Unlucky No. 13 men’s lacrosse (6-3 overall, 2-1 Ivy League) suffered its third loss of the season this past Saturday at No. 20 Stony Brook (9-2, 2-1 America East). A 4-1 first quarter Princeton advantage quickly evaporated as the Seawolves stormed back with a 6-2 second-period run, establishing a lead they would not relinquish despite the Tigers’ late efforts.
Saturday’s contest marks just the third iteration of this rivalry. Princeton dominated the first two contests, played in 1992 and 1993.
The score line falls in line with a pattern of Princeton’s scoring habits. Across their nine contests, the Orange and Black have outscored opponents 30-17 in the first period. Their opponents, however, have an 80-76 advantage in the remaining three quarters.
Senior midfielder Kip Orban continued in a pattern of his own. Held scoreless by Maryland earlier this season, he responded in the following matchup against Penn with a career-high seven goals. Again, shut out by Brown last weekend, the Princeton captain tied Stony Brook’s Brody Eastwood with a game-high five goals (both players took eight shots in the contest).
His classmate, attackman Mike MacDonald, added three more goals. But Princeton’s offense otherwise showed an uncharacteristic lack of luster. Sophomore midfielder Bear Altemus tallied his fourth of the season with six seconds left in the first quarter. Facing an essentially insurmountable 13-9 lead, junior attackman Ryan Ambler scored with 3:21 remaining in regulation.
Four extra-man opportunities came for the Seawolves, three of which the home side capitalized upon. Princeton’s one power play resulted in a shot by sophomore midfielder Gavin McBride and a save by Stony Brook’s Brandon Maciejewski.
That efficiency was characteristic of the Seawolves' win. The home side put 21 of their 30 shots on target. In addition, 10 of their 13 goals came off assists. Defensive inexperience seems to have caught up with the Tigers, whose close defense is notably lacking in upperclassmen. The one-on-one prowess of Princeton’s backline shone last weekend. However, doubtful defense off-ball sank the Orange and Black at Stony Brook.
Significantly outmatched off the draw over their past three games, Princeton had a slight 14-13 faceoff advantage over their opponents. Freshman specialist Sam Bonafede won 12 of his 21 battles while sophomore midfielder Zach Currier added two wins of his own. Once again, Currier proved deadly on the ground with eight ground ball wins. He currently leads his side with 40 GBs on the year.
The Tigers will have a quick turnaround before facing Lehigh this Tuesday. Ideally, the Tigers will be able to find some rhythm before they close out the season with a trio of Ivy League matchups, beginning next Saturday at Dartmouth.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the ranking of Stony Brook's lacrosse team. The team is currently ranked 29th in the NCAA. The 'Prince' regrets the error.