After wins over Bucknell and Hartwick, the Princeton women’s water polo team fell to the University of Michigan in the championship game of the Collegiate Water Polo Association Championships this weekend, April 28 to 30. The Tigers traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to compete at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center.
The Tigers started the tournament off strong with a goal by junior Haley Wan 10 seconds into their opening game against Bucknell. After only eight minutes, the Tigers had a five-point advantage with goals by five different players. Bucknell retaliated with a goal at the 11 minute mark, but Princeton responded with three more goals, making the score 9-2 at halftime. Both sides scored early after the pause, but the Tigers closed off strong and put the final score at a dominant 16-7.
The win qualified the Tigers for the semifinal match against No. 15 Hartwick. Again, they opened the match with stellar momentum when senior Morgan Hallock scored with 1:31 on the clock. Two more goals for the Tigers and two returns by Hartwick put the first quarter score tied at 2-2.
After a hard-fought game, the Tigers fell to Michigan 5-4 on Sunday. Neither team attempted a goal until six minutes into the game, when Michigan's Julia Sellers beat out senior Ashleigh Johnson for a loose ball. While the Tigers started out relatively slow, they began the second half quickly with a goal from sophomore Eliza Britt just 44 seconds into the half. Princeton's next goal in the half didn't come until there were eight seconds left in the half, at which point the Wolverines had already snagged too far of a lead for the Tigers. Ashleigh Johnson and junior Haley Wan were selected for the CWPA Championship All-Tournament First Term. Junior Chelsea Johnson and Sophomore Lindsey Kelleher earned second team honors. Michigan ended the weekend with an at-large bid for the Tournament and will continue their play.
After the Tigers achieved second at the Championships, Ashleigh Johnson was selected as the CWPA Defensive Player of the Week. In her stellar collegiate career, she has received this honor 19 times. In just three games, she achieved 35 saves and 17 goals. The CWPA also released the national polls, placing the Tigers at No. 10 in the rankings.