Princeton Blows Past Penn to Cap Big Week
from press release
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The contrast in emotions from one Saturday afternoon to the next couldn't help but be seen in the face of Jonathan Meyers, who had just played probably his best game as a Princeton men's lacrosse player.
Had it really been just one week since Princeton sat on a bus coming back from Baltimore, dealing with the frustration from earlier in the day and the uncertainty of wondering what was coming next?
And was it the same team just seven days later, putting the finishing touches on back-to-back great performances, leaving the field this time with its confidence high as it heads into the middle of the schedule?
Mike MacDonald had three goals and two assists, Tom Schreiber had four more points, Meyers caused three turnovers as the defense wiped out Penn for basically the final 37 minuts and Princeton rolled to an 11-4 win over the Quakers in front of 2,518 sun-splashed fans at Sherrerd Field at 52.
The official University dedication of the field was held at halftime.
It was one week ago that Princeton dominated North Carolina but lost in the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic in Baltimore.
The win over Penn concluded a huge week for the Tigers, who put together a solid peformance in a 14-8 win over Villanova Tuesday night and then an even better performance Saturday afternoon.
Looking up and down the roster, it was hard to find someone who didn't play well.
Against Villanova, Princeton relied basically on Schreiber and Jeff Froccaro, who scored five goals each in that game.
Against Penn, Princeton got goals from seven different players, and nobody had more than the three that the freshman MacDonald had - on just three shots.
Princeton's goal total matched its season's average, a year after Princeton reached 11 goals only once.
For all of the tough losses in 2011 that Princeton suffered, perhaps none was more so than the 8-3 loss to Penn at Frankiln Field in the Ivy opener, a loss that dug Princeton a hole in the league that ultimately was inescapable. Penn dominated possession that day, never trailed and forced Princeton out of any semblance of offensive rhythm. The win snapped a 21-year losing streak for Penn against Princeton.
The rematch was the total opposite.
This time, Princeton never trailed, Princeton dominated possession, and Princeton had its offensive rhythm in both the slow-down first half and the more up-tempo second half.
The game was 3-3 when MacDonald found Mike Grossman for an extra-man goal with 18 seconds left in the first half, and it was 7-3 after Tucker Shanley scored twice and Chris White once in the first six minutes of the second half.
The lead grew to 10-3 before Penn snappd a 33:28 scoreless stretch with a goal with 3:38 left. It was a run reminiscent of last year's 25-minute scoreless stretch Princeton had against Penn.
In that game, Princeton had no Schreiber, who was out with a rib injury, and no Meyers, who was also hurt, as well as numerous other players.
This year, Princeton had no such issues. And no such problems.
It was hard to say which defenseman played best for Princeton, though it might have been Meyers, who had three caused turnovers and three ground balls.
in the end, Princeton was 1-0 in the league, 4-2 overall, and looking ahead to back-to-back trips to Yale and Brown.
It was a far cry from a year earlier.
Or even a week earlier.
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