Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/18/17
From Press Release
There is no No. 37 on the Princeton men’s lacrosse roster, and yet there was No. 37, with the ball behind the net. And then a split second later, the ball was in the stick of Austin Sims, and then a split second after that, it was in the back of the goal.
Nobody, though, needed to look at a program to figure out who No. 37 was. It had to be Michael Sowers, the graduate of Upper Dublin, Mesa Lacrosse and Duke’s LC.
It was a big debut for Sowers, who had two goals and five assists in a little more than two quarters to lead Princeton to a 22-8 win over NJIT in the season-opener for the Tigers. Sowers, the all-time leader in assists in U.S. high school lacrosse history, broke Ryan Boyle’s school record for assists in the first game of a freshman year; Boyle had four assists in his debut in 2001.
“We had been focused on this date since October,” said Sowers, the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year in 2016. “It was a really great effort by the entire team. We played together really well, and it was good to get the first one.”
Sowers is No. 22 for Princeton, but he had to switch jerseys after getting blood on his. It wasn’t the number that gave him away, though.
Sowers had two goals and three assists in the first quarter and then a second goal in the first minute of the second. Sowers left the field after getting cut on the play, and he came back more than 10 minutes later, this time as No. 37. His fourth assist was on the first time he touched the ball after he returned, and he would add a fifth assist playing extra man in the second half.
Sowers was hardly the only threat the Tigers had in this one. Zach Currier scored four goals and added two assists, and Gavin McBride (Haverford School) had three goals and three assists for a career-high six points.
* In addition to having the most assists in the first game of a freshman season, Sowers also became just the sixth Princeton player this century to have a five-assist game. The other five: Ryan Boyle, Rob Torti, Tommy Davis, Mike MacDonald, Ryan Ambler.
* Gavin McBride had three goals, which gave him six straight games with at least three. It is the second-longest such streak in school history, behind Chris Massey, who did it eight straight times in 1996. Massey also had a six-game streak spanning 1997 and 1998.
* Zach Currier had four goals, two assists, six ground balls and two caused turnovers. Currier scored three goals in the first quarter and now has scored eight goals in two games against NJIT, with six in the first quarter.
* Sam Bonafede won 16 of 21 face-offs and tied Currier for the team lead with six ground balls.
* Princeton had five players score two goals. In addition to Michael Sowers, Princeton got two goals each from Adam Hardej, Connor McCarthy, Phillip Robertson and Austin Sims.
* Tyler Blaisdell played the first half and made five saves while allowing two goals. Freshman Jon Levine made his collegiate debut with six saves and six goals-against in the second half.
* Princeton has a quick turnaround, with a game Tuesday night at home against Marist (6). It’ll be the first meeting ever between the teams. Marist defeated Air Force 10-4 Saturday afternoon in Colorado.