Tigers defeat Cornell in season finale, fall just short on making the playoffs| Apr 30, 2018
On Saturday the men’s lacrosse team (8–5, 3–3 Ivy League) hosted No. 6 Cornell (10—4, 4—2) in its last game of the season. The Tigers struck first just over two and a half minutes into the game on an unassisted goal from sophomore attack Michael Sowers. Princeton would not trail the rest of the game after this, leading 6–4 at halftime and then going on to win 14–8 behind a big third quarter where the Tigers outscored the Big Red 5–1.
Offensively, Princeton was led by Sowers with four points (two goals, two assists), but — compared to the past few games — there was a well-rounded attack by the Tigers on Saturday with 10 different players scoring goals. In addition to Sowers, sophomore midfield Connor McCarthy, sophomore attack Phillip Robertson, and senior midfield Riley Thompson all had two goals as well. The only player with multiple assists, other than Sowers, was senior midfield Austin Sims. Sowers broke the single-season record for points on Saturday, reaching 83. As a freshman last year, he had what is now the second-best season in Princeton history with 82 points.
Saturday’s break out star was freshman defense/long-stick midfielder George Baughan. Baughan had the task of shadowing Cornell’s Jeff Teat, who leads the country in points per game. Last year, Teat burnt Princeton for twelve points, but Baughan held him to zero points and only allowed him to get one shot off. Baughan even outscored him as he scored a goal early in the first period on a fast break, the first in his career. Two Tigers who had strong performances in their last games for Princeton were senior midfield Sam Bonafede and senior goalie Tyler Blaisdell. Bonafede was dominant in the face-off winning 14 of 24 in the game, allowing the Tigers to dominate possession. Blaisdell made ten saves on the day and was crucial in limiting the nation’s highest scoring team to a season-low of eight goals.
Coming in to the game, Princeton needed a win to stay alive in the race for the Ivy League tournament. The Tigers got this win and just needed to hope for a Dartmouth win against Brown. Unfortunately for Princeton, Dartmouth did not clench the win against Brown and the Tigers lost the competition for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament to Penn and Brown. That said, the Tigers ended on a very strong note with promising performances by the younger classes.
One thing to watch out for, in the end of season awards, will be to see if Sowers is named as a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given each year to the most outstanding male and female players in college lacrosse, or for USILA’s Player of the Year. Currently, Sowers was named as one of the 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award and named to the 17-member Player of the Year watchlist. He is one of 13 on both lists. The five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award will be announced on May 10.