Men's Lacrosse: Princeton gets revenge, share of Ivy League title
Sophomore midfielder Tom Schreiber made his standard appearance on the scoreboard, scoring the first of the Tigers’ 12 goals on Saturday. Schreiber picked up three more goals throughout the course of the afternoon game at Harvard (6-7, 2-3), adding one assist on junior midfielder Jeff Froccaro’s fourth-quarter strike.
Senior defenseman and co-captain Chad Wiedmaier, who picked up seven ground balls, stood out among Princeton’s entirely impressive defensive end. Wiedmaier finished with three forced turnovers and picked up an assist on sophomore defenseman Derick Raabe’s fast-break goal, the first of his career, with three minutes, six seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“Chad has played unbelievably,” junior midfielder Tucker Shanley said. “Whoever he guards is pretty much blanked on the score sheet. He normally covers the other team’s best offensive player. So it’s tough for teams to get going when they’re essentially missing their key guy.”
Senior defenseman Jonathan Meyers helped the Tigers limit Harvard’s Jeff Cohen — who ranks second in Division I in scoring — to just one goal on his home turf. With 15 saves and five goals allowed, senior goalie Tyler Fiorito boosted his statistics in five Ivy League games to an average of 4.89 goals allowed and a save percentage of .705, both easily leading the conference.
Schreiber led the offense with two unassisted goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, while freshman midfielder Kip Orban added another to the tally at 4:46 of the first quarter, his sixth goal of the season. With 4:04 left in the first frame, Harvard’s Daniel Eipp slipped behind the Princeton cage and sent a pass in front to teammate Will Walker, capturing the Crimson’s first goal. But the Tigers tacked on two more goals in the last three minutes of the first to pull ahead, 5-1.
In the second period, Eipp managed an unassisted goal for Harvard, limiting the deficit to 5-2, but junior attackman Forest Sonnenfeldt and Raabe each scored in the final eight minutes, opening the lead to 7-2. Though the Crimson won nine of 11 face-offs in the first half, the Tigers possessed the advantage in shots, 23-17.
Schreiber opened the third quarter just like the first, scoring a goal at 13:52 off of Froccaro’s assist. The Crimson responded about two minutes later when Kevin Vaughan netted a pass from Terry White, and with 2:56 remaining in the stanza, Ryan Stevens found Cohen for a goal, pulling Harvard up to 8-4.
Schreiber and Froccaro each recorded goals early in the fourth period to make it a 10-4 contest. After Harvard scored for the last time, junior midfielders Shanley and Chris White scored unassisted goals within 12 seconds of each other to put the game out of reach.
Princeton topped Harvard for the 20th time in the rivals’ last 22 meetings, but it was the Tigers’ first victory in three years.
“We needed revenge; we didn’t overlook them,” Shanley said. “They might have rolled over easier than we thought, but we came in pretty strong and put it away early.”
The Tigers have won three straight games, tallying 46 goals against their opponents’ 15. Princeton limited the Crimson, which entered the match with an average of 11 goals per game, to less than half of its season standard.
Despite the 12-5 loss, Harvard received positive news from Hanover, N.H., as Dartmouth defeated Penn 7-6, eliminating the Quakers from the Ivy League Tournament hunt. The Crimson will make the tournament with either a win over Yale or a Brown loss to Dartmouth next weekend. Moreover, a win against Yale would place Harvard as the third seed and Yale, which has already secured a spot in the contest, as the fourth seed.
Brown’s 10-9 win at No. 3 Cornell on Saturday added to the Tigers’ triumph, giving Princeton at least a share of its 26th Ivy League title. The Tigers host the Big Red this weekend, and the winner will host the Ivy League Tournament the following week. A Princeton win will guarantee sole possession of the championship, while a Cornell win would give the pair co-champion honors.
“[Cornell’s loss] doesn’t change the mentality at all, to be honest,” Shanley said. “We want to win because we hate Cornell, but aside from the rivalry, we still need and want to win. Beating them would put us in a better position going into the NCAA Tournament.”