Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/15
From Press Release
As bad as the second quarter was a week ago in Ithaca, that’s how much fun the third quarter was in the rematch for the Princeton men’s lacrosse team today,
The fourth quarter? It was a 15-minute stretch that seemed to last 15 hours.
When it was over, Princeton had an 11-7 win over Cornell in the Ivy League tournament semifinals, led by a huge night by freshman goalie Tyler Blaisdell, Haverford School grad Gavin McBride’s three goals and Princeton’s defense and another record-setting night from senior Mike MacDonald.
Princeton will now take on the winner of the game between Yale and Brown in the championship game Sunday at noon on Brown’s Stevenson Field.
MacDonald broke Jon Hess’s school record for points in a season with four goals and two assists, giving him 47 goals and 30 assists for 77 points, better than the 74 Hess had in 1997. MacDonald also joined Dave Tickner as the only two players in program history with a season of at least 30 goals and 30 assists.
The win over Cornell came six days after the Big Red had defeated Princeton 15-10 in Ithaca in a game that saw Princeton led 5-0 after one and then Cornell score nine unanswered in the second quarter. Princeton would not recover from that and got no closer than two the rest of the way.
Princeton won just nine of 29 face-offs in that game, but the Tigers made some huge adjustments, having Zach Currier take all of the face-offs and moving Adam Hardej and Sam Gravitte to the wings. Cornell still won 11 of 19, but Currier had two caused turnovers on lost face-offs to even that out. He also had an assist to Ryan Ambler on one of his face-off wins.
Princeton led 5-3 at the half, but the Tigers put together a great third quarter, outscoring the Big Red 3-0 to build the lead to five at 8-3. Princeton outshot Cornell 11-4 in the quarter while shutting Cornell out.
And so there was Princeton, start of the fourth quarter, with a five-goal lead in a game it desperately needed to get into the NCAA tournament. And there was the clock, ticking slow, slower, slowest.
The third quarter ended with a two-minute non-releasable penalty against Princeton. The Tigers not only kept Cornell of the board but also had possession when the quarter ended, giving them the ball to start the fourth.
Possession to start the fourth would be the only easy thing about the quarter.
Cornell threw 16 shots up in fourth quarter, and Princeton had three failed clears.
Enter Blaisdell, the freshman goalie, who made seven spectacular saves in the fourth quarter, matching his total for the first three to finish with 14. This came after allowing 15 goals while making nine saves in the first game a week ago.
Cornell did get to withing two at 9-7, but Princeton got one more stop by a defense that swarmed all day and a successful clear. MacDonald and Currier then tacked on insurance goals, advancing Princeton to the final.
* Princeton’s win improved the team that lost the regular season game in the Ivy tournament to 8-8 in rematches.
* Princeton has now beaten Cornell twice in Ivy semifinals after losing in the regular season finale. The last time was two years ago.
* McBride had three goals for Princeton. He is the only player on the team with at least one point in every game this year. Ryan Ambler (Abington) had a goal and two assists.
* MacDonald had at least three goals in a game for the 10th time this year. He also has 207 career points, movingh im to four away from Jesse Hubbard for fourth all-time at Princeton.
* Kip Orban had one goal, his 41st of the year.
* Currier had a goal, an assist and a team-best six ground balls.