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Men’s lacrosse: Princeton wins, Delaware falls

Saturday, 23rd March 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/23/13
From Press Releases

The Yale men’s lacrosse team oozed confidence as it walked down the little path from its locker room and onto Sherrerd Field Friday afternoon, and why would it be any different?

Yale’s last two visits here had both been victories, including a complete demolition of Princeton in the Ivy League tournament final a year ago.

This one wasn’t didn’t figure to be easy, not with face-off man Dylan Levings ready to do what he always seems to do, and that’s dominate possession time for the Bulldogs, especially against Princeton.

Then came the opening face-off, which Justin Murphy won cleanly. And that set the tone for the day.

Murphy won 13 of 22 face-offs to lead sixth-ranked Princeton to 10-9 win over No. 18 Yale in front of 1,079 frozen fans Friday afternoon. Mike MacDonald (3G, 1A) and Tom Schreiber (1G, 3A) had four-point days for the Tigers, who had to hold off a furious late challenge by the Bulldogs.

Princeton improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Ivy League, six days after a bitterly frustrating loss to Penn in its Ivy opener. Yale is now 3-3, 0-2 in the league after being outscored by Cornell by two goals and now Princeton by one in its two league games – but with the knowledge that after it fell to 0-2 a year ago in the ivy League, it did not lose again until the NCAA tournament.


Again, it was Justin Murphy for the Tigers. The sophomore face-off specialist won 13 of 22 face-offs, taking all but one draw for the day for Princeton. And he did it against Dylan Levings, who won 24 of 40 face-offs against Princeton last year (60%) and won an amazing 22 of 25 against Cornell a week ago. Levings ranked fourth in Division I in face-off winning percentage at 61.1% prior to the game. Murphy, who has now won 40 of his last 60 face-offs, helped Princeton to have an edge in shots (38-37) and
ground balls (32-31), rather than having the huge disadvantage in both that would have resulted had Levings been able to dominate.


Yale had won 132 of 201 face-offs (65.7%) during the last 10 meetings between the schools before Murphy won 13 of 22 this time. Tom Gibbons, a longstick midfielder, took the final face-off of the third quarter after a Ryan Ambler goal with four seconds left and simply tried to stop Levings from getting a fast break.


Princeton is 5-2. The Tigers are 5-0 when Ryan Ambler (Abington) has a goal or assist, and he now has nine goals and eight assists in the five wins after his two goals against Yale. Ambler has not scored in either of Princeton’s two losses.


Princeton led 10-7 with 8:57 to go when Mike MacDonald scored his third goal. Yale, though, answered with two goals in two goals 1:37 apart to make it 10-9 with 5:18 remaining. Yale then won that face-off, and when longstick Michael McCormack lingered on the offensive end when Murphy didn’t, he found himself open from about 15 yards out. McCormack let a tough low shot go, but Princeton goalie Matt O’Connor smothered it. Then, with just over a minute to go and Yale in possession, Mark Strabo stripped Conrad Oberbeck – Yale’s leading scorer who had two goals in the game – as he dodged from goal line
extended, and the ball rolled to O’Connor in the crease. Yale would not regain possession.

Towson 7, Delaware 6

The heartbreaking losses continued for the Blue Hens as Towson tied the game in the final seconds and then scored with 1:45 left in sudden-death overtime for a Colonial Athletic Association triumph at Delaware Stadium.

Delaware built a three-goal lead in the final quarter, but Towson came back to score three times in the final stanza, including a goal by Greg Cuccinello with just 2.6 seconds left to play. That goal sent the game into overtime and Towson came through again as Andrew Hodgson scored just over two minutes into the extra session for the thrilling victory.

The disappointing losses continued for the Blue Hens, who are now 0-5 at home this season with four of those losses coming by just one goal and all five coming in the final minutes of play. Delaware five home losses have come by a combined nine goals.

Delaware (2-7, 0-2 CAA), which lost its third straight game, was led by freshman Ian Robertson (Dukes LC) who scored two goals and dished out an assist on the night. Nick Diachenko added two goals while Beau Jones (Germantown Academy) scored once and assisted on another. The Blue Hens got a solid effort from freshman goalkeeper Conor Peaks who earned his first career start with Chris Herbert sidelined with an injury and recorded 11 saves.

Towson (5-5, 1-0 CAA), which held a commanding 42-27 advantage in shots and outshot the Hens 13-3 from the fourth quarter on, won its second straight game and as Hodgson and Cory Dobyns each score twice, Thomas DeNapoli had a goal and an assist, and goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage turned back 13 shots.

Towson took a 3-1 lead early in the second quarter on a goal by DeNapoli just 2:29 into the period, but Delaware answered back in a big way as senior defenseman Connor Fitzgerald scored his first goal of the season, Robertson scored his first goal of the game, and Diachenko scored his second goal of the contest to give the Hens a 4-3 advantage at the break.

The momentum continued into the third quarter as the Hens upped their run to five straight goals and took a 6-3 edge as Robertson tallied his second goal with 10:38 left in the stanza and then fed Jones for another score with 6:05 remaining for a 6-3 lead.

But Delaware’s offense would grow silent from there as Towson mounted its comeback. Dobyns scored a man-up goal with 12:37 left and Hodgson followed with another score with 8:09 to cut the gap to one and set up the exciting finish. After a Towson timeout, the Tigers came out and extended the game as Cuccinello’s shot from straight on with just under three seconds left appeared to be saved but trickled through the legs of Peaks and into the net.

Delaware had a possession in overtime but Connor McRoy committed a turnover at the three-minute mark and Towson took over. That gave Hodgson the chance to play hero as he took a feed from Ben McCarthy and rifled a shot from 15 yards out past Peaks to clinch the win.

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