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In a gritty defensive top-10 battle, the No. 10 Princeton women's water polo team was unable to overcome an early deficit and fell 7-5 to No. 4 California to open the Princeton Invitational Friday evening at DeNunzio Pool

Opening her collegiate career facing the fourth-ranked team in the nation, freshman goalie Ashleigh Johnson performed like a seasoned veteran. She tallied 19 saves, establishing a new single-game saves record, surpassing Natalie Kim's '08 18-save record from April 19, 2008.

Cal found the back of the net first, scoring once in the first quarter and again to open the second.

Katie Rigler cut the lead to one at 5:33, but Princeton was unable to square things up before the Bears' reestablished their two-goal cushion.

Freshman Diana Murphy scored her first career goal off a pass from Ashley Hatcher, but California was there to respond again and hold a 4-2 lead heading into halftime.

A tough defensive line forced Cal to make long range attempts after the break. On the other end of the pool, a well executed play allowed Rigler to score her second goal of the evening and make it a one-goal match, 4-3, at 5:04.

Trailing 5-3, Jessie Holechek sliced one in from the left side as the third quarter expired to keep the lead within range.

Despite a fourth quarter Hatcher goal, Cal managed to score twice to edge past the Tigers.

Princeton returns to action Saturday with games versus Villanova at 9 a.m., George Washington at 1:30 p.m. and Harvard at 4:30 p.m.

No. 10 Princeton: 0 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 5
No. 4 California: 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 7

Goals: Hatcher 1, Holechek 1, Murphy 1, Rigler 2
Assists: Hatcher 2, McBee 1, Zwirner 1
Steals: Johnson 2, McBee 2
Saves: Johnson 19

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