The Princeton Tigers are hosting their Princeton Invite and they have a huge slate of games. They are currently playing Cal Luthern as of now but the rest of their schedule is difficult and features No. 3 Cal and No. 2 UCLA in the same weekend.
The game against Cal takes place on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET and will be able to be seen on ESPNU as well as WatchESPN. In fact all of Princeton's game can be seen online through the schools web site.
This matchup against Cal will be a huge test to see where Princeton stands against the top teams on the West Coast. Princeton's goal is to repeat as Eastern Champions and head back to the NCAA tournament, and Cal is they type of competition they will be seeing.
This will be no easy game for Princeton as Cal is ranked No. 3 in the country and feature sophomore attacker Aleksa Saponjic who was on Serbia's 2012 Olympic team which won a bronze medal. Saponjic is the teams returning scorer with 30 goals plus 22 assists.
As a freshman he earned honorable mention All-America honors. Cal also features an amazing goalie in senior Justin Parsons who averaged nine saves per game and earned second team All-American accolades.
One final player to look at is another attacker in Collin Smith who scored 26 goals, had 20 steals and 22 assists last season.
Cal is a very deep team and Princeton will need to capitalize on any opportunity they have, because those chances will not happen all that often. This game can not get into a high scoring match since Cal has more depth than Cal, also ejections need to be limited for Princeton to keep their key players in the game.
The best player for Princeton is sophomore attacker Drew Hoffenberg who had one of the best seasons for a freshman in Princeton men's water polo history, leading the team with 47 goals, 36 assists, 41 drawn ejections and 11 blocks. Hoffenberg was also named as one of 10 players to watch by NCAA.com. While Hoffenberg may be the teams best player, this Princeton squad is full of upper classman who have the experience of making into to the NCAA championships.
This team will not be intimated by Cal, but they will need to play one of their best games if they want to have a chance to upset Cal at home. That means not getting caught up in a swim meet, getting into foul trouble or allow easy fast break goals. Princeton will need to create their own opportunities by playing stellar defense and earning a couple of fast break scoring chances.
Expect DeNunzio Pool to be a packed house since Cal will be the highest ranked team that Princeton has ever hosted. In the end I expect Cal to win by a score of 12-7, and break away late in the third quarter.
Here are a pair of preview videos about Princeton: