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Men's water polo ekes out 9–8 win over Brown

<h5>The Tigers defeated Brown 14–8 earlier in the season.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/news/2022/11/5/no-8-mens-water-polo-takes-down-brown-9-8.aspx" target="_self">Nicole Maloney/GoPrincetonTigers</a>.</h6>
The Tigers defeated Brown 14–8 earlier in the season.
Courtesy of Nicole Maloney/GoPrincetonTigers.

The No. 8 ranked Princeton men’s water polo team (24–5 overall, 10–0 Northeast Water Polo Conference)  sneaked by in a one-goal victory, 9–8, against the Brown Bears (15–14, 4–6) in Providence, R.I. on Nov. 5.

The last time the two squads had met earlier this season, Princeton won 14–8 at DeNunzio Pool. The Tigers’ win streak was extended to eight games and continued their undefeated conference season. 

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The Bears challenged the Tigers from the start with Princeton’s star sophomore utility Roko Pozaric losing the opening sprint to start the contest. Brown would go on to score on their opening possession, but senior attacker Yurian Quinones converted on five-meter penalty to tie the contest at one apiece early. 

On the next possession, first-year utility JP Ohl found senior attacker Keller Maloney to give Princeton the lead. Shortly after, it was Ohl who found the back of the net to make it three goals for the Tigers. The quarter ended with Quinones finding fellow senior utility Ryan Neapole to bring the score to 4–2.

The first half of the second quarter saw missed opportunities by both teams, including a second missed penalty shot by the Bears. The Maloney brothers connected to stop a lengthy scoring drought with Keller finding junior attacker Pierce Maloney to make it 5–2, their largest lead of the game. The Tigers had a two-goal lead at the break. 

Surprisingly, the third quarter was all Brown, as the Bears cut the Tigers’ lead to one and held Princeton scoreless for the first 4:40 of the quarter. At times, the Tigers seemed to be lacking energy on Saturday afternoon, according to Head Coach Dustin Litvak. 

“We got stuck in between too many times today where we weren’t fully pressing and all the way back in our zone,” Litvak told The Daily Princetonian.

Keller Maloney was able to net his second of the game to give Princeton its lone goal of the third period, but Brown, once again, controlled the start of the quarter in the fourth, cutting the lead to one goal once more. The Bears’ defense continued to hold strong as junior goalie Joe Gallagher made crucial saves to give his team a chance for a major upset.

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One thing that worked well for the Tigers late on in the match was their man-down defense. 

“This is something we put a lot of time and effort into in practice as we know many games come down to man-up and man-down situations,” Litvak said.

Pozaric would score the eventual game-winner for Princeton to secure an important road win for the Tigers. The team followed up the victory with dominant wins on Sunday at Harvard (19–7, 8–1) and Massachusetts Technology Institute (6–17, 1–10).

Hayk Yengibaryan is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any correction requests to corrections@dailyprincetonian.com.

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