BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- Princeton University goalie Kristen Ward (Sr., Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis) totaled 37 saves over three games to earn the April 30 Women's Varsity Southern Division Defensive Player of the Week award and anchor the No. 13-ranked Tigers to the 2012 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship.
A Second-Team All-Tournament and All-Southern Division selection in 2012, she posted 12 saves with a steal and an assist in an opening round 9-6 victory over Harvard University before tacking on 10 saves in a 7-6 come from behind victory against Brown University in overtime to reach the league title game.
Facing No. 14-ranked the University of Maryland for the league championship, Ward tallied 15 saves as the Tigers claimed the program's second Eastern Championship.
The honor marks the 10th of her career as she was previously earned four honors in 2010 (February 22, March 1, March 22, April 12), one in 2011 (February 14) and four in 2012 (February 13, March 5, April 9, April 16) as the Southern Division Defensive Player of the Week.
The Southern Division regular season and postseason champions prior to claiming the program's first Eastern Championship in women's water polo since 2000, the Tigers earn the conference's automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship at San Diego State University's Aztec Aquaplex on May 11-13.
Ward becomes the first goalie in program history to lead the Tigers to the NCAA Championship, however, as the tournament did not begin until the year following the Tigers' last Eastern Championship victory.
April 30 Women's Southern Division Defensive Player of the Week Honor Roll: Evan Cranston (Brown University), Rena Heim (Bucknell University), Charlotte Vilander (George Washington University), Ariel Dukes (Harvard University), Hope Rozelle (Mercyhurst University)