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No. 2 ranked men’s lacrosse wins defensive battle over Dartmouth

<h5>Princeton scored the final three goals of the game to clinch the win.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Shelley Szwast and GoPrincetonTigers.com</h6>
Princeton scored the final three goals of the game to clinch the win.
Courtesy of Shelley Szwast and GoPrincetonTigers.com

On Saturday, the men’s lacrosse team improved to 3–1 in Ivy League play and 9–2 overall with a 12–10 win over Dartmouth (4–7, 0–4 Ivy). 

“I think a lot of factors went into our ability to turn the ball over. You have to acknowledge all the guys playing on the defensive who have the capability to make big plays at any moment,” junior midfielder Sam English told The Daily Princetonian. 

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English’s comments reflect this hard fought win perfectly. In a game that saw Princeton force 18 turnovers — a school record for turnovers in a single game — Dartmouth refused to give up and kept it close throughout. The Big Green, who sit at the bottom of the Ivy League, came out of the gates hot and were able to get to halftime with the score tied 5–5.

However, the Tigers got rolling to begin the third quarter by scoring four unanswered goals, including a pair of goals from English exactly one minute apart, to take a 9–5 lead. Dartmouth was able to rally back, scoring five straight to ultimately take a 10–9 lead early in the fourth quarter. 

In this critical moment, the Tigers showed exactly why they are ranked No. 3 nationally. Senior attacker Chris Brown took over the game by scoring two goals just minutes apart while junior midfielder Alexander Vardaro added a goal to give Princeton a 12–10 lead. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers relied on their defense to close out the Big Green and hold on for the 12–10. 

With the close win, the team is looking ahead to its final two games of the season: April 23 at Harvard and April 30 vs. Cornell. With a win against Harvard, Princeton would clinch a spot in the Ivy League tournament. If the Tigers lose this game, they would still earn one of the four spots with a win against Cornell. The Big Red are currently ranked No. 2 nationally. 

“I’d say our two biggest goals are to win an Ivy League and National Championship. It’s a real blessing and honor that we even have the opportunity to pursue these goals, and I know everyone is really excited about it,” junior defenseman Benjamin Finlay told the ‘Prince.’    

Akshay Swani is a contributor to the Sports and News sections at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at ns9735@princeton.edu.

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