Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/24/17
From Press Release
This one was quite unlike recent Princeton-Yale men’s lacrosse in one way and very much like Princeton-Yale men’s lacrosse in another. Actually, make that two others.
For the first time in eight regular-season games, the Princeton-Yale matchup was not decided by one goal, as Yale beat Princeton 16-13 Friday afternoon to spoil a brilliant game by Gavin McBride (Haverford School) on Sherrerd Field. So that was different.
On the other hand, the recent history – actually going back 17 meetings, so not exactly recent – of this rivalry has been defined by Yale’s dominance of the face-off X, and this one fit right in with that trend. And as a result, there was another commonality for this one for the Tigers – it was very frustrating.
In the 17 previous meetings between the teams before this one, Yale had the face-off advantage 16 times – for a combined 233 for 354, or a .658 winning percentage. In this game, it was even worse, as Yale’s Conor Mackie won 26 of the 33 face-offs, or .788, with an astonishing 18 ground balls as Yale dominated possession.
The result was a 47-29 edge in shots, and that turned out to be the difference. Even an 18-save performance by Tyler Blaisdell – many of them spectacular – wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs seemed to constantly have the ball.
Mackie’s performance wasn’t the best ever by a Yale face-off man against Princeton. That would be back in 2005, when Yale’s Dan Kallaugher won 17 of 20 in a 9-8 win.
Still, it was frustrating enough for the Tigers. Princeton is one of the top shooting percentage teams in the country, coming into the game second in Division I at .380 as a team. In this game, Princeton scored 13 goals on 29 shots, or .448, but the Tigers were never able to match possessions with the Bulldogs.
* McBride tied his career high with five goals and, with two assists, established a new career high with seven points. It was the second-straight five-goal game for McBride, and his first point of the day – on an assist by Zach Currier – gave him 100 for his career.
* Currier finished the game with four goals to tie his career high, and he also had two assists for a six-point day. He added eight ground balls and two caused turnovers.
* Riley Thompson also matched his career highs with three goals and five points. Michael Sowers had two assists but was held without a goal for the first time in his career.
* Yale led 8-4 midway through the second quarter and 8-6 at the half, but the Tigers would tie it 8-8 on two Currier goals early in the third. Yale would regain the lead 15 seconds after Princeton tied it to start a 5-0 run, but the Tigers answered, getting within two at 14-12 and then 15-13 with 4:58 left when Chase Williams fed Currier. The key moment of the game then followed, as Currier was called for being in the crease with a little more than three minutes to go, nullifying a goal that would have made it 14-13, and then, after a Blaisdell save and rebound on the next possession, Yale’s Joseph Sessa batted the ball out of the air into the goal, making it 16-13.