In a repeat of the final game of conference play, the women’s lacrosse team will face Columbia (6–9 overall, 3–4 Ivy) in the first game of the Ivy League tournament. The Tigers (10–5, 6–1) beat the Lions this past Saturday to secure their fifth consecutive Ivy title and 14th title overall. Now the two teams will fight for a coveted spot in the NCAA tournament. The Princeton side will look for a repeat of its 22–16 victory as it hosts its Ivy League rivals on Sherrerd Field.
With their win over Columbia last weekend, the Tigers clinched hosting rights for the Ivy League tournament. Despite the loss, however, the Lions also secured their No. 4 position after a Cornell (7–8, 2–5) loss to Harvard (6–9, 2–5). The two teams will get a rematch in the second semifinal game. The first semifinal game will take place between Penn (12–3, 6–1) and Dartmouth (11–4, 5–2), who claimed the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
After a slow 4–4 start to the season, the Tigers flipped the switch when it mattered most. One game behind Penn, the Ivy League leaders at the time, Princeton put on a dominating performance to defeat the Quakers 21–8. The win put the Tigers at the top of the league, tied with Penn and Dartmouth. Princeton then took care of business with a victory on the road at Columbia to secure the title. Now, the Tigers will look to build on their momentum as they host the Lions for their second matchup.
The Tigers are unbeaten in their all-time series against Columbia. Princeton’s perfect 20–0 record against the Lions will be on the line as they face off in the postseason. Last year, the Tigers defeated Columbia 18–11.
Princeton boasts an impressive roster heading into the match. Nine Tigers were named to the All-Ivy League team this season. Four players were named to the All-Ivy first team. This includes first-year attack Kyla Sears, junior attack Elizabeth George, senior midfielder Ellie McNulty, and junior defender Alex Argo. Sears has had a remarkable season, leading the team with 69 points and becoming the all-time highest first-year scorer in program history.
George is also coming off a noteworthy season with 38 goals and six assists. Twenty-one of these points came in conference play, including 19 times in just seven games. She has netted three game-winning goals and six hat tricks over the course of the season. One of these came in the match against Columbia, as George recorded seven goals and one assist to help put the Lions away.
Despite the scoreline of the last match, the Lions managed to hang with the Tigers for most of the game. While a late five-goal run by Princeton pulled the Tigers beyond reach, Columbia had previously cut the deficit to one. Furthermore, the Lions had also managed to build a three-goal advantage early on. Columbia also boasts two first-team All-Ivy players including midfielder of the year Lindsey Ewertsen.
"Our entire team was overjoyed to capture the regular season Ivy League title especially now that we have the home field advantage going into this weekends tournament. However this week we have set out to be as focused as possible realizing the weekend’s competition will be as difficult if not more difficult than we have previously seen," said Sears. "As a team we could not be more proud of the work ethic we have maintained and the upward strides we are making to peak at the right time.”
With a shot at winning their fourth tournament title this weekend, the Tigers will need to bring their best if they want to secure another trip to the NCAA tournament. Princeton will start the tournament Friday, May 4, at home.