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No. 17 men’s lacrosse defeats the Brown Bears on home turf, 16–12

Coulter Mackesy April 2023
Sophomore attacker Coulter Mackesy scored eight goals in last week’s win over Yale and three more against Brown.
Photo Courtesy of @TigerLacrosse/Twitter.

No. 17 men’s lacrosse (4–4 overall, 2–1 Ivy League) earned their second consecutive Ivy League win on Saturday against the Brown Bears (4–5, 0–2) at Sherrerd Field by a score of 16–12.

After a slow start to the season that saw the Tigers fall to the bottom of Inside Lacrosse’s top 20 national rankings, the Tigers proved that they still belong among the nation’s best in back-to-back wins over the No. 20 Yale Bulldogs (3–4, 0–3) and Brown Bears.


“Through that four-game stretch, we were struggling offensively,” head coach Matt Madalon told The Daily Princetonian after the game. “It’s been a focus in practice and it’s good to see the production on game day.”

While the final score might suggest Tiger superiority, neither team was able to pull away in the first half. The first 30 minutes featured numerous lead changes and neither team led by more than one goal.

Senior midfielder Sam English opened up scoring for the day with an unassisted right-handed finish that gave the Tigers a 1–0 lead with 12:15 remaining in the first quarter.

Brown attacker Aidan McLane responded quickly by scoring two back-to-back goals of his own in under a minute to give the Bears a 2–1 lead with 7:11 remaining in the first. McLane found success with low underhand shots that he snuck around the Tiger’s junior goalie Michael Gianforcaro.

After senior midfielder Christian Ronda, who had four goals in the Tigers’ most recent win over Yale, tied it back up for the Tigers at 2–2, Aidan McLane’s older brother and the Bears’ leader in goals per game this season, attacker Devon McLane, netted his first goal of the game. Devon McLane’s goal gave the Bears a 3–2 lead entering the second quarter of play. 

McLane would net the next Brown goal, giving the brothers from Westfield, N.J. each of the first four goals for the Bears. 


Princeton struggled to stay in front of the talented Bear attackers, as each of the three goals Brown scored in the second quarter were unassisted, meaning that they were taking on Tiger defenders one-on-one — and with success. 

“Brown is just such a dynamic team. They can score in bunches, they go on runs, they always have,” Madalon told the ‘Prince.’ “For us it was just ‘Weather the storm, weather the runs, try to eliminate transitions,’ and they still got [success on offense].”

A pinpoint finish from Brown attacker and midfielder Matteo Corsi gave the Bears a 6–5 lead with 7:40 remaining in the first half, but the Tigers responded quickly with back-to-back goals from English and sophomore attacker Jack Ringhofer that gave the Tigers a 7–6 lead entering the half.

While the half could not have been much closer, the Tigers led in some important statistical categories. They produced four more shots on goal and committed two less turnovers than the Bears did. They also managed to stop the Bears on their only extra-man opportunity of the half, which was awarded as a result of three face-off violations by the Tigers.

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The Tigers started the third quarter hoping to grab a comfortable lead but surrendered the opening faceoff. The Bears quickly tied the game at seven apiece as McLane scored his fourth goal of the game.

Soon after, however, the Tiger offense began to fire on all cylinders. Impressive individual goals from junior attacker Lukas Stanat and sophomore attacker Coulter Mackesy gave the Tigers a three-goal lead. Mackesy scored eight goals in last week’s win over Yale.

The Tiger defense found its footing in the third quarter and started to give the Bear attackers and midfielders less space to operate their offense. Along with stout goaltending from Gianforcaro, the Tigers’s defensive unit held the Bears scoreless for a 12-minute stretch in the third quarter. 

First-year midfielder John Dunphey scored his second goal of the season midway through the quarter to continue the Tigers’ scoring run. Stanat and English added goals and assists of their own to give the Tigers a 13–7 lead late in the third quarter. The Bears showed some fight late in the quarter, though, grabbing two goals back in the last two minutes before heading into the final quarter on shots by Devon McLane and midfielder Griffin King. 

The aggressive play of the Tigers’ midfielders on offense was once again on full display when Ronda blasted a high shot past the Bear goalkeeper with 13 minutes left in regulation. Senior midfielder Alex Vardaro recorded an assist on the goal, which was his 100th career point, an impressive accomplishment for a key part of the Princeton offense.

Sophomore faceoff specialist Koby Ginder, filling in for the injured junior Tyler Sandoval, showed off the depth of the Tigers with a skillful faceoff win and assist to Mackesy for his third goal of the night, giving the Tigers a 15–9 lead.

The Bears were determined to stay in the fight, however, scoring three consecutive goals during the middle of the quarter. The Tigers were not going to let this key conference win slip away, though, and sealed the win with an easy goal by sophomore attacker Jack Ringhofer. 

The defense of the Tigers held onto the 16–12 lead for the game’s last five minutes, forcing turnovers and errant shots from the Brown offense.

The win catapults the Tigers into third place in the Ivy League with three more conference games left to play against Dartmouth, Harvard, and Cornell. The Tigers are tied with the Penn Quakers with two wins and one loss in the Ivy League, but the Quakers have the head-to-head tiebreaker. Cornell leads the conference with an undefeated record in Ivy League play and is certainly the team to beat this year for Princeton. 

“We’re getting hot,” said English in a post-game interview with ESPN.

The Tigers will continue their season on April 8 at noon against the Syracuse Orange (6–5 overall, 0–3 Atlantic Coast), a storied lacrosse program. Princeton will be looking to extend their two-game win streak as they host the Orange at Sherrerd Field. 

Diego Uribe is an assistant editor to the Sports and contributor to the News section at the ‘Prince.’

Harrison Blank is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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