CAMBRIDGE, MA - The Iona College men's water polo team dropped its first contest of the CWPA Eastern Championship 14-3 to 19th-ranked Princeton Friday afternoon at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool.
The victory advances the Tigers to a semifinal match-up against the No. 16-ranked Terriers of St. Francis College. Iona will next face Johns Hopkins at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday with a berth in the fifth place game on the line.
Princeton wasted no time in taking the lead for good with three goals in the first period to put the Tigers ahead 3-0 through eight minutes of action. Princeton exacted man-up goals at 6:32 and 4:52 in the second period to push the margin out to 5-0.
Sophomore Jonathan Hernould put the Gaels on the board at the 4:20 mark courtesy of an advantage score before freshman Tyler Mancuso tickled the twine at 1:44 to make it 5-2 at the break.
The goal appeared to ignite Princeton's offense as Wenzlau the Tigers scored twice to begin the second half and put Iona in an 7-2 hole. Princeton struck again via a man-up marker at 3:08 to finish off a 4-0 run to build the lead to 8-2 before senior Cameron Hudson stopped the bleeding with a man-up goal of his own at 1:31 to close the gap to 8-3 before the end of the period.
Needing a dramatic comeback to pull even with the Tigers, all the Gaels received was six consecutive even-strength strikes by Princeton and a defense that limited Iona to three shots on cage in the final period of play.
For Iona, Mancuso, Hernould and Hudson accounted for the their team's three scores as the Gaels were outshot 22-to-12 and allowed the Tigers to convert on three-of-three man-up chances.
In cage, sophomore Stefen Hill took the loss with eight stops.
Princeton Goals: Tim Wenzlau (3); Jeff Cole (2); Billy Tift (2); Thomas Nelson (2); Chris Cottrell; AJ Galainena; Tommy Donahue; Drew Hoffenberg; Kurt Buchbinder
Iona Goals: Tyler Mancuso; Jonathan Hernould; Cameron Hudson
Saves: Princeton - Tyler Amina (9) ; Iona - Stefen Hill (8)
Exclusions: Princeton - 6; Iona - 3
Advantage Opportunities: Princeton - 3-for-3 ; Iona - 2-for-6
Sprints: Princeton - 3-for-4 (1st, 2nd, 3rd) ; Iona - 1-for-4 (3rd)