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Kyla Sears helped Princeton beat Penn Wednesday night. Photo Credit: Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian

Last year, Princeton women’s lacrosse (10–3, 4–1 Ivy) battled it out against Penn (9–4, 3–2) for the Ivy League crown and came away with a 13–10 victory. The two teams have been vying for the title and the automatic bid to the NCAAs for several decades, and Wednesday night was no different. The Tigers took a quick ride to Franklin Field in Philadelphia to take on the Quakers. By the end of the night, the Tigers made out with a close 13–11 win.

For the majority of the first half, Penn held a lead over Princeton after getting in a quick couple of shots. Thirteen minutes into the game, the Quakers led the Tigers by three goals. Adding to their problems, the Tigers had to play down a man when sophomore attacker Kyla Sears was yellow carded. Sears wasn’t the only one to be yellow carded. In the second half, the Tigers were given five additional cards throughout the half, forcing them to go without a player in several instances.

“We were really trying to emphasize that we could not foul and not to get cards,” head coach Chris Sailer said. “I think we have to be more disciplined and understand what’s at stake. We put ourselves in a hole with six of the last 10 minutes playing man down and we played for a long stretch with two men down. Kyla found [senior attack Elizabeth] George and scored with two men down but those kinds of things don’t happen all the time. We have to get back to playing like we need to play in terms of that.”

Despite the early lead that Penn managed to gain over Princeton, both teams were practically even by the end of the first half, when Penn led 8–7. The rest of the game was just as close; however, the Tigers managed to not only even the score within the first four minutes of the second half but never let the score return in favor of the Quakers.

Leading the Tigers was George with six goals.

“I thought [George] played very well last night,” Sailer said. “She went to goal hard, she looked for opportunities, and she made the most out of her shots. She was a kid that was not going to be denied in that game she really carried us in the first half with her fire and intensity.”

Sears added two goals and four assists, followed by four goals from junior attacker Tess D’Orsi. Senior attacker Allie Rogers also managed to put one in the net. Sophomore goalie Sam Fish bounced back after a shaky start to finish with 12 saves.

“[Fish] wasn’t playing her normal game early in the game especially when they scored those four goals early on,” Sailer said.  “But I think she really pulled it together with a couple of big saves in the first half, and at halftime there was such a change in her. It was like she knew exactly where they were going to shoot and was ready to stop all their low shots, and she was winning ground balls. I think her turn around in the second half was a huge reason why we won that game.”

This was an important win for Princeton in terms of playoff seeding, as the Tigers still control their own destiny in the race for the regular season conference title. Continuing with the string of Ivy games, the Tigers will travel to New Haven this Saturday to face off with the Yale Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Yale is currently seventh in the conference, and Princeton tied for first after defeating Penn. Following Yale will be a game against Cornell in Ithaca on Saturday, April 27, at 3 p.m.

“We feel good after the big win,” Sailer mentioned. “ We just put ourselves in a great position to challenge for the title and to win the title we’re going to have to win our last two games.”

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