With a win last Saturday at Dartmouth (2-9 overall, 0-4 Ivy), the men’s lacrosse team will now return home for its last home game of the year against Harvard (5-6, 1-3). In addition to senior day festivities, the game will feature ceremonies honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Ivy League-winning team.
Princeton (8-4, 3-1) has had a good season so far, earning it a No. 16 ranking in the USILA/Nike Coaches Poll, second in the Ivy League only to Yale. This ranking represents a slight drop from last week, when the team was ranked No. 13. A strong win over Harvard, however, will help boost the Tigers to a higher ranking in the top 20.
The Crimson has hit a rough patch lately, losing six of its last seven games. Prior to that, Harvard had lasted through its first four games of the season undefeated. In its last game against Penn, however, the Crimson was outscored 5-1 in the fourth quarter, after entering the quarter tied. Harvard will be looking to finish better this coming weekend, bringing with it the extra energy that comes from the Harvard-Princeton rivalry. In the last four games in the series, dating back to 2013, the home team has come away victorious each time.
Princeton’s success last week was driven in large part by senior midfielder Zach Currier, who sparked a second-half turnaround with a face-off win. Currier has had a great season so far and has led the NCAA Division I in points and assists, with 47 and 27 respectively. In addition, he leads the Tigers in caused turnovers. But, Currier’s greatest strength is his ability to pick up ground balls. He has 96 ground balls in the season and 268 in his career, placing him third in Princeton’s all-time record book, resting behind only Greg Waller ’92, with 333, and James Mitchell ’97, with 284. Currier’s ability stands out most when one considers that no other Princeton player has had double-digit ground balls in a game since 2010, while Currier has done it seven times.
In addition to Currier, freshman attack Michael Sowers has been vital to Princeton’s accomplishments thus far. Sowers has set a number of Princeton records so far this season, including most points and goals by a freshman. In addition, he is now closing in on Ivy League freshman records in points and goals.
When asked for comment by email about what his keys to success have been this season, Sowers said that it was “above all [his] teammates, specifically the senior group, [who] really made the transition [from high school] smooth.” Having the opportunity to learn from his teammates and play for head coach Matt Madalon has also helped Sowers develop tremendously as a player while at Princeton.
Come down to Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday to watch Currier, Sowers, and the rest of the team in their last regular-season home game of the year.