The Princeton men’s lacrosse team (3–4, 0–2 Ivy League) has had a difficult start to its Ivy League season. Facing two of the conference’s top teams in No. 20 Penn (5–4, 1–1) and No. 4 Yale (6–1, 2–0), Princeton lost 14–7 to Penn and 16–8 to Yale. The Tigers came into these two games after an exciting 15–14 overtime win against No. 10 Rutgers (7–2) in which senior midfield Austin Sims tied the game with 49.7 seconds left and won the game in overtime with a goal 1:28 in to the period.
The game against Penn on Saturday, March 17 at Sherrerd Field in the Class of 1952 Stadium continued the trend of the last four years of the road team winning in a blowout. Princeton lost to the Quakers 14–7, which was the closest game in the past three years. The game was close going in to the fourth quarter with the Tigers only down three, 8–5, but a strong fourth quarter performance from Penn saw them pull away, outscoring Princeton 6–2 in the final period. The Quakers’ performance in this period was led by goalie Reed Junkin, who made 11 of his 20 saves in the fourth quarter.
Notable performances for Princeton came from Sims with two goals, senior midfielder Riley Thompson with another two goals, and sophomore attacker Michael Sowers with three assists, continuing his streak of at least two points in every game of his career. Perhaps most notable was the Tigers’ strong performance in the face-off X where senior midfielder Sam Bonafede won 15 of 24 face-offs. Prior to this game, the face-off X had been a serious source of struggle for Princeton.
Just like the game against Penn, the game against the Bulldogs followed a familiar script. Yale dominated in the face-offs against the Tigers, the 18th time that has happened in the last 19 meetings. Yale controlled most of the game, dominating time of possession and outshooting the Tigers 51–20.
Princeton was in the game at the half with the Bulldogs only ahead 7–4, but Yale pulled away in the second half, winning 16–8. Sims had another two goals for the Tigers, giving him 15 on the season to lead Princeton in goals scored. Senior goalie Tyler Blaisdell also played well, making 18 saves, two short of his career high. These saves also moved him into 10th place for all-time most saves in school history at 442. Lastly, freshman midfielder Chris Brown scored another goal, continuing his streak of having a goal in every game of his Princeton career. Leading up to the game earlier in the week, Brown had been named the seventh-best freshman in Division 1 men’s lacrosse by Inside Lacrosse. Freshman longstick midfielder Andrew Song was also named on the list as 14th, making Princeton one of four schools with two players on the list.
The Tigers will next take the field on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Providence against Brown (3–4, 0–1), where they will be looking for their first road win of the season. The game will be available for viewing on the Ivy League Network and can be listened to live on TuneIn.com. Princeton’s next home game will be April 7 at 1 p.m. against Stony Brook.