Sports shorts: weekend wrap-up of men's hockey, men's volleyball, women's water polo and tennis| Mar 9, 2014
Men’s hockey: Tigers win overtime thriller, but lose playoff series
Princeton men’s hockey (6-25 overall, 4-18 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) was not expected to make much of a splash in the ECAC playoffs. Sitting at the bottom of the league table, they drew against No. 24 Clarkson (19-15-4, 11-9-2) to whom they had lost two games earlier this year by an aggregate 7-4 margin.
In what was one of the most impressive wins of their fairly disappointing season, the Tigers pulled off an overtime upset at Potsdam’s Cheel Arena. Drawn 2-2 after 60 minutes of regulation, the teams looked toward an extra 20 minutes of play. As so often happened throughout the season, senior winger Andrew Ammon provided the scoring touch at the 12:02 mark. With assists from classmate and center Andrew Calof and sophomore winger Jonathan Liau, he notched the goal which gave his team the improbable victory.
Remarkably, the defeated Golden Knights emerged from the first evening of series play having outshot the visiting Tigers by a 41-29 margin. Freshman goalie Colton Phinney, who has shared starts with senior Sean Bonar, recorded a 39 saves across three periods and an overtime period.
The following night the Tigers struggled to muster offense and ended up without a goal in a 4-0 Clarkson victory. Bonar got the start between the pipes, but despite tallying 33 saves across three frames, left his final collegiate game with a loss. He faced a total of 37 Clarkson shots, while his team managed 24 attempts on goal.
The final game of the series Sunday night echoed the score of the first game, but reversed the outcome. Clarkson won a close 3-2 contest to move on to the next round of the ECAC playoffs.
Princeton drew level in the middle frame with a goal from sophomore defender Kyle Rankin, who made the score 2-2. But Clarkson struck back soon after with a game winner at the 12:49 mark in the second period.
Despite the last second efforts of the Tigers and a fairly even shot total, the visitors were unable to pull off what would have been a remarkable series. Despite a season replete with tough losses and losing a strong graduating class, Princeton men’s hockey hopes their roster will improve with a year of experience.
Men’s volleyball: Princeton falls to Harvard in second five-set match between the two teams this season
Princeton extended its five-match win streak with a 3-1 victory over Sacred Heart (7-12 overall, 2-6 EIVA) at Dillon Gymnasium. The Tigers (9-5, 6-2) played a somewhat sloppy match, hitting .214 overall and losing the first set to the sixth place EIVA team. They survived a set point in the fourth, ultimately ending the match with a 27-25 win. Junior middle blocker Will Siroky hit .545 on 11 attempts, while freshman setter Chris Kennedy notched 36 assists.
Harvard limped into Dillon Saturday having suffered an unlikely straight set pounding at the hands of otherwise mediocre George Mason the previous night. But the Crimson (9-5, 7-2) brought its A-game for the Tigers and won the last two sets en route to a 3-2 victory. The teams first split a pair of 25-20 sets, then a pair at 25-18. The fifth set was tied 12-12, until Harvard mustered up one last run. The team hit just .163 combined, while Siroky was again the most efficient Tiger. Outside hitters junior Cody Kessel and senior Pat Schwagler shared the match-high total with 16 kills each. Kennedy had 44 assists and freshman middle blocker Junior Oboh contributed nine blocks, but Harvard’s cleaner play gave them the win. Princeton is off for midterm week, before playing seven road matches over spring break.
Women’s water polo: Princeton moves to 14-0 with trio of victories at Harvard Invitational
The No. 8 Tigers escaped late runs to defeated No. 19 Hartwick and Iona on Saturday in Cambridge. Princeton (14-0) jumped out to a 7-2 lead through three quarters against Hartwick (9-7) behind two goals apiece from junior utility Ashley Hatcher and senior utilities Molly McBee and Katie Rigler. But the Hawks stormed back with five straight goals before sophomore utility Diana Murphy gave the Tigers an 8-7 win. Princeton managed a 6-3 halftime advantage against Iona (3-9), behind sophomore goalie Ashleigh Johnson’s incredible 14 saves. She would end up with 19, one shy of her single game program record from earlier this season. Iona got to within two multiple times, but no closer, as the Tigers held on for a 9-7 win. McBee scored a career-high four goals and the team’s leading scorer Rigler added two.
Princeton finished the weekend with the season’s fourth victory over a ranked opponent, No. 18 Santa Clara, by a score of 14-11. Princeton again jumped out to a halftime advantage, 7-4, widening it to 10-6 going into the final period. Like the Gaels the previous day, the Broncos outscored the Tigers by a goal in the fourth quarter but could not really scare the top-ranked East Coast team. Murphy and Hatcher both notched hat tricks, while four others netted a pair of goals. Princeton resumes play next weekend in sunny San Diego.
Tennis: men split weekend against two ranked squads, women fall to No. 59 Ohio State
The No. 50 ranked men opened their home weekend with a convincing 5-2 win over No. 61 Denver (6-6). The Tigers took the doubles point with wins at the first and third positions, and then swept the back end of the singles rotation. Junior Zack McCourt, ranked No. 108, fell to No. 101 ranked Henry Craig, 7-6, 6-3. Senior Augie Bloom had the most convincing win of the afternoon, with two 6-4 set wins in the five slot.
Princeton (9-5) had to turn right around and face No. 31 Penn State (11-1) Saturday morning. McCourt and freshman Alex Day won the only doubles match for the Tigers, although the rookie duo of Josh Yablon and Tom Coulatti nearly got the point for Princeton. It would not end up mattering, however, as the Nittany Lions won all but the sixth singles match, which sophomore Florin Radu won 6-1, 7-6. McCourt encountered another ranked foe in No. 50 Leonard Stakhovsky, whom he took to three sets. The men get a much-needed break before resuming action at the USD challenge in San Diego on March 20.
The No. 75 ranked women (8-4) played a single match in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, where they fell to the Buckeyes (8-4) 6-1. All three doubles matches were decided 8-5, with the first pair of juniors Lindsay Graff and Joan Cannon providing Princeton’s only victory. Every singles match was a two-setter as no Tiger managed to take more than seven games off her opponent. Sophomore Amanda Muliawan scored Princeton’s only point of the match when Ohio State’s Miho Kowase was forced to retire up one set to zero. The women will also enjoy some rest before heading to Florida over spring break.