Sports » Men's Water Polo
The No. 12 men’s water polo team opened its weekend of three conference games with two wins but dropped the final game to Bucknell on Sunday. The two wins came Saturday against Johns Hopkins and Navy by scores of 11-5 and 16-11, respectively, but the defense faltered against Bucknell (10-4 overall, 5-3 CWPA Southern) as the Tigers (13-4, 6-1) lost by a score of 12-5. Junior attacker Drew Hoffenberg and freshman utility Jovan Jeremic both scored nine goals on the weekend, tying for best on the team. Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Gow played 11 of 12 quarters on the weekend.
Princeton opened its weekend Saturday afternoon, hosting Johns Hopkins (12-6, 2-4) in a rematch of a game the Tigers won 15-10 three weeks ago in Baltimore. The game was never really in question, as Princeton jumped up 3-1 in the opening quarter and led 7-3 at the half. The Tigers outscored the Blue Jays, who received votes in the latest national poll, in all four quarters of the game. Junior center Kayj Shannon led Princeton with four goals in the game, while Hoffenberg added three. Gow was solid between the pipes with 13 saves.
“We played well out there. We missed a few opportunities on offense, but the defense was solid,” head coach Luis Nicolao said.
The second Saturday game saw Princeton hosting Navy (9-14, 0-6) in another rematch from three weeks ago in Maryland. Princeton won that contest 12-7 after leading just 4-3 at the half, and this weekend’s game followed a similar script, as the game was tied three times in the first half before the Tigers pulled away in the third quarter. Jeremic netted eight goals, accounting for the majority of Princeton’s scoring, with six coming in the second half. His total in one game equals second all-time on the Princeton list, and the most in over a decade.
“I started the third quarter on the bench, and I could see the guys not finishing some plays. Coach told me to go in there and fix that, and I used it as motivation,” Jeremic said.
Princeton’s 16 goals marked a new season best, improving on the 15 scored against Johns Hopkins Sept. 21, but the 11 goals allowed were the most the Tigers have let up in a win this season.
“I thought we got into a bit of a shootout,” Nicolao said. “We gave up way too many opportunities and had a tough time finishing them off.”
The final game against Bucknell was on the road Sunday, and the loss was Princeton’s first of the season to a team not ranked among the top seven in the country. Princeton held a 3-2 advantage toward the end of the first half, but Bucknell went into the locker room with a 4-3 lead and would ride the momentum the entire second half. The Bison scored six of the last seven goals of the game, mirroring their performance last week at Princeton in which they scored eight of the last 11.
“We came out flat and never really got our act together. They played well and wanted it more,” senior attacker Kurt Buchbinder said. “We need better preparation, both mentally and physically, next time we play them.”
The Tigers head to Penn next weekend to compete in the Ivy League championships, which is a mixed club and varsity competition.