PRINCETON, N.J. -- Nearly half of the Princeton University men's water polo team calls California home, but for the next four days the whole team will set up shop in SoCal as the Tigers will play six games over the four-day span in the Golden State.
The Tigers enter their West Coast trip with a 10-1 overall record and a No. 14 ranking in the latest National Top 20 Poll. Princeton started the season 8-0 before falling on a last-second goal to Johns Hopkins University last Friday in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division opener. Princeton rebounded with a win the following day over nationally ranked United State Naval Academy and completed the weekend with a win at George Washington University.
The Tigers scored 35 goals over the three games and extended their streak of scoring 10 or more goals to 10 games. Princeton's only game with less than 10 goals was its season-opening win over No. 15-ranked Santa Clara University. Each week a different Princeton freshman has led the team in scoring. At the Princeton Invitational it was Kayj Shannon. A week later it was Matt Weber at the North-South Tournament, and last weekend the Tigers were led by Drew Hoffenberg's eight goals.
Princeton hit the road for the West Coast on Wednesday afternoon and will begin competition in California with two games on Thursday. Princeton doesn't play on Friday, but will be in the water two times each on Saturday and Sunday.
The stretch starts on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT when the Tigers visit No. 11 Loyola Marymount. The teams met at the SoCal Tournament last season and the Tigers fell to the Lions 9-1. Princeton defeated LMU a season earlier in the third-place game of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship. Princeton will complete the day with a game at the top-ranked Trojans of the University of Southern California (USC), the three-time defending National Champion. Princeton played USC twice in the 2009 season, falling by scores of 13-4 and 13-3.
Princeton will continue its trip at the SoCal Tournament at Long Beach State University on Saturday and Sunday. This year marks the fifth straight year in which Princeton has been in the tournament field. The ultra-competitive field of 16 teams features 14 of the nation's top 15 teams. Princeton is the lone East Coast representative in the group.
Princeton will open the tourney against No. 4 Stanford University. Princeton met then top-ranked Stanford in the SoCal opener two seasons ago and fell by a score of 14-6. Princeton will then meet up with either No. 5 Pepperdine University or No. 13 Long Beach State in the second game of Saturday. Princeton last faced Pepperdine in 2006 and fell 14-8 at the NorCal Tournament. The Tigers last meeting with Long Beach State came in 2008 at the SoCal Tourney and was a 12-6 loss.
Release courtesy Princeton Athletic Communications