Led by Ashleigh Johnson’s 38-save performance, the ninth-ranked Tiger women’s water polo team opened the year with a sweep Saturday to kick off the Princeton Invitational. The tournament opened with a 9-4 win over Wagner and closed out with an 11-4 victory versus Iona.
The Tigers (2-0) resume tournament action Sunday with an exhibition game versus NYAC at 10:30 a.m., followed by a 1:30 p.m. meeting with VMI.
Sophomore Johnson is accustomed to breaking records, including her own in the Tigers’ season openers. Eclipsing her previous record of 19, the goalie opened the tournament with a record breaking 20-save performance versus Wagner for a new single-game Princeton saves record.
Johnson’s dominance extended into the Iona game as she made 18 stops in the cage to bring her total to 38 on the day.
Led by a stellar defensive effort stopping Wagner’s attackers from capitalizing on shot attempts, Princeton’s offense opened slowly with a 1-0 lead in the first quarter before they seizing control for good to go into halftime up 5-1. With the lead and momentum on their side, the Tigers outscored Wagner 5-3 to close out the contest.
Junior Ashley Hatcher headlined the offensive attack with three goals and added a steal. Diana Murphy and Katie Rigler each had a pair of goals, while Molly McBee had a team-high three steals and an assist.
Again in the latter game it was the defense to hold a steadfast wall and prevent Iona from every taking control.
Princeton saw a well-distributed effort, with Jessie Holechek, McBee and Murphy each scoring two goals apiece. Holechek also had a team-high three assists and added a steal. In the field, Hatcher and freshman Sydney Saxe each had two steals for team highs.
Freshmen Hannah Lapkin, Morgan Hallock and Saxe each made their Princeton debuts in the game. Along with Saxe’s steals, Hallock had an assist and Lapkin made a steal versus Wagner for collegiate firsts.
No. 9 Princeton: 1 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 9
Wagner: 0 – 1 – 1 – 2 - 4
Goals: Murphy 2, Hatcher 3, Hooks 1, Rigler 2, Klein 1
Assists: McBee 1, Hallock 1, Temple 1, Gross 1
Steals: Hatcher 1, Hooks 1, McBee 3, Dunstan 1, Rigler 1, Lapkin 1, Holechek 1, Gross 1, Johnson 1
Saves: Johnson 20
No. 9 Princeton: 2 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 11
Iona: 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 4
Goals: Murphy 2, Hatcher 1, McBee 2, Dunstan 2, Rigler 1, Temple 1, Holechek 2
Assists: McBee 1, Rigler 2, Holechek 3, Gross 2
Steals: Hatcher 2, Dunstan 2, Holechek 1, Saxe 2, Johnson 1
Saves: Johnson 18