Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/3/15
From Press Release
Princeton is your 2015 Ivy League Tournament Champion! The No. 11-ranked Tigers defeated No. 13 Penn, 14-11 in the today’s tournament final to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Olivia Hompe, who had a nine-goal tournament, was named the tournament MVP.
“As a senior it’s a nice finishing touch,” Erin Slifer said. “To go out and win the tournament for the first time, win the Ivy League outright for the first time, it’s really exciting to see our four years come to this peak, and it’s peaking at the right time and it’s going to carry us into the post season.”
Princeton made a statement from the get go, as sophomore defender Amanda Leavell scored the second-fastest goal in Ivy League tournament history, with a tally 39 seconds off the opening draw. The record? 35 seconds – set by senior Erin McMunn just last year against Cornell in the semifinals.
The Tigers led 6-4 at halftime before finally pulling away in the final 15 minutes, leading by as much as five goals.
“This is when you want to be playing your best,” Princeton head coach Chris Sailer said. “Everybody on the team stepped up today in a big way. We got some amazing goals from kids who might not have been in the scoring column, like Amanda Leavell, Camille Sullivan and Abby Finkelston. It was truly a team effort today. The Defense was awesome. We put a new look in and they executed it really, really well. There was a ton of heart on the field and we’re excited to be Ivy League Tournament Champions and headed to the NCAAs.”
“I think our attack has been clicking really well together, and we’re playing our best lacrosse right now,” echoed senior Erin McMunn. “And in terms of being about to pull away in the second half, it was a great effort on the draw and a lot of support on the ball in the first place. From there, the coaches put a lot of trust in us as a unit to work and play off of each other, make good decisions and take shots that we know we can score.”
After Leavell gave Princeton the 1-0 lead, Tory Bensen answered two minutes later on a feed from Nina Corcoran, but Slifer had a response as she converted on the first free-position attempt of the game.
Iris Williamson (Germantown Friends) scored an eight-meter goal herself at 20:28 but freshman Camille Sullian scored a transition goal to regain the lead for the Tigers 3-2 at 19:11.
Penn answered off the draw as Catherine Dickinson won the draw and fed Corcoran for the tally. Fourteen seconds later the Quakers took their first lead as Lely DeSimone buried a Cocoran pass, and Princeton called timeout with 17:37 left in the first half.
The stoppage and pep talk certainly helped the Tigers as they scored the next three goals, to take the first multiple-goal lead of the game. Slifer scored her second of the afternoon with a terrific side-winder, finding space between goalie Lucy Ferguson and the right pipe. A free-position goal from Anna Doherty followed by Sullivan’s second goal on a feed from junior Stephanie Paloscio gave Princeton a 6-4 lead at intermission.
The second half appeared to be more of the same, as the team’s traded goals for the first 15 minutes before Princeton shut down the Penn offense and took control.
Lindsey Smith (Unionville) pushed her team within one on the opening goal of the second, but McMunn answered with her first of the afternoon with help from freshman Abby Finkelston. Slifer delivered a great feed to Hompe and she buried it to give Princeton its largest lead, 8-5.
The team’s leading goal scorers, Bensen and Hompe traded goals before a Corcoran free-position goal made it 9-7 at 18:34.
From here it was all Orange & Black.
McMunn set up Doherty and Finkelston before Hompe completed her hat trick at 9:42 with a goal from the arc to five Princeton a 12-7 edge.
Bensen dished to Dickinson for a goal at 5:56, but the Princeton defense, adding some new dimension today and Ellie DeGarmo continued its solid play.
With the Tigers holding a five-goal lead and less than five minutes to play, Ferguson came out to play defense and it made for an easy lay-up for Slifer at 4:18, her 40th goal of the season.
Bensen scored twice at 3:10 and 1:32 to make it a 13-10 game but with the Tigers holding an advantage in time of possession and winning the majority of draw controls, the Quakers knew they were in trouble.
Ferguson took a seat on the bench as Penn put in an extra field player but it worked against the Quakers as Anya Gersoff scored on the open net with 50 seconds to play.
With less than one second remaining, DeSimone tallied the final goal of the game with Bensen – who set an Ivy championship game record for with six – assisting.
Behind Bensen’s six-point effort was Corcoran with five points. DeSimone scored twice, Emily Rogers-Healion had two assists and Dickinson tallied a goal and an assist. Ferguson finished the game with seven saves.
DeGarmo made eight saves this afternoon and adding to it her 12 from Friday’s semifinal with Harvard, she ties the Ivy Tournament record for saves in a tournament with 20 this weekend. There was no mistaking that she would be named to the Ivy League All-Tournament team.
Joining her were Doherty, Leavell, McMunn, Slifer and Hompe. Slifer and Hompe both led the attack this weekend with nine points apiece.
Slifer led the Tigers with three goals and one assist, while Hompe had a hat trick. McMunn scored once and had two helpers. Doherty and Sullivan scored twice and Finkelston had a goal and an assist.
This is Princeton’s second Ivy League Tournament Championship, winning its first in 2011.
The NCAA selections will be announced at 9 p.m., on NCAA.com