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Strong defensive showing propels No. 11 Princeton men’s lacrosse past Manhattan

A man holding a lacrosse stick on a grass field with a goal in the background and a defender nearby.
Through two games, the Tiger defense has allowed just two second-half goals.
Photo courtesy of @TigerLacrosse/X

Another strong performance from team defense led No. 11 ranked Princeton men’s lacrosse (2–0 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) to a 15–6 win over the Manhattan Jaspers (0–3, 0–0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) at Sherrerd Field on [date].

Last season, the Tigers played the Jaspers and trailed at half 5–4. This season, the veteran-stacked defense controlled the majority of the contest leading to a comfortable win for head coach Matt Madalon’s squad.


“Last year we were probably a veteran-laden team on the offensive side,” Madalon told The Daily Princetonian. “This year, we have more veterans on the defensive side. Those guys come in with the most game experience, we’re gonna rely on our defense throughout this entire year, but definitely the early part of it.”

Shortly after the blow of the first whistle, Jaspers midfielder Quinn Bowler scored an unassisted goal, putting Manhattan up 1–0. Bowler, who started all 15 games for the Jaspers last season, played a crucial role in their offense, scoring 12 goals and adding 11 assists in 2023.  

This lead, however, lasted only a short time for the Jaspers. First-year attacker Colin Burns responded quickly and tied the game at one apiece. Burns has played significant minutes for the Tigers in their first two games, scoring seven goals and adding five assists.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Burns told the ‘Prince’ postgame. “Luckily we have a great offense and I play with great guys like Nate [Kabiri] and Coulter [Mackesy]. Our [midfielders] are stepping up right now …  they make it really easy for me.”

Manhattan caught the Tiger defense off guard once again, scoring a second goal within seconds to take a 2–1 lead. But after these two quick goals, the Tigers’ defense stepped up. Princeton allowed zero goals in the final 13 minutes of the quarter, ripping away five of their own to take a 6–2 lead after 15 minutes.

The five goals came courtesy of sophomore attacker Chad Palumbo, sophomore midfielder Quinn Krammer, first-year attacker Nate Kabiri, and sophomore midfielder John Dunphey. For Krammer, his two goals were the first of his collegiate career.


Kabiri has also proved to be an offensive weapon for Princeton. He has recorded six goals and three assists in his first two games as a Tiger, playing significant minutes on Tuesday. Before the season, Inside Lacrosse named Princeton’s lacrosse Class of 2027 the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. The two star first-year attackers, Kabiri and Burns, have a combined 21 points in two games.

“Those two young guys, Nate [Kabiri] and Colin [Burns] have been great,” Madalon added. “They’re doing a very good job playing unselfish lacrosse. As long as they keep doing that, they’ll keep growing and doing a good job.”

Manhattan got the scoring underway in the second period courtesy of a goal from midfielder Kelly DuPree. The Tigers responded with a goal from senior attacker Lukas Stanat off an assist from junior attacker Coulter Mackesy. 

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Last season, Mackesy scored 55 goals, claiming the record for most scored in a season, and was an All–American second-team selection. Mackesy is 76 goals away from breaking the program record for career goals. However, the Jaspers showed no quit, scoring minutes later to cut the deficit to three goals. With just over six minutes remaining in the opening half, the Tigers held a 7–4 lead. 

With under three minutes left to play, Princeton scored two quick goals to take a 9–4 lead heading into the halftime break. The first came from Dunphey, marking his first career hat trick with the Tigers. The second goal was scored by Palumbo — his second of the night — to close out the half. 

Princeton opened the third quarter with three more goals scored by Dunphey and Kabiri, but for the Tigers, this half proved to be defensively dominant. The Tigers held the Jaspers to one goal in the entire third 15 minutes of play. 

Heading into the final quarter, Princeton pushed a 12–5 lead. Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Mackesy found Burns to put the Tigers up 13–5. Mackesy finished the night with three assists, one goal, and two caused turnovers. 

Shortly after, the Jaspers scored a consolation goal from midfielder Christian Lyons. This, however, proved to be the final goal of the game for Manhattan. The Tiger defense did not allow a goal in the final 11 minutes of the game. In those 11 minutes, the Tigers found the back of the net twice more, ultimately coming away with a 15–6 win. 

Eight of the 15 Tiger goals came from midfielders. Sophomore face-off specialist Andrew McMeekin was 14–for–19 on face-offs and won six ground balls for the Tigers. 

Princeton hopes to continue their success against a handful of difficult opponents in the coming weeks. The Tigers’ next five games will all come against ranked opponents. Furthermore, four of the next five contests will be on the road, with the next home game for the Tigers coming on March 17th.

“We’ve just got to play a much cleaner brand of lacrosse,” Madalon explained. “We’re still making some mental mistakes. If we can clean that up, we’re gonna give ourselves a great shot as we’re on the road these next few games.”

The road trip will begin in College Park, Md., this Saturday afternoon when the Tigers travel south to take on lacrosse powerhouse Maryland Terrapins (3–0, 0–0 Big Ten Conference). The Terrapins last won the national championship in 2022, the same season they defeated the Tigers in the national semifinal.

Burns ended postgame by saying, “It’s gonna be different. It’s gonna be big boy lacrosse. All of us are gonna need to step up and get better every single practice, keep improving as a team, as an offense …  focus on each day and each practice.”

Hayk Yengibaryan is an associate Sports editor for the ‘Prince.’

Lily Pampolina is a Sports contributor for the ‘Prince.’

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