(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Athletics)
Much buzz and hype surrounded this weekend with multiple big games on tap. And Saturday’s contests lived up to the hype, and the Ivy League was at the forefront of it. Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale all secured wins that were of varying degrees of significance, but very significant, nonetheless.
Princeton Knocks off the Champs
After starting hot out of the gate and Michael Sowers lighting the lacrosse world on fire through their first two games, a Princeton upset against the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers didn’t look totally out of the realm of possibility. And the Tigers made it a reality of Saturday, taking down Virginia 16-12. But it wasn’t all Sowers in the Tigers’ victory over the defending champs.
Chris Brown got Princeton on the board first and Michael Kraus got Virginia going seconds later. Both sides teetered back and forth, jockeying for momentum through most of the first half. A two-goal Virginia run at the end of the first tied things up at 4-4 heading into the second. And While Virginia seemed to gain some momentum midway through the second, Princeton ended the half ahead 10-7 after two consecutive goals from Michael Sowers and Chris Brown.
The third quarter is really where the Tigers were able to turn the tide. They seemingly picked up the pace, made big plays in the riding game and in between the boxes. In a sense, they out Virginia’d Virginia. A three-goal run midway through the third helped put Princeton ahead 13-10 heading into the fourth. Virginia cut the Princeton lead to just one-goal midway through the fourth, but the Tigers kept up the pace, ending the game on a three-goal run, including two from Alex Slusher, to secure the upset victory.
Princeton was led by Michael Sowers with eight points (4G/4A) while Chris Brown tallied five points (4G/1A) and Phillip Robertson had four goals. Michael Kraus (2G/2A), Ian Laviano (3G/1A), and Matt Moore (2G/2A) led Virginia with four points each.
Erik Peters made 16 goals in cage for Princeton and Alex Rode made 14 saves for Virginia.
Strong Second Quarter Lifts Yale Past Penn State
After avoiding a third consecutive early-season upset against Villanova last week, the Yale Bulldogs set their sights on the Penn State Nittany Lions for the third time in the past year. The Bulldogs took care of business and took down the Nittany Lions 12-10.
While the first quarter was, surprisingly, a hefty defensive battle and somewhat of a slugfest, Yale was able to take a 2-1 lead heading into the second. And that second period is where the Bulldogs took control of the contest. Yale started the quarter on a four-goal run to help them get ahead 6-1.
Penn State scored twice late in the second to cut the Yale lead to 6-3 at the half, but the Bulldogs were able to stretch their lead out to 7-3 early in the third with a power play goal from Matt Gaudet. However, the Nittany Lions finally came out of hibernation late in the third, ending the quarter on a three-goal run to cut the Yale lead down to 7-6 heading into the fourth. Both teams went back-and-forth, each delivering blows to the opposing defense for much of the fourth. While Penn State scored the final two of the game, there just wasn’t enough time to get ahead and complete the comeback.
Yale was led by Jackson Morrill with three points (1G/2A) while Christian Croop, Matt Brandau, and Matt Gaudet each scored two goals. Grant Ament tallied six points (1G/5A) for Penn State. Brody Wilson made eight saves for Yale and Colby Kneese made 16 saves for Penn State.
Late-Game Surge Leads Penn Past Duke
The Penn Quakers have now beaten the Duke Blue Devils in two of the past three seasons. On Saturday afternoon, the Quakers were able to surge ahead early and take a 6-2 lead early in the second. The Blue Devils were to get their gears running late in the second and cut it to 6-5 at the half.
And while most of the second half was very back-and-forth with both teams continuing to answer each other. The Quakers exploded down the stretch, scoring four straight to end the game and secure the 14-11 victory over the Blue Devils.
Despite not having Sam Handley due to a spleen injury, the Penn showed their depth. Sean Lulley led the way with seven points (6G/1A) while Ben Bedard and Adam Goldner each scored two goals. Owen Caputo led Duke with a hat trick and Joey Manown, and Dyson Williams each had two goals.
Kyle Gallagher went 17-for-29 at the faceoff dot for Penn and Patrick Burkinshaw made seven saves. Turner Uppgren made 13 saves for Duke.
Harvard Begins Byrne Era With Win Over UMass
The Byrne era at Harvard got started on a high-note as the Crimson defeated UMass 10-9 on the road. Harvard jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first half. The Minutemen rallied back in the second half, tying the game up at 9-9 with 8:53 in the fourth. The Crimson were able to secure the win off of a Nick Loring goal with 2:18 left in the game.
While Kyle Anderson (2G/3A) and Austin Madronic (2G/2A) gave Harvard a huge boost on the offensive end, goalie Kyle Mullin was the biggest impact player for the Crimson, making 17 saves in the victory.
Dartmouth Starts 2-0
The Big Green are 2-0 for the first time since 2012 after taking down Bryant 11-8 on Saturday. Dartmouth found themselves down 8-5 with 10:04 in the game, but they were able to explode for six straight goals down the stretch to claim their first win over Bryant in program history.
George Prince (2G/2A), Ben Martin (3G/1A), and Matt Paul (3G) led the way for the Big Green in the win. Daniel Hicks made 10 saves in cage for Dartmouth.
Other Notable Results
- Behind a seven-goal performance from Tristian Hanna, the Cleveland State Vikings upset the Air Force Falcons, 12-11, in overtime. The win is the first for first-year head coach Andy German.
- After holding a 7-3 lead at the half, Loyola held off a second-half rally to defeat Rutgers. Joey Kamish scored the game-winning goal with 1:53 in the fourth to secure the 11-10 victory for the Greyhounds.
- The Merrimack Warriors defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 14-12, to secure their first DI win. Charlie Bertrand scored five goals in the victory.
- While four Ivy League teams claimed victories this weekend, the Brown Bears were the lone Ivy to fall. They took an 11-10 overtime loss to Stony Brook. Caleb Pearson scored with just 30.5 seconds left in overtime to life the Seawolves to victory.