Women’s lacrosse (6–6 overall, 3–1 Ivy League) took the field on Saturday at noon to face the Brown Bears (5–7, 2–3), not knowing that a multi-day event was underway. After a few prolonged stoppages for severe lightning, the Tigers came out on top nearly a day later, defeating the Bears 20–16.
Brown was able to find their way through the Tigers’ defense within the first minute of play, but Princeton was eager to respond. Two minutes later, with Princeton up a player, senior attacker Kate Mulham took a decisive feed from junior midfielder Kari Buonanno and drove through the Brown defenders for her first goal of the game.
First-year attacker Jami MacDonald then shot a behind-the-back goal for the Tigers to give them the lead, 2–1. With the game’s momentum on their side, the Buonanno-Mulham duo found another chance to score, doubling the Princeton advantage.
But the Bears were not ready for the Tigers to pull away just yet and soon evened the game at three. Junior attacker Grace Tauckus then scored off of a free position before Brown responded with two more goals.
With three minutes left in the first quarter, sophomore attacker McKenzie Blake, an offensive powerhouse for the team this season, scored her first of the day with an assist from Mulham to tie the game 5–5. Brown then netted one more in the first quarter to give them a one-goal advantage heading into the second period.
The Tigers were able to outscore the Bears for the next two quarters by significant margins. First-year midfielder Abigail Roberts opened the second quarter for the Tigers after a tactical pass from senior attacker Meghan Curran. Blake followed up Roberts to take back the lead for Princeton, 7–6.
Brown could only get one past the Tigers before Princeton came back with four more, with the Tiger defense playing tightly. First-year goalkeeper Amelia Hughes had 11 saves for the day.
“I think the defense executed the game plan that our coaches created to the best of our abilities and backed each other up to make defensive stops,” Hughes told The Daily Princetonian.
Mulham scored two more, her third and fourth of the game, and Tauckus added one more to her tally. With a minute left in the quarter, first-year midfielder Haven Dora scored her first-ever collegiate goal after a free position to take the Tigers into the second half up 11–8.
After a two-hour weather delay, the Tigers returned to play, with momentum still completely in their hands. Princeton opened the second half with four straight goals.
Tauckus picked it back up for the Princeton offense, sending one in after an impressive pass from MacDonald. Not long after, Buonanno got her first goal of the day after being a playmaker for the Tigers in the first half. After a big check by the Bears’ defense, Princeton was up a player and junior midfielder Samantha DeVito capitalized on her free position, scoring for the Tigers. A strong feed from Dora to Tauckus landed the Tigers’ fourth of the run.
With 8:41 left in the third quarter and Princeton up 15–8, both teams retreated to the locker room for a rain delay and did not return to the field until Sunday at noon. Coaching from the Brown team over the delay saw the Bears come out strong on the second day, netting three goals. Princeton answered with two more goals off of free positions to finish the third, including one more for Buonanno and Mulham’s fifth and final goal of the game.
“The rain delays forced all of us to remain focused for a longer period of time. It was difficult because we started to go on a run,” Hughes told the ‘Prince.’
Princeton was up six going into the final quarter. Just as the period got going, Blake fed to MacDonald a minute into play to extend the Tigers’ lead to seven. The Bears tried to claw back to no avail. The Tigers would ultimately cruise to a 20–16 win.
Evelyn Walsh is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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