The top seeded Princeton women's water polo team will play for the Southern Division Championship Sunday following its perfect 2-0 opening day performance. The 14th-ranked Tigers defeated fifth seed George Washington 11-8, before shutting down tournament-host and fourth seeded Bucknell, 14-6.
Game One - George Washington
GWU may have struck first, but its 1-0 lead at 6:24 in the first quarter would be the only advantage the Colonials had during the first round matchup. Princeton responded with a pair of goals from Saranna Soroka and Audrey Zak, opening up an 8-1 Tiger run that extended into the third quarter.
At 5:18 in the third, George Washington went on a 6-1 run, coming as close a 9-6 in the fourth quarter. Despite the Colonials late rally, the experienced Tigers preserved their advantage to earn an 11-8 win.
Soroka led the offense with four goals, and Zak and Zwirner had two goals apiece. Taylor Dunstan dished a team-leading three assists, and Kelly Gross and Molly McBee made a pair. McBee also led the Tigers drawing five of their nine ejections.
No. 1 Seed Princeton: 2 - 3 - 4 - 2
No. 5 Seed George Washington: 1 - 0 - 4 - 3
Goals: Gross 1, McBee 1, Rigler 1, Soroka 4, Zak 2, Zwirner 2
Assists: Dunstan 3, Gross 2, McBee 2
Steals: Gyorffy 1, Hooks 1, Martinez 1, McBee 2, Soroka 1, Zak 1, Zwirner 3
Saves: Ward 9
Game Two - Bucknell
Sophomore Katie Rigler lit up the Bucknell cage with a game-high six goals, as Princeton dominated Bucknell in its 14-6 second round victory.
Rigler and Soroka quickly made it a 2-0 game, as the Tigers took off on a 7-3 first quarter lead. From that point forward the Bison had no answer to Princeton's relentless pressure on their goal.
Up 9-4 at halftime, Rigler scored four goals over the final two quarters to headline the Tigers' 5-2 run to conclude the game.
Soroka and Rachele Gyorffy each had four steals apiece, while Soroka finished with a second-best three goals. McBee had three assists, two steals and drew an ejection, and Ward tallied 12 saves on 18 shots on frame.
The Tigers will face Brown, who they defeated 18-8 in the regular season, at 12 noon tomorrow, Sunday, April 15, in the championship game.
No. 1 Seed Princeton:
7 - 2 - 3 - 2
No. 4 Seed Bucknell: 3 - 1 - 1 - 1
Goals: Gross 1, Hatcher 1, McBee 1, Rigler 6, Soroka 3, Zak 1, Zwirner 1
Assists: Gross 2, Gyorffy 2, McBee 3, Zak 1, Zwirner 1
Steals: Gross 2, Gyorffy 2, McBee 3, Soroka 4, Zak 1, Zwirner 1
Saves: Ward 12