Head Coach Chris Sailer has made winning a tradition for Princeton women’s lacrosse.
In the last Ivy League season of her 36-year career, Sailer led the No. 12 Tigers (14–3, 7–0 Ivy League) to their seventh-straight Ivy League title, capping off an undefeated conference schedule with a 17–14 home win over No. 24 Yale (11–6, 6–1). The title brought her career total of Ivy League titles to 16.
Aside from being an excellent send-off for Sailer, the win over Yale also meant the Tigers would host the Ivy League tournament at Sherrerd Field from May 6–8. The winner of the tournament would be set to clinch an automatic spot at the NCAAs.
The top-seeded Tigers opened the tournament on a rainy, muddy Friday afternoon on May 6, easily dispatching the No. 4 seed Harvard (7–8, 4–3) by a score of 13–6. During the game, senior attack Kyla Sears was unstoppable, scoring six goals and dishing out three assists for a career-high nine points. The total points also tied an Ivy League record.
In addition to setting these impressive single-game marks, Sears also tied the program record for career goals, and set the program record for career points. Senior defender Marge Donovan also won seven draw controls to set the program records for both season and career totals in the category.
“I’ve just been so grateful to be a part of this team and this program, especially under a legend like Chris Sailer,” Donovan wrote in a comment to the ‘Prince.’
The ‘Prince’ spoke with Sailer earlier this year about her time at the head of the program, which you can read here.
Next up for the Tigers was a rematch with Yale in the tournament final. This time, things weren’t nearly as close. The Tigers opened up a 15–3 lead at halftime and never looked back, winning 19–9. Sears once again shined, netting four goals in the win.
The success at the tournament was no surprise — the Tigers went undefeated in the regular season before dominating the list of Ivy League award recipients. Sears was one of these honorees, taking home Attacker of the Year, while Sailer earned Coach of the Year and Donovan Defender of the Year.
The win earned the Tigers an NCAA tournament appearance. They will host the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen on May 13 at Sherrerd Field.
Wilson Conn is a co-head editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince’ who typically covers football, basketball, and breaking news. He is also a senior writer for the Podcast section. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @wilson_conn.