The women’s lacrosse team dominated Penn in a must-win game with its title hopes on the line. The Tigers (9–5 overall, 5–1 Ivy) defeated the Quakers (11–3, 5–1), 21–8, a record margin which has not been matched since April 2000. With this victory the Tigers move into a tie for the top spot in the Ivy League with Dartmouth (11–3, 5–1) and Penn (11–3, 5–1).
Coming into the game the Tigers were on a mission. They needed to defeat a strong No. 10 Penn squad by a five-goal margin for a shot at hosting the 2018 Ivy League tournament. However, few could have predicted the result. The Orange and Black came out like a team possessed, with four Tigers managing a hat trick among Penn’s 21 goals allowed. This was the third most goals the Quakers had allowed in program history.
Just as importantly, the win kept the Tigers in the title race. Heading into the match, the Quakers were undefeated in their five games in the Ivy League. The Tigers were 4–1, with their sole loss coming from Dartmouth earlier in the season. With only two games remaining in conference play, a loss would have eliminated the Tigers from title contention. With the season on the line, the Princeton team rose to the occasion. Princeton had the edge in shots, ground balls, and draw controls. In addition, the Tigers limited turnovers and held Penn’s rookie star Zoe Belodeau scoreless.
Despite the strong performance, it was the Quakers who would land the first blow. However, after the opening goal, Princeton responded with seven of its own. The Princeton defense smothered Penn, keeping the Quakers scoreless for 23 minutes of the game. By halftime, the Tigers had already accomplished their mission, reaching the five-goal margin needed to host the 2018 Ivy League tournament. While Penn would make a run after the half to cut the deficit to three goals at 10–7, the Tigers had an answer. Building momentum, the Tigers netted another two to build their cushion before continuing on a remarkable 9–0 run sealing the deal.
First-year midfielder Kyla Sears had a five-point game, giving her 63 points for the season. Her 63 points sets a new record for points in a season by a freshman. Senior midfielder Ellie McNulty also had a five-point game with four goals and one assist. Junior midfielder Elizabeth George tied a career high of five goals and added seven draws to the Princeton effort.
Princeton will surely look to build on this remarkable result in the game against Columbia (6–8, 3–3) on Saturday. Penn will play Yale (7–7, 2–4) and Dartmouth will travel to Brown (8–6, 1–5). A win by all three teams will mean a three-way split for the Ivy League title.