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Women’s lacrosse defeats Penn, Harvard to stay undefeated in Ivy play

<h5>The win clinched the Tigers' spot in the Ivy League tournament.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Shelley M. Szwast/GoPrincetonTigers</h6>
The win clinched the Tigers' spot in the Ivy League tournament.
Courtesy of Shelley M. Szwast/GoPrincetonTigers

On Wednesday, April 20, junior attack Kate Mulham scored five goals as No. 12 women’s lacrosse (9–3, 4–0 Ivy League) pulled out a back-and-forth 15–13 win over Penn (4–9, 1–4). Midfielder Maria Themelis led the Quakers with four goals.

Themelis got the Quakers off to a hot start, scoring two goals in the opening 2:18 to give Penn a quick 2–0 lead. On the other hand, first-year midfielder McKenzie Blake got the Tigers on the board to cut the lead in half. However, Penn answered only two minutes later to make it 3–1.

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The Quakers’ lead would not last for long, as the Tigers woke up at the end of the first quarter with four straight goals. Mulham’s 20th goal of the year started the run with 6:29 to go to make it 3–2. The score held for the next four minutes before first-year midfielder Nina Montes tied the game with 2:04 remaining. Senior attack Kyla Sears gave the Tigers the lead a minute later with her first of three goals on the day. Mulham scored her second with 18 seconds left to make it 5–3 heading into the second quarter. 

Sears netted a goal to extend the run to five straight goals, making the score 6–3 at the start of the second quarter. Penn finally ended their scoring drought with two consecutive goals of their own. The teams traded two-goal runs to end the half, and Princeton held the lead at 8–7 at the break. 

The Tigers opened the second half on a three-goal run, including two from Mulham, 29 seconds apart for her fourth and fifth goals of the game. From then on, Penn designated a defender to face-guard Mulham to keep her away from the net and stagnate the Princeton offense. The strategy worked for a bit, as the Quakers went on a three-goal run of their own to make it 11–10. Blake’s second of the game ended Penn’s run and made it 12–10 entering the fourth. 

In the final quarter, Princeton continuously answered Penn’s comeback attempts. Themelis’ fourth of the game cut it 12–11 to open the quarter, but Sears and first-year midfielder Sophie Whiteway quickly extended the lead to 14–11. The Quakers weren’t done yet, scoring back-to-back goals 2:05 apart to make it 14–13 with 5:02 to go. However, from then on out, the Princeton defense was a brick wall. Penn failed to score the rest of the game, and sophomore attack Grace Tauckus scored with 47 seconds left to seal the win at 15–13.

The win is the second straight victory for the Tigers, who remain atop the Ivy League with a perfect League record. On Saturday afternoon, Princeton extended the win streak to three after defeating Harvard 14–9. With these two wins, the Tigers are now 5–0 in the League. They will close out the year with two more Ivy matchups as they look to gain momentum heading into the NCAA tournament. Their next game will be away against Columbia on Wednesday, April 27. 

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

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