20/20: No. 20 Princeton to Host No. 20 Johns Hopkins in CWPA Southern Division Action Tonight
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The picture as to which team deserves to stay in the National Varsity Top 20 poll will get a little clearer tonight as No. 20 Princeton University hosts No. 20 Johns Hopkins University in Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division-Eastern Region competition at DeNunzio Pool beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Tied for No. 20 in the latest Men's National Varsity Top 20 Poll, the Tigers and Blue Jays will clash with more than a ranking on the line as the game marks the second Southern Division-Eastern Region game for Hopkins, while Princeton will open their league schedule against the Blue Jays.
A loss to Princeton puts Hopkins two games back in the region title race and will have a dramatic impact on the Blue Jays hopes for a high seed at the Southern Division Championship set for November 6-8 at Bucknell University. If Hopkins finishes fourth or below in the division standings, it guarantees a game against one of the Top Five teams in the division with only the Top Four finishing teams at the Southern Division Championship advancing on to the Eastern Championship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on November 20-22.
Home pool advantage for Princeton may not be all that it is cracked up to be tonight as Johns Hopkins is 3-4 this season, with all three wins coming at last weekend's Princeton Invitational as the Blue Jays topped Iona, MIT and Fordham and fell to fourth-ranked UCLA.
For the Tigers, Princeton began the season last weekend with a win and three losses in the season-opening Princeton Invitational. After a loss against UCLA, Princeton bounced back by doubling-up Harvard University (16-8 W). The Tigers had two more tough games on the slate for the weekend and suffered a pair of one-goal defeats at the hands of 12th-ranked Santa Clara University and 16th-ranked Brown University.
The action will not stop, however, after the final horn tonight as immediately following the game, the 2009 ECAC Championship will get underway at DeNunzio Pool. The 10-team field features all five Southern Division teams and five teams from the Northern Division. Princeton's first ECAC game will be on Saturday morning against the winner of Friday night's game between Fordham and Connecticut College.
A complete ECAC Championship schedule can be found here.