Princeton’s women’s lacrosse’s NCAA tournament run is off to a strong start.
The Tigers (15–3, 6–1 Ivy) scored 14 first half goals and rolled by Wagner (16–4, 7–1 NEC) in their first round NCAA tournament game, winning 19–7 at home.
“Any time you play in the NCAA against a conference champ who has a great record, it’s good to play well and get a big win,” head coach Chris Sailer said after the game.
From the start, it was clear that Princeton was the dominant team. After pregame rain showers soaking the stadium cleared, the Tigers scored the first three goals of the game and led 7–1 just over 10 minutes into the first half. Wagner had trouble controlling the ball against Princeton’s stifling midfield and defense, and Princeton took advantage of its opportunities, adding another 7 goals and taking a commanding 14–4 lead into halftime.
“We’re really pleased with that effort in the first half,” Sailer said about the offense. “We were finishing our shots and making good decisions. I thought we were really running the offense well.”
Princeton’s offensive onslaught lightened in the second half, as the Tigers slowed down the pace and Sailer cleared the bench to give the starters some rest. Wagner would never seriously challenge the Tigers’ lead, and Princeton led by at least 10 goals for most of the second half, allowing for a running clock.
Princeton had a balanced offensive attack, with eight different players scoring a goal, but junior attacker Tess D’Orsi led the way with a career-high seven goals.
“She’s just so quick,” Sailer said about D’Orsi. “When we’ve got three kids who’ve scored fifty goals each, it’s hard to know which one to put your attention on.”
After winning the Ivy League tournament last weekend, Princeton earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament and the right to host its first two games. The Tigers will return to Sherrerd Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. to play Loyola, which beat Richmond 19–6 in Friday’s earlier game, in the second round.
That game will be a rematch, as Princeton beat Loyola 14–10 in April in its final regular season non-conference game. Since then, Loyola has won its last seven games, including two for the Patriot League championship.
“You can’t expect the game to go the same way,” Sailer said. “ I know they looked really good out here tonight, and they’ve been playing awesome down the stretch. It’s going to be a great battle.”