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Men’s lacrosse narrowly defeats No. 13 Princeton, lands first Ivy League victory

Bears win 13-12, snap three-game losing streak

Marcus Wertheim ’26 scored the winning goal to hand the Bears a thrilling 13-12 victory.

Courtesy of Emma C. Marion via Brown Athletics
Marcus Wertheim ’26 scored the winning goal to hand the Bears a thrilling 13-12 victory. Courtesy of Emma C. Marion via Brown Athletics

Brown (2-9, 1-3 Ivy) pulled off an impressive win on Saturday, narrowly defeating No. 13 Princeton (7-4, 2-2 Ivy) 13-12. The Bears opened up Alumni Day with six unanswered goals to fend off the nationally ranked Tigers and secure their first Ivy League victory this season.

“It took the entire team and they brought it,” Head Coach Mike Daly said in a statement to Brown Athletics. “I am so happy for (the team) and the assistant coaches, as they have all stayed positive, fought to improve during some tough stretches and they found a way to win today.” 

The Bears set the tone early on Saturday, putting pressure on the Tigers’ defense from the game’s first face-off. Spencer Hughes ’25 ignited Brown’s offense, scoring the first of his four goals less than two minutes into the game. “With Ben Scandone (’26), Aidan McLane (’26) and Matteo Corsi (’25) dodging so well it opens things up for shooters, and that is where I thrive,” Hughes wrote in a statement to The Herald. 

Just minutes later, McLane followed up with a goal of his own — and his 23rd this season — to give Bruno a solid 2-0 lead.


Hustling downfield and distributing the ball into open spaces, Princeton responded with offensive aggression of their own but found no success. Bruno goalie Connor Theriault ’24 stood strong, saving all four of the Tigers’ first-quarter shots. 

At the same time, Brown’s offense remained relentless. With 2:54 left, Hughes netted his second goal of the day, handing the Bears a promising 3-0 lead after one quarter. 

Ben Locke ’24.5 appeared unstoppable in the second quarter, augmenting Brown’s momentum and scoring three consecutive goals in the first 4:17 of the quarter to stretch the Bears’ lead to six. Finally, in the latter half of the second quarter, the Tigers showed signs of life. At the 7:13 mark, Princeton’s John Dunphey netted a goal to end the Bears’ dominant run. During that play, Brown’s Trey Taylor ’26 was called for a slashing penalty that yielded the Tigers a promising extra-man opportunity, which Princeton capitalized on merely thirty seconds later, shrinking the deficit by another point. 

In the final minute of the quarter, the Tigers displayed incredible resilience, rallying to stage a comeback. Down 7-2, Princeton’s Coulter Macksey capitalized on a Bruno turnover and scored a man-up goal at the 0:42 mark to bring the Tigers within four. Almost immediately after, with 17 seconds left in the quarter, Tiger midfielder Tommy Brands added to Prinecton’s run to make it a 7-4 game at the half. 

Princeton’s Sean Cameron carried their momentum into the third quarter, scoring the Tigers’ third consecutive goal just two minutes into the second half, reducing the Bruno lead to just 7-5. At the 11:08 mark, Tanner Burns ’25 terminated the Tigers’ run, scoring his fourth goal of the season to extend the Brown lead to three.

But only two minutes later, Princeton’s offense fired back. Midfielder Tucker Wade navigated the Bears’ defense and netted a pretty goal to pull the Tigers back within two. Three minutes later, Macksey added to the run, scoring a goal of his own that brought the Tigers to a one-goal deficit. Bruno’s lead quickly evaporated as Princeton’s Colin Burns scored the Tigers’ third consecutive goal to tie the game with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

Brown appeared exhausted by the powerful Princeton offense. But just as things seemed to be falling apart, the Bears rallied, opening the fourth quarter with three consecutive goals from McLane and Hughes, providing Brown with a seemingly comfortable 11-8 fourth-quarter lead. 

Nevertheless, the Tigers persisted, going toe-to-toe with the Bears. Princeton’s Wade and Brown’s Ben Scandone ’26 traded goals in the fifth minute of the final quarter. Then, in the span of three minutes, Princeton found an offensive spark and scored three consecutive goals to tie the game at 12-12 with 7:59 left. A media timeout brought both squads to the sidelines as the game’s dying minutes awaited. 

The final minutes of Saturday’s contest transformed into a defensive battle, as both units aggressively hustled for ground balls and made hard hits. Princeton and Brown both found opportunities to strike, but neither squad could find the back of the net. Finally, at the 2:24 mark, Brown’s Marcus Wertheim ’26 ended the scoring drought and scored the winning goal to hand the Bears a thrilling 13-12 victory.

“There’s no single key that won us that game,” Hughes wrotesaid. “It took every guy on our team on the same page for 60 minutes. It took Dash (Sachs ’25) winning faceoffs. Connor (Theriault ’24) saving shots. Our defense getting stops and our offense scoring goals. More than anything, it’s the belief in the locker room that with three weeks left in the regular season we have more to prove.”


Brown will continue Ivy League play next Saturday against Dartmouth (3-8, 0-4 Ivy). The Bears will host The Big Green at Stevenson-Pincince Field for Senior Day, which will begin at 1 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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Cooper Herman

Cooper Herman is a senior staff writer covering sports and arts & culture. He is a freshman from Alexandria, Virginia studying Economics and International and Public Affairs.

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