Terps Fall in CWPA Eastern Championship Game
April 29, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Maryland water polo team came up just short in its bid for a berth in the NCAA Championship.
Allison Campbell and Zoe Respondek had two goals apiece for the Terrapins, but Princeton scored twice late to pull away for a 6-5 victory Sunday evening in the 2012 CWPA Eastern Championship game, earning an automatic berth in the NCAA Championship.
The second-seeded and 13th-ranked Tigers (28-4), who will be making their first appearance in the eight-team NCAA tournament, got fourth-period goals from Taylor Dunstan and Brittany Zwirner to snap a 4-all tie.
Respondek's goal with just over four minutes left brought the fourth-seeded and 14th-ranked Terps (20-7) within 6-5, but they were unable to sneak the tying score past goaltender Kristen Ward who had 15 saves in the game.
"They took advantage and scored on our mistakes," Maryland head coach Carl Salyer said. "We just had a tough time converting on the offensive end."
Katie Rigler, who was named tournament MVP, led the Tigers with two goals.
Respondek's first goal came in the second period and gave the Terps a 3-2 lead, but the Tigers battled back, tying the game at 4-all at the end of the third.
"It was a close hard-fought game," Salyer said.
Despite the loss, the Terps still ended with their best-ever finish in the CWPA Eastern Championship. They were third last season, as well as during 2009.
"I don't know how you can ask much more of a team," Salyer said of his squad which reached a program-best 10th in the nation twice this season. "These ladies have been tremendous."
Maryland reached the Eastern final by knocking off top-seeded and 10th-ranked Michigan for the second time this year. The Terps were 0-10 all-time against the Wolverines entering this season.
"Now we just need to do what we can to save the program," Salyer said of his Terps who were seeking their first trip to the NCAAs in nine years of existence.
Salyer was tabbed the Doc Hunkler Coach of the Tournament.
CWPA Eastern Championship ResultsSunday, April 29
Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatic Center
No. 13 Princeton 6, No.14 Maryland 5
1st 2nd 3rd 4th F Maryland (20-7) 2 1 1 1 5 Princeton (28-4) 1 2 1 2 6Maryland Goals:Zoe Repondek 2, Campbell 2, Ermakova
Princeton Goals:Rigler 2, Dunstan, Soroka, Zwirner, Holechek
Maryland Blocks: Reyes 9
Princeton Blocks: Ward 15
Material from College Water Polo Association contributed to this release.