It’s been a magical spring for the Princeton women’s lacrosse team. After becoming Ivy League champions in the regular season by winning the Ivy League tournament, they have followed up with two wins in the NCAA Championships to put themselves in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The Tigers (16-3 overall, 7-0 Ivy League) looked in top form this weekend as they rolled through the Fairfield University Stags (14-5, 7-1 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and the No. 6 seed, Stony Brook University Seawolves (18-2, 6-0 American East). With the two wins, the Tigers put themselves in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.
A dynamite offense was on display in the game against the Stags, as the Tigers scored 10 goals by the end of just the first half, finishing the game victorious at 18-8. While the first half was certainly not a blowout — the Stags responded to an opening 4-0 run by the Tigers to keep the score at 10-7 by halftime — the Tigers totally ran away with the game when the second half rolled around. They came out even stronger than they did in the first, scoring eight straight goals to put the game away. Fairfield would score their lone goal of the half after nearly 23 minutes had expired.
Many members of the Tigers’ offense got in on the goal-scoring action in this game – eight different Tigers managed to find the back of the net. Leading them was sophomore attack Olivia Hompe, MVP of the Ivy League tournament, with four goals.
The next battle proved to be much more of a grinder. Stony Brook, having lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2014, much like the Tigers, looked ready to go toe-to-toe with the Tigers. Neither team could either score in bunches or break away from the other — they were tied at just 3-3 going into the half.
However, a hero emerged to push this onto the next level: freshman midfielder Abby Finkelston. Coming off the bench, Finkelston put in three of the Tigers’ five goals in the half, and had four goals on the game. Continuing that stiff second-half defense exhibited in the first game, the Tigers would win 8-4 and kept their hopes of a championship alive.
The prospects look as bright as every for the Tigers. The last time they won two games in the NCAA Tournament was in the 2004 season, when they were runner-ups in the championship match.
In addition, the Tigers will have the chance at revenge in their match to get into the semifinals. They will get to face the Duke Blue Devils (15-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), the same team that knocked them out in a double-overtime loss in the first round of the tournament back in 2013.