No. 18 Navy Stuns No. 17 Princeton 7-6 in Sudden Death Overtime
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Luke Baldwin tallied a man-up goal with just 40 seconds left in the third-overtime session as the No. 18 ranked United States Naval Academy men's water polo team stunned No. 17 Princeton University 7-6 in sudden death overtime at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool. The victory ties the Midshipmen and Tigers at 5-1 in the Southern Division-East Region with two games remaining.
"Just another hard-fought, exciting game with Princeton," said Navy head coach Mike Schofield. "We got great production from our bench and just made enough plays to get the win. It all starts with the defense and its getting better. It was a pretty good day for us today."
In the night game, Princeton and
Navy were tied 5-5 after regulation. Each team scored a man-up goal
in the second overtime session to force sudden victory overtime
tied at 6-6. Each team had two possessions in the third overtime
period. Each goalie made a save on the first possession and on
Princeton's second chance, Tim Wenzlau rang a shot off the post.
Navy countered and drew an ejection as Baldwin tallied a man-up
goal with just 40 seconds left in the third-overtime session for
the 7-6 victory.
The Midshipmen trailed 3-1 after one quarter, before tying the contest at halftime, 3-3. The score was tied at 5-5 after three and at the end of regulation.
Baldwin led Navy with three goals, while Kyle Wertz had a pair. Stevie Ray and Tyler Thein had one goal each. Thein's goal gave Navy a big lift in the third quarter, tying the game at five after Princeton had taken a one-goal lead.
Anthony Gutierrez had eight saves and three steals in goal for the Midshipmen as Navy moved to 18-5 overall and 5-1 in the CWPA Southern Division standings.
Chris Cottrell led Princeton with two goals in the game, while Matt Hale, Mike Helou, Tommy Donahue and Connor Still added single goals.
Mike Merlone made 15 saves for Princeton which falls to 11-6 overall and 5-1 in the CWPA Southern Division.
With both the Midshipmen and Tigers tied a top the standings, and the two teams having defeated each other by a goal, the tie-breaking procedure to decide the region champion appears headed towards goal differential against the highest seeded opponent. Currently, that opponent is Johns Hopkins University as the Tigers hold a +4 against JHU thanks to a 9-6 victory over the Blue Jays earlier in the day.
Navy, which defeated JHU by a goal in their first meeting, will decide the regular season championship, if Princeton and the Midshipmen both finish the year 7-1, on October 30 at home in Annapolis when the Mids and Blue Jays clash. If Navy can beat JHU by four goals, and remain undefeated in league play otherwise, the Midshipmen will be the Southern Division-East Region champions. If Navy defeats JHU by three goals, forcing another tie with Princeton, the tie-breaking procedure will continue with the next team in the standings, either George Washington University or Bucknell University.