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Junior defender Arman Medghalchi. Photo Courtesy of

By GoPrincetonTigers

Despite leading through halftime, men’s lacrosse (1–2) was defeated 14 –12 by Johns Hopkins (2–2) on Saturday after a late-game blitz by the Blue Jays.

Hopkins opened the game with a goal 50 seconds into the first quarter. The Tigers responded a minute and a half later with a goal from sophomore attacker Chris Brown, his seventh of the season. Sophomore long-stick midfielder Andrew Song had the assist. Princeton had two more shots before junior attacker Michael Sowers hit the team’s second goal at 12:14.

After Hopkins’ Robert Kuhn was given a penalty and Princeton went man-up, Brown scored his second goal of the game at 10:49. Sophomore middie Jamie Atkinson had the assist.

The Blue Jays added their second goal with eight minutes to go in the quarter after senior midfielder Strib Walker was handed a penalty for cross checking, and Princeton went man-down. Princeton allowed another goal at 5:36, and the first quarter ended 3–3.

In the second quarter, the two teams went back and forth with goals. Princeton’s Charlie Durbin, a senior middie, scored his seventh of the season at 10:40 and brought the game to 4–4. He scored again with seven minutes left, assisted by Sowers, bringing the Tigers into the lead. Hopkins quickly tied the game again and the two teams traded shots until Princeton’s Atkinson scored in the last second of the quarter, closing out the half 6–5.

Two minutes into the third quarter, Durbin secured a hat trick, bringing the Tigers two ahead of the Blue Jays. Hopkins’ Cole Williams scored two goals in a row to tie the game 7–7. Princeton’s senior attacker Emmet Cordrey got one past the goalie with a little less than seven minutes to go, assisted by Brown. Sowers scored four minutes later on a man-up play, a result of a slash called on Hopkins’ Patrick Foley. Hopkins responded seconds later at 2:25, and the half ended 9–8 in the Tigers’ favor.

In the fourth quarter, Hopkins scored 17 seconds into play, starting what would become a four-goal run that ultimately secured their victory. They hit the back of the net again at 13:24 and seconds later at 13:12. Durbin followed up with a shot, but it was blocked by Hopkins goalie Ryan Darby. Hopkins scored again at the 9:00 mark. Junior midfielder Connor McCarthy scored with 5:34 left in the game after a clear by the Tigers, bringing the game to 12–10 in Hopkins’ favor. The Blue Jays scored twice more in the quarter. Their last goal of the game at 2:54 gave them a four-point lead over Princeton, 14–10.

Despite two goals in the final two minutes by freshman middies Beau Pederson and Alexander Vardaro, the Tigers were unable to regain their lead and the game closed out 14—12. 

Head coach Matt Madalon attributed Saturday’s loss to “clearing mishaps, little mental mistakes, and early season woes.” The loss is a natural part of the preseason, he noted. 

“We’re still grooming the team,” Madalon said. “We’re going to do a better job as a coach staff to make sure our guys are prepared for games.”

The Tigers will take on Navy (3—1) in Annapolis on Tuesday evening at 4:00 p.m. The last time the two teams met was in the 2004 NCAA semifinals, where the Midshipmen bested Princeton 8—7. 

The coach isn’t worried about the quick game turnaround. “We’re excited to play as many games as we possibly can,” he said. “We expect to see a really good Navy team. It should be a really good game, and we are going to keep working on the foundation we have as a team.  

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