April 28, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Canham Natatorium)
Event: CWPA Eastern Championship (Final)
Score: #11 Princeton 7, #18 Michigan 5
Records: U-M (20-14), Princeton (26-5)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan water polo team could not hang on to its early advantage against No. 11 Princeton, falling, 7-5, in the CWPA Eastern Championship title game on Sunday afternoon (April 28) at Canham Natatorium. With their win, the Tigers advance to the NCAA Championship for the second straight season.
The Wolverine rookies headlined Michigan's offensive production as freshman Presley Pender (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) netted her fourth hat trick of the season, and freshmen Bryce Beckwith (Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis HS) and Ali Thomason (San Rafael, Calif./Marin Catholic HS) scored the game's first two goals that gave U-M an early 2-0 advantage.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado HS) posted five saves in the Wolverine net, including two in the fourth quarter as Michigan mounted a late comeback to pull within one.
Beckwith and Thomason tallied their goals in the opening five minutes of the first quarter, scoring on a skip shot to the nearside corner and a lob shot, respectively. Princeton responded with a pair of 6-on-5 goals in quick succession.
Pender netted her first goal of the game with 1:23 remaining in the frame, finding the upper left corner of the Tiger goal to regain the Wolverine lead, but Princeton responded again, scoring on a lob shot just 18 seconds later to even the score at 3-3 after the first quarter.
The Tigers surged ahead through the middle periods, netting two goals in the second and another in the third to carry a three-goal cushion into the final quarter.
Pender scored early and late in the fourth, successfully converting on a five-meter penalty 1:39 into the frame and netting a cross-cage shot to the upper left corner with 43 seconds remaining, but the Tigers responded again, sealing the victory with an insurance goal with 18 seconds on the clock.
Princeton goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson, who stopped 15 Wolverine shots in the championship game, earned the tournament's MVP award.
U-M Goals: Presley Pender 3, Bryce Beckwith, Ali Thomason
Saves: PU 15 (Ashleigh Johnson), U-M 5 (Alex Adamson)
Ejections: PU 4, U-M 10
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423