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Coulter Mackesy reaches 100 goals as No. 17 Princeton men’s lacrosse downs No. 14 Harvard

Lacrosse player in orange and black runs with ball in stick, with heavy rain coming down and a lacrosse player from the opposing team chasing.
Sophomore face-off specialist Andrew McMeekin running with possession versus Harvard.
Photo courtesy of @TigerLacrosse/X.

This past Saturday, the cold Cambridge rain did not stunt No. 17 ranked Princeton men’s lacrosse (5–3 overall, 1–1 Ivy League), as the Tigers defeated the No. 14 ranked Harvard Crimson (6–2 overall, 0–2 Ivy League) by a score of 14–11.

Last weekend, Princeton lost a nail biting game against Ivy League foe Cornell, 15–14. This week, they sought redemption and a better effort against the Crimson.


“We really beat ourselves last week,” first-year attacker Nate Kabiri told The Daily Princetonian, “we really focused on ourselves this week and had a great week of practice.”

Though the Ivy League rivalry runs deep, in the Tigers’ last 10 matchups against the Crimson, they have emerged victorious seven times. This time, Princeton continued the trend on Harvard’s home turf.

The scoring started early with junior midfielder Sean Cameron netting a goal to put Princeton up 1–0. Harvard responded shortly after, scoring three goals of their own in less than two minutes. Only four minutes into the game, the Tigers faced a 3–1 deficit.

About five minutes later, the momentum shifted. The Tigers matched the Crimson’s three goals with three of their own. All three were unassisted, as the first and third came off the stick of Kabiri and the second from sophomore face-off specialist Andrew McMeekin.

In the win, McMeekin won 20 of his 29 faceoffs and had a season-high 15 ground balls. He has now scored in each of the Tigers’ last three games.

Harvard netted a goal to even the score at 4–4 and the match entered the second quarter tied. 


After a ten minute scoring drought, the Tigers took the lead, 5–4. The goal was scored by junior attacker Coulter Mackesy, the 100th of his career. Mackesy joins a small group of only 15 Princeton lacrosse players to ever reach this landmark, and an even smaller group of five Princeton lacrosse players to have 100 goals and 50 assists in their career.

“Reaching 100 goals is an exciting milestone and one I could not have done without my teammates and coaches,” Mackesy told the ‘Prince.’ “At the end of the day, the most important thing is winning the game no matter who puts the ball in the back of the net.”

The final two goals of the half were scored by sophomore midfielder Quinn Krammer and first-year attacker Colin Burns. The goals were assisted by Kabiri and Mackesy, respectively. 

The Tigers headed into halftime with a 7–4 lead, after the Crimson went scoreless in the second quarter. 

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Entering the third quarter, however, Harvard came out firing. The Crimson netted three straight goals, tying the game 7–7. Two of these goals were scored by midfielder Logan Ip, who had a season-high three goals against the Tigers. 

The Tigers responded with two goals by Krammer and sophomore midfielder Chad Palumbo, putting Princeton up 9–7 with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Crimson persisted, though, and evened the score yet again to close the period at 9–9. 

“Like most sports, lacrosse is a game of runs,” said Mackesy. “Whether giving up a lead or chasing it back, our strategy doesn’t change much. The most important thing for us is trusting in our preparation to be able to finish games down the stretch.”

From here, Princeton would take over. Three impressive goals from Cameron, senior defenseman Pace Billings, and Kabiri put the Tigers up 12–9. 

Billings’s goal came from a pass from senior goalie Michael Gianforcaro, who had just made a crucial save off of a Crimson shot. Gianforcaro had six saves against Harvard.

The Crimson scored two back-to-back goals to cut the Tigers’ lead to one, but Kabiri shut down any hopes of a comeback. He netted two more goals to end the game with a final score of 14–11.

“This win was super important to our team so finding a way to get there was awesome,” Kabiri said to the ‘Prince.’ “We were able to have a lot of possessions at the end of the game due to McMeekin winning [his] faceoffs and the defense making big stops.”

The Tigers will continue their stretch of playing Ivy League opponents this upcoming weekend. On Saturday, March 30, Princeton takes on Dartmouth (3–5 overall, 0–1 Ivy League) at home at 12 p.m. 

Lily Pampolina is a Sports contributor and contributing Audience staffer for the ‘Prince.’

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