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Attackman Wynne gives men's lax boost, provides rest for big three

Saturday against Yale, a senior men's lacrosse attackman found himself covered by an Eli midfielder. So he pulled the ball out, dodged his man and rifled it past Yale goaltender Joe Pilch in part of a key third quarter offensive explosion that left the Elis with their hair singed, wondering what had just blown up.

And this time it wasn't Chris Massey. Nor was it Jesse Hubbard. It wasn't even Jon Hess.

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That goal was scored by No. 20, John Wynne.

While the vast majority of the headlines and defensive assignments for opposing longstick defensemen have focused on Princeton's 'big three,' Wynne has been quietly tallying points and helping the Tigers (4-1 overall, 1-0 Ivy League) to a No. 3 ranking in the national polls.

Totals

His seven points (five goals, two assists) currently rank him sixth on the team, and leave him just one point away from equaling his total from a year ago.

Wynne's unexpected production has played a useful role in Princeton's early season success. As dominant as Hess, Hubbard and Massey have been in their careers, they cannot be the only source of offensive production if the Tigers are to go far in the NCAA tournament.

The strong play of Wynne has given Princeton one more legitimate threat to score, stretching opposing defenses even farther and snatching just a little more sleep from opposing head coaches.

"He gives us a little more versatility," head coach Bill Tierney said. "He can give a Jesse Hubbard or a Chris Massey a rest or allow us to play one at midfielder."

More opportunities

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In addition to seeing more time in even-strength situations, Wynne now finds himself roaming around the crease in the extra-man offense. This role should give him the opportunity to shatter his career-best total of eight points, set last year.

Over the course of a season, a crease attackman has a plethora of opportunities to pick up rebounds and ground balls and flick them past unprepared goaltenders.

But Wynne's play should be no surprise to the lacrosse program. The Tigers have a tradition of seniors jacking up their play for their final collegiate campaigns.

"Being a senior, now I have the confidence to go out and pop," Wynne said.

Reality

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"He's a kid who came here with no delusions (of starting)," Tierney said. "It speaks very proudly of (him). Seniors step up every year like Craig Katz ('97) did last year."

"When you're playing behind the best attack line in history, you really can't complain," Wynne said.

While Wynne won't be the third attackman this season to break Justin Tortolani '92's school mark for career goals (120) – Hubbard and Massey already have – Wynne does give the Tigers one more offensive threat. He also adds just that much more gunpowder to the offense.

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