No. 9 Men's Water Polo Drops NCAA Play-In Game Against UC-San Diego, 12-7
With the loss, the Tigers closed out the year with a 22-5 overall mark. UCSD advances to face No. 1 UCLA in the first of two national semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Winning the opening sprint, UCSD scored on its first possession with Cole Martinez finding the back of the cage at 7:36. With time winding down in the period, Tyler Mancuso and Chase Cockerill netted a pair of scores just 53 seconds apart to make it 3-0.
Still up by three in the second quarter, Martinez put away his second of the game with 3:58 remaining in the half. Coming out of a timeout, Thomas Nelson put Princeton on the board with a shot into the left corner of the Triton cage. Needing just 54 seconds to respond, Daniel Straub made it 5-1 at 2:18. After Matt Payne rang a shot off the post, Mancuso added to the tally with another score inside of the two-minute mark.
Continuing to build on the momentum, Tiki Toplak opened the second half scoring with a goal just 40 seconds into the third. Hoping to jumpstart the Princeton attack, Jovan Jeremic answered with a goal at the seven-minute mark to pull the Tigers back within five.
After Nassim Hmeidan upped the UCSD margin to 8-2, Nick Alexander beat Vojislav Mitrovic at 4:19 to pad the Triton cushion. Trying to keep pace, Jeremic struck again with two goals in a span of 50 seconds, but another Alexander score with 2:13 left in the third gave UCSD an 11-4 lead heading into the final frame.
Jeremic finished with three goals and an assist, while Nelson had two scores and a pair of drawn ejections. Jamie Kuprenas and Curtis Fink accounted for Princeton’s other two goals. Ryan Wilson chipped in with three assists, while Mitrovic posted eight saves.
Goals: Jeremic 3, Nelson 2, Kuprenas 1, Fink 1
Assists: Wilson 3, Kuprenas 1, Jeremic 1, Payne 1
Steals: Nelson 1, Kuprenas 1
Ejections Drawn: Wilson 4, Nelson 2, Swart 1, Payne 1
Blocks: Nelson 1, Jeremic 1
Sprints: Colina 2-0, Wilson 1-1
Saves: Mitrovic 8