division regular season title. Powered by 27-goal effort Saturday at DeNunzio Pool, the Tigers dropped the Lakers, 13-1, and the Crimson, 17-9.
The Tigers set the tone for the day from the opening whistle versus Mercyhurst with offensive firepower and a steadfast defensive line. They limited the Lakers to only one goal in the fourth quarter on six attempts throughout the 32-minute contest.
Princeton nearly shot 50 percent, connecting on 13 of 27 attempts. The Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 first quarter advantage and extended it to 10-0 by halftime. They nearly earned their second shutout of the year, but Mercyhurst managed to squeak one by Jessie Holechek in the fourth.
Senior Brittany Zwirner led the offense scoring on all three of her shots, while classmate Saranna Soroka had a pair of goals, an assist and team-high four steals.
Princeton employed three goalies with Ashleigh Johnson playing the first 19:35. She had two saves and did not allow a goal against. Camille Hooks made her debut in the cage in the third, maintaining the clean sheet and making a save over 4:25 minutes of action. Holechek took over goaltending duties in the fourth, tallying three saves of her four shots faced.
No. 12 Princeton: 4 – 6 – 0 – 3 – 13
Mercyhurst: 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1
Goals: Coffey 1, Soroka 2, Hatcher 1, McBee 1, Dunstan 1, Rigler 1, Temple 1, Zwirner 3, Murphy 2
Assists: Soroka 1, Hooks 2, McBee 1, Gross 2
Steals: Soroka 4, Hatcher 1, McBee 3, Temple 2, Gyorffy 1
Saves: Johnson (19:35) 2, Hooks (4:25) 1, Holechek (8:00) 3
Riding the momentum of their win over Mercyhurst, the Tigers maintained their divisional dominance with a 17-9 win over the Crimson.
Similar to the early match, Princeton’s offense proved to be too much for its opponent early on. The Tigers peppered in shot after shot, going up 7-2 after the first quarter.
Harvard did win the second quarter, outscoring Princeton 5-2, but that brief offensive burst would not be enough to breakdown the Tigers’ defensive efforts and they closed out the day with a 6-2 second half run.
Junior Katie Rigler and freshman Pippa Temple guided the offense with five and four goals, respectively, while Holechek, Soroka and Zwirner each had a pair.
Johnson tallied seven saves, two assists and a steal over her complete game victory in the cage.
Princeton (19-5, 4-0 Southern) officially concludes the home slate Sunday versus Bucknell at 11 a.m.
No. 12 Princeton: 7 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 17
Harvard: 2 – 5 – 1 – 1 – 9
Goals: Soroka 2, Hooks 1, McBee 1, Rigler 5, Temple 4, Zwirner 2, Holechek 2
Assists: Soroka 2, Hooks 1, McBee 1, Dunstan 2, Zwirner 2, Gyorffy 1, Johnson 2
Steals: McBee 2, Gyorffy 2, Holechek 1, Murphy 1, Johnson 1
Saves: Johnson 7