In their first Ivy League matchup, the Tigers edged out Yale 2-1 on the road in overtime, giving Princeton a mental boost but leaving areas to improve. Saturday’s first half was a strong defensive effort by the Tigers, who were outshot 7-4 by the Big Green. Compounding matters further was the high number of fouls on both sides of the pitch. Senior forward Jen Hoy received a yellow card for a challenge from behind 20 minutes into the match.
Neither Princeton nor Dartmouth earned any corner kick attempts in the first half, but that stat column would eventually spell the fate of the game. Lazo scored on the second touch off of a corner in the 75th minute, starting a four-minute, 25-second span that featured all of the scoring.
“Dartmouth definitely got more opportunities than we did in the first half but couldn’t capitalize on them,” Lazo said, adding that she thought the teams needed to tire each other out before finding holes in the opponents’ defense. “We probably needed that time to get it together and tired them out to capitalize on the second half.”
Princeton earned two corner kicks early in the second half, which were taken by senior midfielder Rachel Sheehy, though neither amounted to a direct shot. But the third time was the charm for the Tigers. Junior defender Kacie Kergides booted a corner to senior midfielder Caitlin Blosser, who headed it from the far post back across the goal. Lazo tapped it home for the first goal of the match and her first of the season.
“We got a great ball from Kacie, Blosser got it into the middle and I happened to be in the right place,” Lazo said. “I didn’t do too much work.”
Lazo did more work to find the net again four minutes later. She took a pass from Hoy near the edge of the box, escaped a defender and drove a shot to the back of the net — aided, she said, by “a lucky deflection” — to extend Princeton’s lead to 2-0.
Less than a minute later, Dartmouth midfielder and leading scorer Chrissy Lozier headed in a shot off of a free kick, hacking away at the hosts’ lead with 11 minutes left in the game. A second attack from Dartmouth threatened to even the score when Aurelia Solomon took a solo shot on goal, but senior goalkeeper Claire Pinciaro made her ninth save to keep Princeton’s lead alive.
For Lazo, the game was a great way to return to the field after a leg injury had sidelined her for the previous three games.
“It was wonderful to be coming back onto the field and making a play in a big Ivy League game,” she said. “Still, I feel it was mostly a team effort, and we’re getting luckier than last year.”
Next Saturday, the Tigers will look to extend their perfect record in the Ivy League when they host Brown at Roberts Stadium.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/01/31313/