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Eight multi-goal scorers propel No. 18 Princeton past Columbia, 24–12

Player in black and orange Princeton uniform runs with lacrosse ball up the field.
Senior defender Caroline Burnett carrying ball upfield against Columbia.
Photo courtesy of @princetonwlax/X.

Coming off a thrilling upset against No. 7 Penn (8–2 overall, 2–1 Ivy League) on Wednesday, the No. 18 women’s lacrosse team (7–3, 3–1) extended their win streak to four against the Columbia Lions (3–8, 0–4) in a dominant 24–12 victory. Led by junior attacker McKenzie Blake, Princeton had nine different goal scorers, propelling the team to second place in the Ivy League conference.

The Tigers took control of the game right from the start, winning the draw off the stick of sophomore midfielder Abigail Roberts. Less than two minutes later, senior midfielder Samantha DeVito found the back of the net to give Princeton the early lead.


As the quarter progressed, Princeton continued to pressure Columbia’s defenders. In the next four minutes, first-year attacker Meg Morrisroe, senior midfielder Kari Buonnano, senior attacker Grace Tauckus, and first-year midfielder Colette Quinn scored consecutive goals to give the Tigers a big 5–0 lead.

In a highlight-worthy play, Princeton’s leading goalscorer on the season, McKenzie Blake, then scored her first of five goals. Off an assist by Tauckus, Blake spun to her right and launched the ball past Columbia goalie Ava Kimche while falling to the ground.

“I looked to take the shot, and then as I was in the motion of shooting, I hit the ground, and luckily it fell in the corner and went in,”  Blake described in an interview with The Daily Princetonian. 

With a commanding 6–1 lead, Blake continued the Tigers’ scoring onslaught in the first quarter, converting on two more goals to put her team up by seven.

“I think [in] our offensive unit, we have a couple of young players, but we have a lot of people that are really confident, really good communicators,” said Blake to the ‘Prince.’ “Having that communication and that confidence in each other opens up the looks.” 


In her last two games, Blake has scored ten goals, bringing her season total to a team-high 34. Her performance has garnered significant national attention over the past few weeks, as she was named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list and selected as an honorable mention for the Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-American list a week ago.

“It’s exciting. It’s definitely really good to have some players in the Ivy League getting that attention,” Blake said. “I think it’s [also] really good for our team getting some national recognition, with a couple of big wins the past couple of weeks.”

The first quarter concluded with two more Princeton goals, scored by Quinn and Tauckus, and one Columbia goal from midfielder Cecelia Messner, giving the Tigers a 10–2 lead. Tauckus’ goal came off a beautiful free-position shot with 30 seconds left in the quarter; she spun between two defenders before firing the ball into the goal.

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The Tigers maintained a steady balance of offense and defense as the game continued. Despite five goals by Columbia in the second quarter, sophomore goalkeeper Amelia Hughes prevented the Lions from gaining any true momentum, making four of her nine eventual saves in the quarter.

Princeton also found the back of the net four times in the second quarter, with contributions from Morrisroe, Blake, junior attacker Nina Montes, and Buonanno, giving them a 14–7 lead going into the half.

“Our strategy was playing with great composure, reading the other team’s defenses, and making the most of shot attempts,” said head coach Jenn Cook. “Collectively, it really was a team win.”

The two teams traded goals to start the second half, and Cook made the decision to change the goalkeeper in the blowout, replacing Hughes with junior Tia Reamen with 7:10 left in the third quarter.

“We wanted to give Tia an opportunity to show the work that she’s done,” explained Cook. “I think Amelia and Tia both had great games today. Just another opportunity to see what we can do, and we did great today.” 

Reamen, who last played in the team’s 18–6 victory over Monmouth on March 6, logged five saves in 22 minutes of play, bringing her season total to seven.

The teams continued to play back-and-forth as the quarter went on, with goals by Blake, Buonanno, and sophomore attacker Jami MacDonald sandwiched between three from the Lions. A second goal by MacDonald put the Tigers up 19–11, and gave MacDonald her sixth consecutive multi-goal game and 21 goals on the year. 

The final quarter featured relatively little drama, with Princeton scoring five more goals to Columbia’s one. The Tigers’ 24 goals is a new season-high, as eight different multi-goal scorers led the Tigers to victory. 

With the win, the Tigers are now riding a four-game winning streak into crucial matchups with three top-25 teams, but the team is focusing on one game at a time.

“Every game is a huge game for us. We’ve got to take every single one seriously,” said Blake. “In order to get one of those top seeds at the end of the year, we have to win out, and take it game by game.” 

With much to look forward to as the season progresses, the Tigers look to extend their win streak on Wednesday, April 10, when they travel to Baltimore to face No. 8 Loyola Maryland (11–1, 6–0 Patriot League) in another heavyweight tilt.

Peter Wang is a staff Sports writer for the ‘Prince.’

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