The men’s lacrosse team (5-4, 0-2 Ivy League) fell to the No. 6 Princeton Tigers (6-2, 2-1 Ivy) by a score of 17-9 on Saturday afternoon at Stevenson-Pincince Field. The result marked the Bears’ third consecutive loss after opening the season 5-1 and their second consecutive loss against an Ivy League opponent.
Despite the lopsided final score, the Bears fought to keep pace with the Tigers early on, never falling more than three goals behind in the first half, with a score of 7-5 at halftime. But at the start of the third quarter, Princeton went on a devastating 6-0 run, at one point scoring four goals in the span of two minutes, while Bruno went four and a half minutes without clean possession of the ball.
The barrage was led by Princeton’s attacker Alex Slusher, the Ivy League’s current leader in average goals per game with 3.63. Slusher continued his strong season with a stellar six goal performance, four of which came during the Tigers’ third-quarter surge. By the end of the game, eight different Princeton players were on the scoresheet.
“They got to the middle of the field and just shot the ball really well,” said attacker Darian Cook ’22. “They shot at a very high percentage and put the ball in good spots, and that definitely served them well.”
Brown struggled to take advantage of opportunities to respond. After a Princeton broken stick gave the Bears possession of the ball in the third period, a wide pass quickly forced a turnover. Later in the quarter, a battle for the ball behind the net that could have resulted in fouls for both teams ultimately gave Brown a 60-second man-up — one of several calls which elicited a reaction from the Princeton bench — but Bruno failed to score.
Princeton “move(d) the ball well, got some good looks and (they) were able to execute,” said attacker Devon McLane ’23. “They’re a solid team, but we made some mistakes.”
Brown attempted to fight back, scoring three straight goals by the end of the third period, but Princeton’s lead proved insurmountable. The Bears were led by attackers McLane, Cook and Brian Antonelli ’22, each of whom finished the game with a pair of goals.
Cook's first goal, scored in the opening minutes, marked his 100th career point, the most of any active Brown player. Cook reflected on the milestone as an important achievement but vowed to remain focused on what’s ahead.
“That’s a great accomplishment. I’m really stoked on breaking 100 points,” he said. “But it’s not good enough, and I definitely still need to do more for my team.”
Head Coach Mike Daly similarly emphasized the importance of maintaining a focus on the team’s goals. “Darian’s been a starter since he got here,” he said. Those achievements are “a good reflection of certainly him and staying in the lineup and all of that, but it’s a team game, and he needs all of his teammates to achieve those.”
The Bears will play four of their final five games against Ivy League opponents. Brown will look to break its three-game losing streak and keep its postseason hopes alive –– in order to have a shot at qualifying for the Ivy League playoffs, the team will most likely have to win the rest of its games in the season, according to McLane.
The team has “got to win out, win the next game and beat our next opponent, so that’s what we’re looking to do,” he said.
The team’s next matchup is at Penn on Saturday.
“(We’ve) just got to find those combinations and that consistency you need to play a 60-minute game,” Daly said. “We didn’t do that today, and that’s what we’re looking to improve upon.”
The team is hoping to keep a positive mentality going into its final games, according to Cook.
“No matter how it’s going for Brown Lacrosse, we’re going to keep fighting,” Cook said. “That's absolutely (the) team that we pride ourselves on being. We’ll keep fighting to 60 minutes.”