It was a thrilling weekend for Princeton lacrosse in the Ivy League Tournament, as the women's team (14-3 overall, 7-0 Ivy League) earned first place. The men's team (9-6, 4-2) fell in a thrilling championship round.
Coming in first in the Ivy League tournament, The Tigers have earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
As Ivy League champions of the regular season, the women’s lacrosse team earned the right to host all the games of the Ivy League tournament. They made a statement to kick things off on Friday evening, defeating Harvard 15-8.
With the game tied at 4-4 going into the second half, the Tigers came out and stained the field red with Crimson blood. After exchanging one goal apiece to start the half, Princeton went on a 9-0 run that absolutely put this game out of reach.
Sophomore attack Olivia Hompe was a terror for the Crimson defense in this game. She put up a career high in goals with six on the game, four of which coming in the aforementioned run.
The game against Penn, however, was the match the Tigers were savoring. They were ready to redeem themselves after losing to the Quakers (13-4, 6-1) in the Ivy League Championship round last year. Unlike last year's contest, which was a game primarily of runs (a 9-0 run from Penn, a 6-0 one from Princeton), this one was close throughout. Going into the half with a 6-4 lead, the Tigers ultimately pushed their lead out to 13-8 with just five minutes to go, a deficit Penn was unable to surmount with such little time.
Hompe, who tied with senior midfielder Erin Slifer for most goals in with three, received MVP honors for the tournament.
The Tigers started off the tournament with some sweet revenge, grabbing an 11-7 win over Cornell (10-5, 4-2) who had just beaten them last Saturday to end the regular season. While the Tigers’ defense might have been struggling in that one — they gave up 15 goals to Cornell at Ithaca, N.Y., it was in full form on Friday evening. Much credit has to go to the performance of freshman goalie Tyler Blaisdell, who had a save percentage of 66.7 percent for the game.
On the offensive side, the Tigers looked in strong form. Senior attack Mike MacDonald looked like he wanted to end his Princeton career with a bang. After a three-goal, two-assist performance in last weekend’s loss, he followed up with four goals and two assists. Sophomore attack Gavin McBride was second in scoring for the Tigers, putting in three on the game..
MacDonald fared less well in the Tigers' following match to Yale (11-4, 3-3). He made only one goal on nine shots in the game. While Orban stepped up his play, grabbing four goals, it wouldn't be enough to surmount the Bulldogs. Going into the final quarter tied at 7, Orban scored the opening goals to give the Tigers the lead. It would be for naught, as Yale would outscore the Tigers 4-2 for the remainder of the period. The loss was doubly unfortunate in that it gave over to Yale the chance to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament.