Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/29/20
From Press Release
If you came to see Michael Sowers (Upper Dublin), well, the senior All-American didn’t disappoint, with a two-goal, seven-assist afternoon that saw him break another major Princeton record and continue his move up the lists of all-time NCAA leaders.
If you came away thinking the Tigers are a one-man team, though, then you missed the point of what happened on Sherrerd Field Saturday afternoon. Princeton got contributions up and down the lineup and all sides of the field, and the result was another nice step forward for a team learning to handle success.
Princeton finished off a perfect February with an 18-11 win over Johns Hopkins in the 90th meeting between the long-time rivals in front of 1,815 fans. The win improved the Tigers to 4-0, as they now prepare to host Rutgers for the Meistrell Cup.
Sowers finished his four-game February with an unreal 42 points.
“This was a good one for us,” said Princeton head coach Matt Madalon. “I thought pretty much everyone on the field for us played well and contributed, and that’s the best part. We’ve had an outstanding February, but it’s only February. Now we have to look ahead to March, and nothing will be easy for us going forward. We’ll enjoy this for a little while and then move on to Rutgers, which is another great challenge.”
Princeton’s challenge in this game was to build off the success of the 16-12 win over Virginia a week ago in Charlottesville, one that vaulted the Tigers from unranked to the top 10 of every poll and as high as fifth in some. As it turned out, Princeton didn’t let any of that go its head.
Johns Hopkins led only once, at 1-0, and Princeton led 5-2 after one after Tommy Barnds drilled one from up top with 31 seconds to go, and the lead grew to 9-6 at the half. Hopkins got no closer after that.
Sowers had his nine-point day, and he moved past Kevin Lowe as Princeton’s career leader in assists. In fact, his 179 now rank him eighth in NCAA Division I history. With his nine points, he now has 297 career points, leaving him in 16th place all time.
He was far from Princeton’s only weapon.
Connor McCarthy had a career-high five goals, giving him 10 in four games as he is now fully healthy after being nagged by injuries a year ago, and Alexander Vardaro added a career-high four of his own. Erik Peters made 15 more saves after the 16 he had against Virginia, and he was again spectacular at times.
It was more than just that, though.
Ben Finlay ended three Hopkins possessions by winning run-outs to the sideline after missed shots. George Baughan (Springfield-Montco) threw a blanket over JHU senior Cole Williams, who had only one assist, which came with 28 seconds to go in the game. By then Baughan had two caused turnovers and was his usual dominant self.
Andrew Song caused three turnovers. Jake Stevens had two goals and five ground balls. Arman Medghalchi continues to play the best he’s played in four years as a starter. Freshman Tyler Sandoval won 10 of 19 face-offs and had six ground balls with one assist, which came to sophomore longstick midfielder Luca Lazzaretto for his first career goal.
Alex Slusher had one goal but it was a beauty to make it 11-7 in the third quarter. Chris Brown had two goals and an assist and now has at least one goal in all 31 games of his career.
Forry Smith (Haverford School) and Brett Baskin (La Salle) each scored once
Yes, Sowers was his usual jaw-dropping self. He finished his February with 13 goals and 29 assists, which is a season for most people.
He had assists on Princeton’s first four goals to get the day started, and again he was worth the admission price.
It’s just that he wasn’t the whole show. For undefeated Princeton, that’s the best news as February turns to March.