Despite a hard-fought, back-and-forth game, No. 24 women’s lacrosse (6–8 overall, 3–3 Ivy League) suffered a one-goal loss to unranked Dartmouth (6–8, 3–3) on Saturday, 15–14. For both teams, this game was important in establishing a spot in the Ivy League tournament.
Dartmouth dominated the first quarter of the game, maintaining possession and earning four goals while the Tigers struggled to respond. With three minutes left in the quarter and the Tigers facing a 4–0 deficit, junior midfielder Kari Buonanno earned a free-position shot for the Tigers. Buonanno, who is 5-for-12 on free position shots for the season, was able to weave through the Big Green defense and earn Princeton its first goal of the quarter.
Dartmouth scored once again with just under two minutes remaining in the quarter. Despite starting off slow, the Tigers began to close the gap, as a yellow card called against Dartmouth allowed sophomore midfielder Nina Montes to respond with a score off of a free position shot, finishing the first quarter with a score of 5–2.
Down three, the Tigers came into the second quarter strong, with scoring beginning with another free-position shot for Buonanno. She took advantage of the opportunity and earned the Tigers a third goal.
Then, coming from the outside, Montes drove the ball in, beating the Dartmouth goal on the short-side post to make the score 5–4. Now only behind by only one point, the Tigers were starting to build some momentum to take control of the game.
With seven minutes left in the quarter, first-year midfielder Haven Dora buried a shot making the score even at five. Keeping up the momentum, senior attacker Kate Mulham’s shot was deflected into the goal, giving the Tigers their first lead of the game at 6–5.
Not even half a minute later, Mulham earned her second goal of the game with a sneaky crossover and a five-hole shot, maintaining the lead for the Tigers. Coming straight off the bench with one second left in the quarter, first-year midfielder Lane Calkins fired a low shot, establishing a 8–5 lead for the Tigers. It was the last goal of a dominant 6–0 run for Princeton.
The Big Green opened the third quarter with a quick goal, finally breaking their scoring drought. The Tigers were quick to respond, though, with another free-position goal from Buonanno, who worked hard to split the defense and fired one in for her hundredth career point as a Tiger.
Shortly afterwards, Montes also earned her hat trick with a nifty move on the outside, allowing her to secure a tenth goal for the Tigers. Desperate to prevent another Tiger run, the Big Green was able to net three goals in a row, fighting their way back into the game.
Despite the little scoring run, the Tigers did not lose their momentum as junior attacker Grace Tauckus drove one into the net, maintaining a Princeton lead of 11–9. Not even a minute later, Tauckus earned the Tigers another goal off of a perfectly timed assist from senior attacker Meghan Curran. Despite the strong Princeton offense, the Big Green secured two more goals, ending the quarter down just 12–11 and with momentum leaning in their direction.
Coming into the fourth quarter, Dartmouth’s Katie Elders was able to capitalize on this momentum, scoring twice over the course of only a couple of minutes. A third goal from Dartmouth put the Tigers down 14–12 with less than ten minutes remaining in the game.
However, a fourth free-position goal from Buonanno helped the Tigers close the gap to make it a one-point game. But Dartmouth came back quickly with another goal, re-establishing their two-goal lead. Strong defense and goaltending from the Big Green prevented two possible Tiger goals, yet a fifth free-position goal for Buonanno brought the Tigers back within one with two minutes left in the game.
Unfortunately for Princeton, despite another opportunity for a free-position goal for Dora, the Tigers were unable to tie the game and the Big Green ran the clock out, finishing the game with a 15–14 loss for the Tigers.
Princeton will take on League rival Harvard on Sunday, April 30 for their final home game of the regular season.
Cate Lee is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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