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No. 3 men’s lacrosse wins shootout in overtime against No. 6 Penn in Ivy opener

mlax crowd.jpeg
The men’s lacrosse team drew a sizable crowd for their matchup against Penn.
Courtesy of @TigerLacrosse/Twitter.

Senior attacker Chris Brown played the hero for No. 3 Princeton men’s lacrosse (5–1, 1–0 Ivy League) as they won 21–20 in overtime at home against No. 6 Penn (3–2, 0–1). Brown scored with 2:15 to go in the sudden-death extra period for his sixth goal of the game, and it was the winning point for the Tigers.

The game went back and forth throughout. Princeton got the first punch in, scoring the first three goals of the game for an early 3–0 lead. Junior attacker Christian Ronda opened the scoring, followed by Brown and junior midfielder Sam English. Penn responded with two goals in two minutes, cutting the lead to 3–2. The Tigers counterpunched with two of their own as junior midfielder Alexander Vardaro and English each scored one to make the score 5–2 at the end of the first quarter.


The Quakers got one in to start the second quarter and cut the deficit to two. The Tigers quickly answered with a four-goal explosion as Brown, first-year attacker Coulter Mackesy, and junior attacker Alex Slusher all scored. With Slusher scoring twice, the Princeton lead was extended to 9–3. Penn responded with three of their own over the course of the next 71 seconds, cutting the lead in half to 9–6. Both teams ended the half scoring two more goals each, including Brown’s third of the game and one from sophomore attacker Tommy Barnds. Princeton held an 11–8 lead heading into halftime.

The second half proved to be even more exciting than the first as the teams scored a combined 21 goals across the third and fourth quarters. Cam Rubin struck twice to start the third quarter for the Quakers and cut the lead to one. The Tigers answered with two of their own as Brown and Vardaro scored one apiece to restore the three-goal advantage for the Tigers. Penn got another to cut into the lead, but first-year midfielder Sean Cameron and junior midfielder Jake Stevens added two more for the Tigers to extend the lead to 15–11. Penn finally had a scoring outburst of their own as the Quakers scored five goals in 3:12 to take their first lead of the game. Vardaro responded for the Tigers with a goal, his third of the game, tying the game at 16 apiece heading into the fourth period.

Jack Schultz scored for Penn 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, retaking the lead 17–16. The Tigers roared back with three of their own as Slusher, Stevens, and Ronda struck to give Princeton a two-goal lead. Again, Penn answered, this time with two in 1:31 to tie the game at 19. After a rare four minutes of scoreless play, Brown struck with 2:06 to give the Tigers a 20–19 lead. Penn, not to be outdone, got a goal from Ben Smith with 1:34 to go and once again tied the game, this time at 20 apiece. Senior goalie Erik Peters made a huge stop with 10 seconds left, and the game deservedly headed into overtime.

In overtime, Brown provided the goal to cap off an incredible game. After Brown tried to drive to the net and lost the ball, Mackesy picked it up and found Brown again on the right side. Brown wound up and ripped a shot past Penn goalie Emmet Carroll for the winning goal and his sixth of the afternoon. 

The win is the third straight one for the Tigers, who will look to continue the streak next Saturday when they travel to No. 11 Yale.

Ben Burns is an Associate Sports Editor at the 'Prince' who typically covers basketball, hockey, and soccer. He can be reached at or on Twitter @bwburns5_.