April 16, 2011

Princeton Figures Out Campbell in Time to Beat Dartmouth in New England Classic

from press release

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For about 20 minutes, Fergus Campbell looked like his 2011 New England Lacrosse Classic appearance was going to eclipse his 2010 one, which was nothing short of spectacular.

For the next 40 minutes, Campbell became merely very good rather than great, and with that went Dartmouth's chances at another win in Gillette Stadium.

Princeton was able to finally solve Campbell - something that Cornell couldn't do last year and Princeton couldn't do in the first quarter plus this time around - just enough to pull away for an 8-4 win in a game that leaves Princeton in position for a spot in the Ivy League and possibly NCAA tournaments.

Princeton is now 2-2 in the Ivy League with games remaining against Harvard and Cornell, who is unbeaten at 4-0 in the league. Yale and Penn are both 3-2, while Harvard, Dartmouth and Yale all have three league losses. The top four teams make it to the Ivy tournament; the winner gets the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Campbell made 11 saves in the first 20 minutes, this after making 23 saves last year in the win over Cornell, and left Princeton shaking its head wondering how a player with a career goals-against of 11 and save percentage slightly above .500 could play so well in Foxboro.

Luckily for the Tigers, their own defense did more than enough to keep the game in Princeton's favor until the offense settled down.

The only blemish in the first quarter for Campbell was a goal by Luke Armour 4:35 in, and when Kip Dooley scored with 15 seconds left in the first half, it was just 2-2.

Considering that Campbell made 23 saves last year in the win over Cornell, Dartmouth had to feel pretty good, especially since had 13 saves while allowing just two goals in the first 30 minutes.

In the second half, though, Campbell would add just five saves while allowing six goals.

Even with the tough final 30 minutes, Campbell now has 40 saves while allowing 14 goals,  a.741 save percentage, in the last two years at Gillette Stadium. That percentage was actually .818 before the second half.

Eventually, Princeton had too much defense and enough offense supplied by Jeff Froccaro, Tom Schreiber - and one unlikely source.

Frocaro scored from Schreiber in the second quarter, and the two added another in the third to make it 3-2. Schreiber scored to make it 4-2, but Dartmouth answered on a goal by Brendan Rotanz that made it 4-3 41 seconds after Schreiber's goal and made it seem like this one would be close the whole way.

And while Princeton didn't completely shake the Green, the game never really got all that close again. Chris McBride scored from Schreiber, and then Long Ellis, the close defenseman, scored a man-down goal early in the fourth to make it 6-3. Froccaro scored the final two after Dartmouth had cut it to two again.

Schreiber had a goal and three assists, giving him a four-goal, six-assist week after his career-high six points in the Tigers' 11-10 come-from-behind win over Rutgers Tuesday night. Froccaro scored four times, giving him seven for the week after he had five for the season prior to that.

As for Ellis, it was the first goal of his career.

Schreiber continues to lead the team in goals (14) and assists (13).


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