Men’s lacrosse defeats Siena 19–10, heads to Dartmouth for critical game Saturday| April 11, 2019
Men’s lacrosse (5–6, 0–3 Ivy) defeated Siena College (5–5, 3–2 MAAC) 19–10 on Tuesday night in a game that saw Princeton’s junior attacker Michael Sowers score six goals and contribute five assists for a career-high 11 points. The win was a boost to the team’s overall record but doesn’t aid its playoff hopes — they are still winless in the Ivy League.
Siena’s Keenan Cook opened the scoring at Sherrerd Field after a failed clear attempt by Princeton at 14:14 left the team’s defense vulnerable. Sowers responded a minute later with his first goal of the game, tying it 1–1. Siena midfielder Dylan Pantalone scored next at 12:21. Sowers equalized again in the 11th minute after a shot by first-year middie Beau Pederson. Keenan made it 3–2 at 9:02, the last time the Saints would hold a lead over the Tigers in the game. Sowers scored his third as the shot clock ran out with four and a half minutes to go, tying the game 3–3. Goals from senior attacker Emmet Cordrey and sophomore long stick midfielder Andrew Song, his second of the season, in the final minutes of the quarter brought Princeton ahead 5–3.
Sowers scored first in the second quarter, followed by a goal during a man-up play from first-year middie Alexander Vardaro with the assist by sophomore middie Jamie Atkinson, making it 7–3. Siena’s two goals in the second quarter came in the seventh and fifth minutes. Vardaro scored again with three minutes left, assisted by Cordrey, to bring Princeton up 8–5.
Sowers had two early goals and assisted both senior middie Charlie Durbin after he scored on a clear and Pederson near the end of the game. Siena scored twice, and the quarter finished 12–7.
Pantalone brought Siena within four goals in the 12th minute of the final quarter, but three goals in the following two and a half minutes put the Tigers far in the lead. Junior attacker Phillip Robertson scored off a clear at 11:47, followed by Pederson 20 seconds later, and then sophomore attacker Chris Brown at 10:22, assisted by Sowers to make the score 15–8.
Siena put two more past Princeton’s goalie in the remaining minutes but was unable to stop the Tigers from getting additional goals from Brown, sophomore face-off specialist Jack-Henry Vara after he won the resulting face-off, Atkinson on a man-up play, and sophomore Carter Zavitz. When the final whistle blew, the score was 19–10.
This game, as well as a victory over Stony Brook last week, has given the Tigers a chance to enjoy two dominant wins. Unfortunately, these games only provide a boost to team spirits. The victories are non-conference wins and do not aid the Tigers’ hopes of finishing in the top four of the Ivy League, which would qualify them for the conference tournament.
This weekend’s game against Dartmouth (2–8, 0–3) in Hanover is crucial for the team. A loss would virtually ensure that Princeton’s season will end after its last regular season match. Even still, it needs to win the following final two games to have a chance at the playoffs.
But, as head coach Matt Madalon said on the April 11 episode of the Princeton Laxcast, “… when it comes down it, you have to approach one play at time, one game at a time. That’s the only way to be successful in this game.”
If history is any indicator, however, the Tigers have a good chance against the Big Green. The last five times the teams have met, Princeton has emerged victorious, with two of the games taking place in Hanover.
“They do a good job riding, do a good job clearing the ball, they’ve got offensively some slick sticks,” Madalon said. “They play some unique styles of defense.”
Catch the two teams battle for the win on Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN+ or live in Hanover, N.H.