The men’s lacrosse team gets its second shot against a nationally ranked Ivy opponent when it squares off against No. 5 Princeton on Saturday at home.
The No. 19 Bulldogs (4–1, 0–1 Ivy) took a hard hit their last time on the field with an 18–7 loss to No. 9 Cornell. Now, Yale faces another tough challenge in the Tigers (5–1, 1–0), who have won their past three games against the Elis and hold a 67–20–2 record in the all-time series.
Princeton most recently notched an 11–10 win against Penn on Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal with 52.3 seconds left on the clock in overtime after having erased a 7–1 deficit early in the third quarter. The Tigers are currently the top-ranked Ancient Eight team and play the seventh toughest schedule in the nation, according to LaxPower.com.
“They’re extremely well coached, and they’re very well-balanced,” head coach Andy Shay said of the Tigers. “They have great players all over the field, and they play very hard.”
Princeton boasts six national championships — the most recent in 2001 — and 13 Ivy League titles. In fact, the Tigers held the Ancient Eight crown without interruption from 1995 to 2004 — a run of 10 consecutive conference championships.
Midfielder Mike Chanenchuk holds a team-leading 14 goals for the Tigers and also has the most points of anyone on the roster with 19. Princeton has outscored its competition 73–59 through the season’s first six games, and has recorded 126 total shots on goals to its opponents’ 106.
“Their offense is very unorthodox, so we are going to have to come up with a plan for that,” Shay said. “We’re going to have to win faceoffs — which we normally do.”
While Princeton enters the Saturday contest riding a wave of momentum generated by the recent comeback against Penn, the Elis will try to regain some positive energy this weekend. After starting the season 4–0, the Elis dropped the season’s first Ivy League game and will look to rebound from that tough loss.
“We felt like we didn’t play as well as we normally do against Cornell, and we are trying to get back,” Shay said.
Attacker Matt Gibson ’12 leads the offense for Yale with 11 goals on the season and 20 points. Fellow attackers Brian Douglass ’11 and team captain Brendan Gibson ’10 are close behind with 10 goals apiece. Goalie Johnathan Falcone ’11 has been the go-to player in net: Falcone has played in all five Eli games and has racked up 36 saves for a .444 save percentage.
The Yale–Princeton contest marks the first of three games the Bulldogs will play at home during the next two weekends. Start time at Reese Stadium on Saturday is slated for 1 p.m.