The men’s lacrosse team kept pace with No. 4 Princeton for a half and harbored hopes of snapping the Tigers’ 31-game Ivy League winning streak. But Princeton overwhelmed the Bulldogs in the second half, pulling away for a comfortable 13-4 win.
The Bulldogs’ (3-3, 1-2 Ivy) loss to the Tigers (5-1, 1-0) Saturday at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium was their second straight Ivy League loss.
Yale came out strong in the first half, keeping pace with the potent Princeton attack. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs were only down 4-2 at halftime.
“We played a great first half against a good team,” captain Pat Hein ’01 said. “It was really strong.”
But in the third quarter, Princeton erupted with four unanswered goals. Tiger Matt Striebel began the scoring with a quick shot, which rocketed past Yale goalie Eric Wenzel ’03 at 9:55. In the next four minutes, Princeton opened up a 8-2 margin with another goal from Striebel and two more by teammate Ryan Boyle.
Attacker Mike Morris ’01 cut the Tiger lead to five with goal assisted by Marco Lujic ’02 — one of his two assists on the afternoon.
Striebel countered quickly for the Tigers, responding with two quick goals to end Yale’s hopes for an upset of the six-time defending Ivy League champion.
“The third quarter was miserable,” Patrick Moylan said. “It was really frustrating to be on defense the entire quarter. That’s where we lost the game.”
In the second half, the Bulldogs lost several face-offs with false-start calls and were unable to pick up ground balls. Princeton held the advantage on both ground balls (46-32) and face-offs (12-9).
The Princeton defense silenced the Yale attack, limiting the Elis to few scoring attacks. Princeton tallied 48 shots, while Yale had only 19 chances.
“They run their defense almost to perfection,” Moylan said.
Assistant coach Andy Towers pointed to Princeton’s deep bench as a reason for the Tigers’ dominance.
“They [the Tigers] have the premier defense [in the nation],” he said. “They wear you down, and they run a ton of guys. We don’t have the number of players to sustain such a high level of intensity.”
Despite the tough loss, the Bulldogs were pleased with certain aspects of their game. The attack continued to perform well, with Brian Hunt ’02 leading the charge with two goals.
Freshman Scott Kenworthy also made a significant contribution and scored his first career goal.
The Elis’ season continues Wednesday against No. 16 Brown in Providence.
The Bears (2-3) will be looking for a win after their 15-4 loss to Syracuse Saturday. The Bulldogs will try to snap their two-game Ivy League losing streak, while the match will be Brown’s Ivy League opener.