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No. 4 men’s lacrosse beats Monmouth in season-opener, 22–9

vardarofeb2023
Senior midfielder Alex Vardaro had five goals for the Tigers.
Courtesy of @TigerLacrosse/Twitter.

The Princeton men’s lacrosse team (1–0 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) opened their season with a massive victory over the Monmouth Hawks (0–1, 0–0 Colonial), putting up an impressive 22 goals to the Hawks’ nine at home Saturday afternoon in a repeat of last year’s 22-goal rout of the West Long Branch squad. 

The Tigers started strong, and, only two minutes in, sophomore attacker Coulter Mackesy scored his first of four goals off of an assist from senior midfielder Sam English. The Tigers did not let up after that, with senior midfielders Alexander Vardaro and Jake Stevens putting up two more for Princeton within the first four minutes.

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Monmouth did not score their first goal until midway through the first quarter, and it was the only one of the quarter. The Tigers continued to dominate, with defense running down the shot clock and forcing the Hawks to turn over the ball.

The Tigers finished the first half with a nine point lead after first-year attacker Chad Palumbo shot a buzzer beater through the Hawks defense to make it 12–3 for Princeton.

Monmouth’s offense began to pick up in the second half, and they were able to get three goals past Princeton’s defense in the third quarter. In response, Princeton put up four unanswered goals, two by Vardaro, the top scorer of the day with five goals. The Tigers’ face-off man, junior Tyler Sandoval, flipped over the crease to avoid a violation at the beginning of the third quarter during a breakaway. 

In the fourth quarter, Princeton closed out the game with four more goals. First-year midfielder John Dunphey made a huge play for the Tigers’ twentieth goal. Dunphey’s snipe to the top of the net started Princeton’s final push to the end, and Pulumbo’s second career goal, as well as a final goal from sophomore attacker Jack Ringhofer, sealed the No. 4 ranked Tigers’ victory and the final score at 22–9.

Princeton will take on Manhattan (2–0, 0–0 MAAC) this Tuesday, Feb. 21 for their second game of the season at home and will look to prepare for next Saturday against the Maryland Terrapins (2–1, 0–0 Big Ten), the defending NCAA tournament champions. 

Evelyn Walsh is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.

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