The Princeton Tigers (11-4 overall, 6-1 Ivy League) look to become back-to-back Ivy League Tournament champions this Friday, as they take on a spirited Cornell lineup in the Ivy League women’s lacrosse semifinals.
The match comes after the Tigers clinched their third Ivy League Title in consecutive years, with an impressive 8-3 win over Brown last week. Following this win in the final regular game of the season, the Tigers secured the title, which is shared with Penn, and will enter the Ivy League Tournament seeded second, with Penn in first, Cornell in third and Harvard in fourth place.
Princeton triumphed with a tense 8-7 win against Cornell in April. The Tigers have also won their last five matchups against Cornell, with Cornell’s last victory coming during the 2012 regular season in a 13-12 overtime game. The two foes have only met once before in the Ivy League Tournament, when Princeton defeated the Big Red 12-5 in the 2014 tournament semifinals.
Currently, the Tigers are ranked No. 12 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association poll and No. 11 in the Inside Lacrosse media poll. Meanwhile, Cornell finished the Ivy League season with a 5-2 record, and 11-4 record overall, earning them a ranking of No. 18 in the IWLCA coaches poll and No. 16 in the Inside Lacrosse media poll. Princeton is currently the highest-ranked Ivy League team in both the NCAA Rating Percentage Index and NCAA Toughest Schedule Report, placing eighth and 10th respectively, with the Big Red sitting at No. 14 in the NCAA’s RPI and No. 24 in the NCAA Toughest Schedule Report.
The Princeton Tigers will be led in defense by their veteran team of junior goalkeeper Ellie DeGarmo, junior defender Madeline Rodriguez, senior defender Liz Bannantine and junior defender Amanda Leavell. DeGarmo was named Ivy League Defender of the Year with the best save percentage in the country at 55.7 percent and a low goals-against average of 8.65. Both Rodriguez and Bannantine were named All-Ivy League players this year, as Rodriguez leads the team with 22 draw controls and 28 ground balls, while Bannantine sports an impressive 20 caused turnovers.
In the offense, the Tigers are led by All-Ivy League first team selection junior midfielder Olivia Hompe, who has scored an incredible 41 goals and 11 assists for 52 points. Sophomores Ellie McNulty and Colby Chanenchuk add to the formidable forward lineup with 24 points apiece.
The Tigers return to home soil this week against Cornell, with the game set to start at 4 p.m. at Class of 1952 Stadium. It is sure to be a thrilling matchup, considering that Princeton barely ousted the Big Red earlier this year and that both teams are coming into the game with similar results from the regular season. The winner of this game will face either Penn or Harvard in the championship final, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.