Between a halftime ceremony honoring members of the 1994 NCAA champion Princeton women’s lacrosse team and a postgame ceremony honoring the 2019 Princeton women’s lacrosse senior class, Saturday afternoon at Sherrerd Field was eventful. In the meantime, Princeton (9–3, 3–1 Ivy) found a way to edge out Harvard (6–7, 1–4), winning 14–12 in its final home game of the regular season.
Fittingly, many of the most valuable contributions to Princeton’s Senior Day win came from its seniors. Attack Allie Rogers had four points, and attack Elizabeth George, attack Julia Haney, and midfielder Kathryn Hallett each had three. Alex Argo anchored Princeton’s defense, and defender Nonie Anderson kept the ball in Princeton’s possession with 10 draw controls.
“It’s quite a group,” said head coach Chris Sailer about the seniors. “Half of the kids on the field at any one time are seniors, and you see their influence in every aspect of the game. They’re just tough and competitive kids who love playing the game, [so] it was nice for them to get an important win over Harvard on Senior Day.”
The game-deciding stretch came in the first 10 minutes of the second half, in which Princeton scored four goals in little over three minutes to turn a narrow 7–6 lead into a comfortable 11–6 one. Junior attack Tess D’Orsi, who had four goals of her own in the game, opened the scoring onslaught after Rogers found her alone in front of the net. George split two defenders to score on Princeton’s next possession, and Hallet and sophomore attack Kyla Sears each added a goal shortly thereafter to give Princeton the five-goal lead.
“In the locker room, we [thought we] were playing well on both ends, but we weren’t putting the nail in the coffin and weren’t playing a full 90 seconds on each side,” said Argo. “[In the second half], we really refocused and came out hard on both ends of the field, and that made the difference.”
Harvard was not content to let Princeton coast to an easy win, however. Just as they had battled back in the first half after falling behind 4–1 to tie the game at five, the Crimson tightened up on defense and brought the margin to 13–11 with over three minutes to play.
“Harvard came in with something to prove, and they were really trying to play the spoilers,” said Sailer. “They had some nice plays on offense, and we really had to hang tough in there.”
Despite the Crimson’s best efforts, the day belonged to Princeton. Sears gave the Tigers some breathing room with her third goal and fifth point of the game with 2:22 left. After Harvard responded with a goal of its own, Andersen won another draw, allowing Princeton to safely run out the clock and secure the win.
Princeton found out after the game that Dartmouth had defeated Penn, giving the Quakers their first Ivy League loss. The Tigers are now tied for second in the conference and would be guaranteed the right to host the Ivy tournament if they won each of their last three games.
Doing so won’t be easy — Princeton plays each of its final three games on the road, beginning next Wednesday at rival Penn.
“We have a big game coming up on Wednesday, and I think we’re ready to get back to work,” said Argo. “A win’s a win, but we have a lot ahead of us, and we’re really excited for what’s coming.”