The No. 13 Princeton women's water
polo team defeated No. 14
Maryland, 6-5, to win its second-ever CWPA Eastern Championship Sunday in
Providence, R.I. With the win, the Tigers advance to the NCAA Women's Water
Polo Championships for the first time in program history.
"I am so proud of our team effort.
They did an amazing job
on the defensive end and it was (just) a great team effort," said head coach
Luis Nicolao. "I also would like to congratulate Maryland on a great season. Their coaches
Carl and Serela did a great job with their team this year."
The Terps jumped out early with a 2-
1 lead in the first
quarter, but a composed Tiger team evened the score 3-3 heading into halftime.
Both sides found the back of the net once in the third quarter, before
Princeton put together another late rally to edge past its opponent.
As the its first berth into the NCAA
Championships lay on
the line, Princeton's Taylor Dunstan and Brittany Zwirner gave the Tigers a
two-goal lead, 6-4, to open the fourth period off counterattacks. UM worked to
claw its way back, making it a one-goal game, but its rally fell short as the
Princeton defense maintained a strong backline to preserve the win.
Sophomore Katie Rigler had a pair of
goals in both halves
and was named MVP of the CWPA Eastern Championship and to the all-tournament
Jessie Holechek and Saranna Soroka
each found net once, and Dunstan
and Molly McBee had a pair of steals apiece in the game.
In goal, Kristen Ward tallied 13 saves
and a pair of
assists, while earning a place on the all-tournament second team. Freshman
Camille Hooks rounded out Princeton's honorees, taking home all-tournament
first team accolades.
Princeton had not won the Eastern
Championship since 2000
and will head to San Diego, Calif. to participate in the eight-team NCAA
Championships from May 11-13 at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex.
Princeton: 1 - 2 - 1 - 2
Maryland: 2 - 1 - 1
Goals: Dunstan 1,
Holechek 1, Rigler 2, Soroka 1, Zwirner 1
1, McBee 1
2, McBee 2, Soroka 1, Zak 1, Zwirner 1
Saves: Ward 13