No. 13 Princeton University Outsmarts Harvard University 9-6 to Reach CWPA Eastern Championship Semifinal Round
PROVIDENCE, RI -- Southern Division Player of the Year Katie Rigler (So., Fullerton, Calif./Rosary) scored four times to claim Player of the Game honors as No. 13 Princeton University outsmarted Harvard University, 9-6, in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship at Brown University's Katherine Moran Coleman's Aquatic Center.
The Tigers (26-4, 8-0 CWPA Southern Division) advance to meet division rival and tournament host Brown in the semifinals at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Princeton is 2-0 against the Bears this year gunning down the Bears 18-8 in the regular season and 9-8 in the Southern Division title game.
Harvard falls into the consolation bracket and will meet No. 12 Indiana University, a 5-4 victim of the Bears, at 2:00 p.m. with a spot in the fifth place game on the line.
Princeton jumped out to a quick lead 2-0 in the game as Rigler (7:39) batted a ball into the cage and Brittany Zwirner (Jr., Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) converted on a man-up chance at 5:51.
The Crimson stormed back, however, as Monica Zdrojewski (Sr., Laguna Niguel, Calif./Dana Hills) zipped in an advantage tally at 3:40 and Devan Kennifer (Sr., Monterey, Calif./Santa Catalina) pumped and popped a shot over the left shoulder of Tigers' netminder Kristen Ward (Sr., Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis) with 2:55 remaining in the period to knot the score at two-all.
Needing a score to stem the tide of Harvard's run, Zwirner responded with her second marker in four minutes twisting a shot around the outstretched arms of Crimson goalie Ariel Dukes (Fr., Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) at 1:50 to hand Princeton a 3-2 lead after eight minutes of action.
The lead lasted for 1:22 into the second quarter as Elise Molnar (Jr., Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar) pushed across a score with 6:38 left in the first half as the squads entered the break tied at three-all.
Harvard took the lead less than a minute into the third period as Kennifer connected on a scoring shot at 6:16, but Saranna Soroka (Jr., Redondo Beach, Calif./Chadwick School) answered for the Tigers at 4:55 to return the contest to a deadlock at four-all.
The goal shifted the momentum of the game as it started a 5-0 run by the Tigers.
Molly McBee (So., Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes) swished a natural goal (3:55) before Rigler ripped in a five-meter penalty shot (3:30) and a regulation score (00:02) to place Princeton ahead 7-4.
Zwirner closed the run with her third goal of the afternoon to complete a hat-trick with 6:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and place the Tigers ahead 8-4.
Harvard attempted to rally back into the contest as Zdrojewski (6:10) and Shannon Purcell (Sr., Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) (5:16) chipped in back-to-back scores to shave the margin down to 8-6, but the Princeton defense and an insurance strike by Rigler (00:43) closed out the contest.
In the cage, Ward earned the victory with eight saves, while Dukes contributed four saves in suffering the loss.
|No. 13 Princeton University||3||0
Princeton Goals: Katie Rigler (4); Brittany
Zwirner (3); Molly McBee; Saranna Soroka
Harvard Goals: Monica Zdrojewski (2); Devan
Kennifer (2); Shannon Purcell; Elise Molnar
Saves: Princeton - Kristen Ward (8) ; Harvard - Ariel Dukes (4)
Exclusions: Princeton - 3 ; Harvard - 5
Advantage Opportunities: Princeton - 1-for-5 ; Harvard - 2-for-3
Sprints: Princeton - 2-for-4 (First, Second) ; Harvard - 2-for-4 (Third, Fourth)
Officials: Humberto Navarro, Val Vasilchikov
Harvard University's Monica Zdrojewski