PRINCETON, N.J. – Seniors Rico Burke and Tyler Kirchberg each scored two goals, but No. 14 Brown University men's water polo dropped a 9-8 decision to No. 11 Princeton University in NWPC play on Sunday afternoon at DeNunzio Pool.
The Bears (8-6, 1-2 NWPC) tied the game at 6-6 in the fourth quarter and re-gained possession with a chance to tie the contest inside of the final 10 seconds before the host Tigers (12-3, 3-0 NWPC) held on for the victory. On the opening weekend of NWPC action, both of Brown's setbacks came via one-goal margins.
In support of Burke (San Mateo, Calif.) and Kirchberg (Orinda, Calif.), seniors Tommy Bush (Lafayette, Calif.) and Austin Hwang (Lagauna Hills, Calif.), junior Spencer Carroll (Newport Beach, Calif.), and sophomore James Thygesen (Menlo Park, Calif.) each netted one goal.
Kirchberg added two assists and four steals while Carroll and Burke contributed four and three steals respectively.
In the cage, freshman goalkeeper Riad Hallal (Coronado, Calif.) made eight saves.
Kirchberg opened the game's scoring, driving a shot into the left side of the goal before Princeton tied the score at 1-1. A goal from Hwang from five meters put Brown up 2-1 prior to the Tigers notching the next two goals and taking a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After Princeton initiated the second stanza's scoring, Bush scored from the left wing on a 6-on-5 to help pull Brown within 4-3 at halftime.
Thygesen started the third quarter's scoring with a goal from the right wing at the 7:28 mark, knotting the score at 4-4. Princeton responded with back-to-back goals, but a tally from Burke off a feed from Kirchberg on a counter with 33 seconds left in the third sliced the hosts' advantage to 6-5 heading to the fourth quarter.
Just 27 seconds into the fourth frame, Kirchberg came up with a steal and converted a shot to draw Brown level with Princeton, 6-6. The Tigers posted the game's next two goals, claiming an 8-6 edge with 2:21 to play.
Burke cut the margin to 8-7 with 1:57 remaining, netting a skip shot from seven meters. Following a Princeton goal with 1:12 left, Carroll scored from the right wing on a power with 40 seconds to play. The Bears re-gained possession with less than 10 seconds to go, but Princeton's defense came up with a final stop.
Next, Brown closes the first half of its NWPC schedule with road games at Harvard (Oct. 7, 10:00 a.m., ESPN3/ILN) and at MIT (Oct. 7, 3:00 p.m.).
Princeton 9, Brown 8
Brown Goals: Burke 2, Kirchberg 2, Bush, Carroll, Hwang, Thygesen.
Brown Saves: Hallal 8.