Sometimes small mistakes can be overcome. But other times, like this weekend, they add up and impact the outcome.

“We made a bunch of little mistakes, not holding possession and blowing faceoffs and clears,” attack Chris Kempner ’07 said. “I thought we came out really flat in the first half.”

The men’s lacrosse team (3-5, 0-3 Ivy) could not make up for a lackluster first half with a strong second half and fell to then-No. 7 Princeton (5-2, 1-0), 12-8, on Saturday afternoon in Princeton, N.J. Unable to repeat last year’s upset victory, the Elis have only beaten Princeton twice since 1990. Rookie attacker Michael Karwoski ’09 led the team with three goals, all scored after halftime and a career high.

Princeton came out strong from the beginning and outshot the Bulldogs, 49-36, in the first half. In the first period, the Tigers hit the net twice, while the Elis were left scoreless.

“I think we came out really slowly. We weren’t playing full speed,” midfielder Dan Kallaugher ’06 said. “Whenever the ball hit the ground, we weren’t rushing to it. We played nonchalantly and we didn’t play like we should have been playing.”

Kallaugher, though, dominated the faceoffs, winning 17 of 24, and nabbed nine ground balls. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, this was not enough. The Tigers have struggled to win draws this season but this weekend they tried to compensate by using four different faceoff men.

Besides within the faceoff circle, Princeton made the plays it needed to. In the second quarter, the Tigers scored an extra-man goal to increase their lead over the Bulldogs to 4-0. Then, with 9:04 remaining in the second quarter, attackman Tyler Casertano ’08 scored the first Yale goal. But in the last few seconds of the second quarter, Princeton’s leading scorer, Peter Trombino, responded with a tally off of a Yale turnover.

“Princeton did a great job capitalizing on the mistakes we made and that was a big reason why they were able to win,” Kallaugher said.

The Bulldogs went aggressively into the second half despite trailing the Tigers, 7-1. Karwoski opened up the third quarter with an unassisted goal, getting him started for the rest of the game in which he had another two goals.

Kallaugher said Karwoski has his stick skills back and is playing with confidence. After missing the first few games because of hockey, he has successfully made the transition to playing without skates.

The Bulldogs outshot Princeton, 27-20, and many Elis scored, including Kallaugher, Kempner, attackman Colin Neville ’06 and middie David Schecter ’06. Especially in the fourth quarter, the Elis played with fervor to dominate the ground balls (12-7) and made more attempts at the goal than the Tigers (18-9).

“I think in the second half we put up a good fight,” attacker Dan Brillman ’06 said. “If we could have played the second have the whole game, it would have been a good game. We limited our mistakes, which gave us more possessions and we started executing our plays.”

Brillman was limited to one assist on the day.

The Bulldogs are looking forward to Tuesday’s home game against Holy Cross. Kempner said the team wants to come out firing on all cylinders.

“We want to execute everything we do to perfection and hopefully that will produce results and generate confidence,” he said.