This past weekend, the men’s lacrosse team (2–2) travelled down to Baltimore, Md. to take on No. 17 Johns Hopkins (2–2). Unfortunately, the game did not go in favor of the Tigers, losing 16–9 to the Blue Jays who pulled away in the second half after a half-time score of 6—5 in favor of Johns Hopkins. On Tuesday, Princeton got a chance to rebound when they hosted the New Jersey Institute of Technology (0–7) at home on Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium. The Tigers responded in strong fashion, beating NJIT 15–8.
Saturday’s game saw a continuation of a trend over the last eight times these teams have met where the winner of the previous match-up has not been able to repeat as the winner the next year. The story of the night was the Blue Jays’ dominance at the face-off X where they won 20 of 28 face-offs. Johns Hopkins’ face-off specialist, Hunter Moreland, has won almost 55 percent of his face-offs since his first-year season on just over 500 attempts. The story was the opposite last year when Princeton won 17 of 28 face-offs, taking advantage of Moreland's absence.
The Tigers’ standout performance came from sophomore attack Michael Sowers who had three goals and three assists giving him 97 career points in his 18 career games. Sowers was Princeton’s honoree for the Chris Gardner Player of the Game, an award that honors a former Johns Hopkins lacrosse player who died from cancer his sophomore year in college. Moreland was the Blue Jays’ honoree for the award. Sophomore attack Phillip Robertson continued his sharp shooting on the season adding another two goals on two shots, making him eight-for-eight this season.
In Tuesday’s game, Princeton was able to improve its face-offs against an NJIT team that had also been struggling at the X. The Tigers were led by sophomore face-off Ralph Chrappa who was 11 of 14 on the X. In addition, first-year attack Chris Brown continued his hot start of having at least a goal and an assist in all four of Princeton’s games so far this season. He added one of each last night. Lastly, the story of the night was Sowers who had eight points on the night with three goals and five assists. This put Sowers over the 100 career points mark, making him the fastest player by three games to do so in Princeton history. Sowers started strong in the first quarter with a goal 49 seconds in, and had three more assists before the quarter was over. His second assist of the quarter with 4:56 remaining put him over the 100-point mark in just 18 games and one quarter played.
The Tigers will next be taking on Rutgers (4–1) this Saturday at 1 p.m. at home on Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium. This is Princeton’s last non-conference game before its first Ivy League game of the season on March 17 at home against No. 19 Penn (3–2). Saturday’s game can be watched live on the Ivy League Digital Network or listened live on TuneIn.com at the Princeton IMG Sports Network.