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Men’s lacrosse looks to earn first Ivy win against Brown

Mike Morean and men's lacrosse face Brown this Saturday. Photo credit:
Mike Morean and men's lacrosse face Brown this Saturday. Photo credit:

Men’s lacrosse (3–5, 0–2 Ivy) will take on Brown University (3–5, 1–0) this Saturday at Sherrerd Field. Fresh off of a win against the University of Denver (5–3), the team looks to turn around its performance in the Ivy League after starting 0–2 in conference play.

When the teams first met in 1964, Princeton defeated Brown 8–7. The all-time record between the two teams sits at 32–25 in the Tigers’ favor. More recently though, Brown has given the Tigers a considerable challenge. In the past five years, the Bears hold a 5–1 record over Princeton in all matches. 

Sparks flew the last time Brown and Princeton met. Last season, the Bears notched a win over the Tigers in Providence, after Brown’s Michael Panepinto broke the tie with 14.3 seconds left, ending the game 14–13. Although Brown outshot Princeton 49–39, the Tigers only had one less shot on target than the Bears, at 31 versus 30.

To add to the stinging defeat, that game knocked Princeton out of contention for the Ivy League tournament and allowed Brown to earn a spot.

But when the teams last met at Princeton, things were different. Two seasons ago, in 2017, the Tigers dominated Brown 21–11. Junior attacker Michael Sowers, then a first-year, notched a whopping five goals for the Tigers during their romp. Princeton outscored Brown in every single quarter too.

It is worth noting, however, that when the two teams met again later in the season for the Ivy League Tournament semifinal, Brown defeated Princeton 17–15 in New Haven.

Although Brown currently has a better record in the Ivy League than Princeton, both teams have shared similar experiences this season. For example, Virginia managed to defeat both teams in overtime, topping the Tigers 12–11 and Brown 14–13.

Brown is led offensively by junior attacker Luke McCaleb, who has 20 goals and nine assists this season, and first-year attacker Darian Cook, who has 18 goals and 10 assists. Brown’s starting goalie, junior Phil Goss, has allowed 11.76 goals per game this season with a .481 save percentage.

Princeton’s junior attacker Michael Sowers leads the Ivy League in scoring with 46 points on 17 goals and 29 assists. Sophomore goalie Erik Peters has started the last three games for Princeton, averaging 13.38 goals allowed and posting a .485 save percentage on the season.

Princeton has scored 107 goals this season and allowed 100, compared to 100 scored and 96 allowed for Brown. The teams are fourth and fifth in the Ivy League in average goal differential, respectively.

Despite the history between the two teams, the Tigers are going to approach this game no differently from any other.

“It’s a big one,” said head coach Matt Madalon. “But it’s the biggest one since it’s the next one.”

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Princeton will take on Brown at 1 p.m. at Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium on Saturday.