After losing a close 13-11 match to Cornell last weekend, the men’s lacrosse team (3-2, 1-1) is looking to upset No. 4 Princeton (4-1, 0-0) tomorrow at 1 p.m. (WYBC-AM 1340) in the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
After losing in the NCAA finals last season, the Tigers are once again in top form this year, and will be looking to defeat the Bulldogs for the 11th straight time.
The Tigers are on the prowl for their seventh consecutive Ivy League title and sixth national championship in ten years.
They kicked off their season with wins against No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 7 Virginia and No. 16 Hofstra.
But Princeton suffered their first defeat of the season last Saturday, falling 14-8 to No. 2 Syracuse in a rematch of last season’s NCAA championship final.
The Tigers bounced back with a 14-5 win against Rutgers Tuesday, and will be looking to open conference play and extend their 31-game Ivy League winning streak.
“The Ivy League games are special, with history and tradition,” Princeton head coach William Tierney said. “We are working hard to prepare for [the opener], and we hope to start off well.”
The Tigers’ attack relies heavily on a variety of contributors from their deep bench. Freshman Ryan Boyle leads the team in points with four goals and nine assists, while B. J. Prager has a team-high nine goals.
“They use a lot of players on offense,” Yale head coach Mike Waldvogel said. “It’s very hard to match up with them.”
Waldvogel said the defense has been working on eliminating mistakes after their sloppy performance in the first half of the Cornell game. Starters Brian Corey ’01, Noah Glass ’03 and Michael Rafalko ’02 will take responsibility for forcing the Princeton attack to take difficult, outside shots. Waldvogel also expects that goaltender Eric Wenzel ’03 will start.
Across the field, Princeton goalie Trevor Tierney will be a difficult obstacle for Yale’s attack to overcome. Tierney, son of the head coach William Tierney, was named an honorable mention All-American last season and leads the league with a save percentage of .654.
The stellar trio of Brian Hunt ’02, Ryan Floyd ’03 and Mike Scaglione ’03 will pose a challenge for Tierney. Hunt leads the Ivy League with 27 points (12-15-28), while midfielder Marko Lujic ’02 is third with 10 goals and five assists.
“Like against Cornell, we need to be extremely deliberate, but very aggressive,” Floyd said. “Patience is the key.”
Although Princeton is expected to win, the Bulldogs are confident in their abilities.
“If we can put together an effort like we did against Penn, we can beat Princeton,” Brad Liff ’03 said. “It can be done.”
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