Sports

Three-game winning streak snapped as Princeton tops men’s lacrosse

Men’s lacrosse cannot rebound after Tigers’ offense surges early, often en route to 11-goal win

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 2, 2017

Heading into its second Ivy League matchup of the season against Princeton Saturday, the men’s lacrosse team looked to capitalize on a valuable respite from classes and take home an important win. But the Bears (4-4, 1-1 Ivy) had trouble responding after the Tigers (6-3, 2-1) took a six-goal lead heading into the second half and eventually fell 21-11.

Princeton scored first, with Gavin McBride beating rookie goalie Phil Goss ’20 less than a minute into the game. But the Bears responded immediately, with veteran midfielder Matt Graham ’17 putting Brown on the scoreboard just thirty seconds later with his fifth goal of the season.

In the ensuing minutes, Princeton took back possession and fired multiple shots at Goss, who came up with a pair of saves to keep the game tied at one. But after starting defenseman JJ Ntshaykolo ’18 received a slashing penalty with 11:45 on the clock, Princeton capitalized on the man-up opportunity to take a 2-1 lead.

Brown answered again as first-year Luke McCaleb ’20 notched goal number 14 of the season. Bruno continued to surge offensively, as midfielder Stephen Hudak ’18 beat Tyler Blaisdell at the net to help the Bears take a 3-2 advantage and swing the momentum back in their favor.

Princeton then ignited a rally, beginning with a goal in the final nine seconds of the first quarter that started a 5-1 run lasting 10 minutes into the second quarter  to recapture a 7-4 lead.

The Bears’ co-captain and returning first-team All-American Dylan Molloy ’17 cut the Tigers’ lead to four with 9:38 left in the half — his 27th goal of the season. But Princeton’s offense remained relentless, going on a 4-1 run to secure an 11-5 lead heading into halftime.

Brown got off to a strong start in the second half, with Molloy scoring his second goal two minutes into the third quarter off an assist by last year’s second-team All-American midfielder Larken Kemp ’17. But Princeton laid down a third offensive surge, going on a 5-2 run that helped the Tigers to a 16-8 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Princeton opened up the first three minutes of the fourth quarter by scoring three goals in quick succession, taking an 11-goal lead. Later in the quarter, Brian Prigmore ’19 and Jackson Newsome ’19 combined for three goals — each scoring their first tallies of the year — as Bruno attempted to rally back into the contest. But the gap proved insurmountable. As the final buzzer sounded, the game ended in a 21-11 loss.

In the contest, Brown held a slight advantage in shots, taking 54 to the Tigers’ 53. Face-off specialist Ted Ottens ’17.5 won 21 face-offs on 36 attempts. But the Tigers bested the Bears in ground balls, saves, clears and goals from man-up possessions.

With the loss, the Bears now sit tied with Harvard for third place in the Ivy League standings. Yale and Princeton hold the first and second spots, respectively.

The Bears will continue their season this Saturday, hosting the Bulldogs (5-3, 3-0) — who remain undefeated in conference play after a win Saturday against Penn. 

Last year, Brown secured a 14-12 win over the then-No. 1 Bulldogs. Yale took home the Ivy League tournament crown after Bruno fell to Harvard in the semi-finals last year.