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Men’s lacrosse: Princeton staves off Harvard to keep Ivy League hopes alive

Sunday, 22nd April 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 4/22/18
From Press Release

The usual cast for the Princeton men’s lacrosse team did what it usually does Saturday against Harvard. It was one unexpected source who made the biggest difference. And another unexpected source that almost did, only to fall excruciatingly short in the end of what otherwise was a great day for the Tigers.

Princeton’s Michael Sowers had a goal and six assists (Photo by Patrick Tewey)

Yes, Michael Sowers (Upper Dublin) had a goal and six assists. Yes, Austin Sims had four goals and an assist and Phillip Robertson (Duke’s LC) had two goals. And yes, Tyler Blaisdell made 18 saves. The game, though, may have been decided by backup goalie Jon Levine (Hun School), who improbably made the biggest plays of the game.

Clinging to a one-goal fourth-quarter lead and two men down, one of whom was Blaisdell, Levine made two huge fourth-quarter stops, keeping the Tigers ahead in what became a 15-10 Princeton victory in the 84th meeting between the rivals. Princeton improved to 7-5 overall and 2-3 in the Ivy League.

The game was played on a beautiful sunny day in Cambridge, and it almost became even more beautiful and even more sunny for the Tigers in their hopes to get into the Ivy League tournament. Princeton came into the day knowing that it could not get into the postseason without a win in the last two weeks by winless Dartmouth, and the Big Green almost pulled it off against Penn before falling in two overtimes.

As a result, Princeton enters the final game of the regular season at home against Cornell needing a win over the Big Red and a Dartmouth win over Brown to get one of the four spots in the tournament at Columbia.

Had Princeton lost to Harvard, then it would have been eliminated from the race. The game was one of back-and-forth runs, from 2-0 Harvard to 7-2 Princeton to 7-5 Princeton to 10-5 Princeton to 10-0 Princeton early in the fourth, when the game reached its massive turning point. Harvard’s Frankie Tangredi, a defenseman, scored a transition goal to cut it to one with 11:37 to go, and Princeton was flagged for a two-minute non-releasable penalty on the play.

Then, with 46 seconds left on that penalty, Blaisdell was called for a cross-check. Enter Levine, with no warmup, to face a Crimson team dripping with momentum. And then he shut the door on that, first on a Carney Mahon shot from about 10 yards out and then on a one-on-one doorstep save on Kyle Anderson (Malvern Prep), Harvard’s leading goal-scorer on the year who was held to two assists.

With that, the penalties were done. Then Princeton went man up and Sims scored, followed by goals from Connor McCarthy and Luke Crimmins within a 1:11 span to basically end things.

George Baughan (Springfield-Montco) had two caused turnovers to lead the Princeton defense.

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