BALTIMORE, Md. -- Freshman goalie Danny Ovelar stopped a five-meter shot with 26 seconds left in a tie game and sophomore Stephen Kingery scored the game-winner with just one tick left to lift the Division III No. 4-ranked Johns Hopkins University water polo team over 13th-ranked Princeton University in front of a packed house. The Blue Jays beat the Tigers for just the fourth time in program history to improve to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in the league. The Tigers suffer their first loss of the season as they fall to 8-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Princeton was awarded a five-meter shot with just 26 seconds left in the contest on a Hopkins foul right in front of its own goal. Drew Hoffenberg took the shot for the Tigers, going left on Ovelar, but the Jays' netminder was up to the task, blocking the shot to keep the score tied at 10-10. Princeton's Tyler Amina got a save on Hopkins' ensuing possession and the Tigers took over with 17 seconds left but couldn't get a shot off. The ball ended up in the middle of the pool with Kingery and a foul was called with just one second remaining. On the restart, Kingery fired the ball at the Tiger net and scored his second goal of the game to stun the Tigers.
The ending was befitting the previous 31 minutes of action as Hopkins led early before falling behind by three goals in the second half and then battling back to tie it up midway through the third. JHU could not build more than a one-goal lead as each time the Blue Jays took the lead, the Tigers answered. Hopkins took the early lead off an Alex Whittam goal at 4:50 in the first and led 1-0 after the first quarter thanks in part to three saves from freshman Scott Weigel. Princeton rallied in the second, scoring four unanswered to take a 4-1 lead with 3:01 to play in the half. Juniors Kielan Crow and Ross Schofield then scored back-to-back goals less than a minute apart to make it a 4-3 game. But Matt Weber would score from in tight with 1:32 left to give Princeton a 5-3 lead at the half.
Coming out of the break, Hopkins needed just 36 seconds to get on the board as Crow scored the 100th goal of his career off a nice feed from Whittam. Senior Mark Strickland then tied things up with his first of the night. Just 38 seconds later, Strickland fed Schofield for a man-up goal as Hopkins took the lead for the first time since midway through the first. The teams traded goals over the final three minutes of the third, with Tim Wenzlau scoring with just five seconds remaining to send the game to the fourth quarter tied at 8 apiece.
Strickland netted his second of the game just 19 seconds into the final quarter to put Hopkins back on top 9-8. Exactly one minute later, Weber notched his second to knot things up as the teams continued to go back-and-forth. Schofield took a feed from Crow and buried it for his team-high fourth goal of the night, but two minutes later it was Weber again with the equalizer and setting the stage for the exciting conclusion.
Schofield finished with four goals and two assists, while also grabbing three steals. Crow, who became the 19th player in program history with 100 career goals, notched a pair to go with three helpers. Ovelar finished with four saves and two steals in two quarters of action, while Weigel had six stops and one steal.
Freshmen accounted for nine of Princeton's 10 goals with reigning Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Rookie of the Weekleading the way with three goals. He also drew three ejections in the loss. , and each added two goals. scored one time and led all players with three assists.
Information courtesy Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University Athletic Communications