Last weekend, the men’s lacrosse team faced a heartbreaking loss to Brown in the semifinals of the Ivy League tournament.
Despite the rain-soaked field and the downpour that ensued all game, the Tigers were able to generate tons of chances to score. Unfortunately, Brown goalie Phil Goss had other plans, turning away 20 shots on goal and sending the Tigers home with a 17-15 loss.
For most of the game, Princeton looked as if they were going to punch their ticket to the tournament finals. The Tigers dominated game on multiple fronts, forcing more ground balls, winning most of the faceoffs and generating way more shots on goal than the Bears did. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Goss was determined to prevent Princeton from taking a commanding lead and had what was perhaps the game of his life.
It was a frustrating day for the Tigers as, despite plenty of scoring, they never seemed to be able to overwhelm Brown and force them into submission. Three players had hat tricks for the Tigers: sophomore midfielder Charlie Durbin, senior attackman Gavin McBride, and freshman attackman Michael Sowers, who had four goals. However, at times when the game looked like it was about to be broken open, Goss turned shots away and gave his team a chance to get back in it. This was never more apparent than in the third quarter. With the Tigers up 10-7, Goss made incredible back-to-back saves that prevented Princeton from extending their lead to five. Instead, Brown would rally off three goals to tie the game heading into the fourth.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Durbin scored twice to open up a 12-10 Princeton lead. However, in what would become the back breaking run, Brown responded with seven straight goals and held Princeton scoreless from the 11:38 mark of the fourth until the final minute of the game. Even in the final minutes, Princeton was not quite done. The Tigers scored three goals in the span of 40 seconds — including two in eight seconds — and got to within two with under a minute to go. It seemed as if they had finally broken through Goss. It was too little to late, though, as Brown forced a turnover which iced the game for the Bears.
While the game was not the result that the Tigers wanted, there were some bright spots on the individual side. McBride and Sowers each broke Princeton records, while senior midfielder Zach Currier nearly broke a record as well. McBride scored his 54th goal of the season in the game, breaking the school record held by Jesse Hubbard, Class of 1998, for most goals in a season. Pairing this with 17 assists, McBride became the fifth player in school history with 70 points in a season. Sowers — Ivy League Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Ivy League — finished with a school record 82 points in a single season and became the first player with over 40 goals and assists in the same season; he finished with 41 each. Currier finished his final season one off of the record set by Greg Waller for most ground balls in a single season; Currier finished with 130 on the year after a career-high 16 ground balls in the loss.
Princeton finished the season with a respectable 9-6 record overall and 4-2 in conference play. The Tigers also finished with a solid 6-2 record at home with notable wins over Johns Hopkins and Harvard. And while the Tigers may not be playing in the national tournament, there is plenty to build on as they look to challenge again next year.