Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/21/16
From Press Releases
The sun shining, the temperature was unseasonable, the game was well under control.
And then came the reality check for the Princeton men’s lacrosse team. It came in the form of an announcement over the Sherrerd Field PA system, and it was a reminder that there’s a long, long, long way to go in the 2016 season.
Zach Currier had four goals and three assists, Riley Thompson had three goals, and Princeton had 12 different players score as the Tigers rolled past NJIT 21-4 in its season opener. NJIT, a second-year program, fell to 0-3 on the season.
The Tigers were up 17-3 at the end of the third quarter when the final score from Chapel Hill: Hofstra 10, North Carolina 5.
Hofstra is Princeton’s next opponent, on Long Island next Saturday. After that, it’s a trip to Baltimore to take on Johns Hopkins. Then it’s Maryland at home. Those two were in the Final Four last year. And then, once that’s done? It’s six Ivy games, and non-league opponents Stony Brook, Lehigh and Rutgers.
Ah, but all that is for the future. The opener was played on a beautiful Febuary day, in contrast to last year’s opener, which was played in snow. So was the second home game a year ago. In fact, Princeton did not play a home game in 2015 in warmer temperatures than the 2016 opener.
NJIT, still looking for the first win in program history, was Princeton’s first New Jersey opponent other than Rutgers in 30 years. The game was 1-1 before the Tigers ripped off 12 straight to get to 13-1 at the half and then another to make it 14-1 to start the second half.
Harvard 13, Villanva 12, OT
Villanova battled back from a 12-9 deficit in the fourth quarter to send the contest into overtime, but No. 17 Harvard came out on top as the Crimson topped Villanova on Saturday afternoon at Jordan Field in Cambridge, Mass.
With 1:27 remaining in overtime, Harvard’s Morgan Cheek notched the game-winner when he hit a close-range shot to claim the season opening victory. The Wildcats held the upper hand for the first 2:33 of extra time following Luke Palmadesso’s faceoff win, but struggled to find good looks at net. Devin McNamara’s take on goal sailed wide for Villanova’s only shot during the stanza.
Despite the defeat, the Wildcats had an outstanding day at the faceoff X winning 21-of-29 (.724) attempts and were paced by Palmadesso’s 71% win percentage at the position for the afternoon. Villanova also outpaced their opponents in nearly every statistical category, placing 31 shots on goal to Harvard’s 24 and winning the ground ball battle 32-20.
Villanova began the contest on the right foot and owned a 4-2 lead over the Crimson after the first quarter and increased that lead to 6-2 with 13:23 left on the half. Harvard began to battle back and tallied three unanswered scores in just over three minutes of action to make it a one-goal game at 6-5 with 8:45 on the clock. Harvard and VU would go on to trade goals to end the second period at 7-6 in favor of Villanova heading into the locker rooms.
The Crimson came out hot in the third quarter, tying the contest at 7-7 and pulling ahead 8-7 off of goals from Sean McDonagh and Morgan Cheek at the 12:20 and 5:39 marks. The Wildcats broke a 22:05 scoreless streak with 1:03 left in the third period off a Johnny Gallaway score to close the quarter tied with the Crimson at 8-8.
Four unanswered goals by Harvard helped the hosts take a 12-9 advantage over Villanova for their biggest lead of the contest, but the Wildcats surged beginning with Jack Curran’s score with 4:34 on the clock. Bolstered by Palmadesso’s faceoff dominance, the Wildcats buried two more scores in just 11 seconds from Christian Cuccinello and Jake Froccaro to once again tie the game at 12-all with 4:14 left to play.
Neither team would be able to find the back of the net again in regulation as the contest went into overtime.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Dan Willis (Moorestown) registered 11 saves on the afternoon while Harvard’s Robert Shaw notched 19 stops for the victory. The Wildcats were paced on offense by Cuccinello’s three goal effort while nine Cats tallied points in the contest. Harvard was led by Joe Lang’s three goals and two assists for five points.
Villanova will return to action a week from today when they travel to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions for an in-state matchup. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. in State College, Pa.
Virginia 14, Drexel 7
The Cavaliers scored four straight goals to start the second half and defeated the Dragons, 14-7, in the Dragons’ season-opener Saturday at Vidas Field.
The teams went back and forth in the early going, swapping the first five goals. Virginia’s (1-1) Zed Williams got the visitors on the board first two minutes into the game. Drexel answered at the 8:05 mark when Michael Kay set up Cole Shafer for the Dragons’ first goal of 2016. With just two minutes left in the quarter, Greg Coholan put the Cavaliers ahead, 2-1, on an unassisted goal.
Frazee evened the score early in the second quarter for Drexel, but the Cavaliers answered with four of the next five goals to take a 6-3 lead. Virginia would not trail again. Mikey Herring set up the first two goals, one by A.J. Fish and the other by Mike D’Amario.
Frazee briefly ended the run with his second of the day, but Ryan Conrad and Ryan Lamb scored within a span of 1:03 to give Virginia a three-goal cushion. The Dragons ended the run with just 10 seconds to go when Hank Brown’s unassisted tally made it 6-4 at intermission. The Dragons were behind by just two despite getting outshot, 33-11, in the first 30 minutes. Jimmy Joe Granito came up big in the first half in the cage for the Dragons, making 12 saves to keep the Dragons in it.
The first 10 minutes of the third quarter was all Virginia. Fish scored his second of the game four minutes in and then Colohan scored the next two, making it 9-4 with 5:31 to play in the third. The lead became six just eight seconds later when Jason Murphy set up D’Amario for his second of the day. Drexel finally snapped the run when senior Jules Raucci (Garnet Valley) fired a shot past Matt Barrett with 2:28 on the clock. Marshal King gave the Dragons some life when he found the net for his first time as a collegian, making it 10-6 after three quarters.
The Cavaliers (Williams) and Dragons (Jacob O’Donnell) alternated goals to start the final quarter before Virginia put the game away with three more goals in the final six minutes of the contest.
Granito finished the day with 17 saves for Drexel. Colohan finshed with three goals and five points for Virginia. The visitors outshot Drexel, 51-29, and won 16 of 25 face-offs.