Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/8/22
From Press Releases
Freshman McKenzie Blake (Haddonfield) collected five goals, two groundballs and a caused turnover as No. 10 Princeton extended its winning streak to open 2022 to four games with an 18-13 win over No. 17 USC in Los Angeles.
The Tigers never trailed in the game, in fact Princeton opened a 4-0 lead deep in the first quarter and the Trojans never got closer than three the rest of the way.
Seven different players scored for the Tigers and eight registered a point as the Tigers improved to 3-0 all-time against USC.
Notes To Know
Blake scored a career high five goals. Her previous best was three at Virginia in the 2022 opener.
Ellie Mueller (Radnor) had one assist in her previous two games played, and dished out a career-high four along with three groundballs.
With her seven points in the game, Kyla Sears moved into No. 3 all-time in career points by a Princeton player with 228, passing Erin McMunn (222) in the process.
Sophie Whiteway had nine draw controls, tied for No. 4 all-time in a game by a Tiger and most since Nonie Anderson had 10 against Harvard on 4/13/19. She also had a career-high three goals.
The win is Princeton’s third this season over a ranked opponent, adding on to wins over No. 10 Virginia and No. 20 Temple.
Sam Fish made 10 saves, with USC doing most of its work from the eight-meter arc with six goals on free positions.
Midfielder Maria Pansini (Agnes Irwin) had two groundballs.
How It Happened
Princeton jumped out all over the Trojans, scoring the game’s first four goals en route to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter. Four different goal scorers lit the lamp for Princeton in the first quarter, while Sam Fish made five saves.
The Tigers kept USC off the scoreboard for 14:58 in the first quarter before USC mustered its opening goal of the game off the rush in the final seconds.
While USC was struggling to find offense, the Tigers were efficient in scoring their four first-quarter goals on five shots on goal. Kyla Sears had the first of the game, scoring 4:22 into the game off an assist from Shannon Berry.
Sophie Whiteway dialed up the next goal while the Tigers were on a player-up attack following a USC yellow card. Grace Tauckus and Kari Buonanno added free position goals before the Trojans were able to get on the board.
The Tigers would get three consecutive goals from McKenzie Blake in a span of 2:05 in the opening minutes of the second quarter to extend their lead to 7-1.
While Blake was netting her hat tricks, Princeton was keeping USC off the scoreboard for another 5:49 before the Trojans netted a free position goal from Shelby Tilton with 9:14 remaining in the second quarter.
Marge Donovan then would get involved in a couple of key possessions for the Tigers as they built a 9-2 lead. First, she was a one-woman clear taking the ball from one cage area to the other before dishing off to a teammate who fed Kari Buonanno for a tough dodge and fire to give Princeton an 8-2 lead.
Just 1:37 later, Donovan retained possession for the Tigers after a wayward pass in the attacking third and waited for teammates to clear so she could go forward to dish off to Sears who weaved by a defender to rocket home her second goal of the afternoon.
The Trojans would strike twice in the final 1:48 of the first half, including a Isabelle Vitale free position with 0:10 left to send the game to halftime in favor of the Tigers, 9-4.
The two teams traded goals throughout the third quarter, neither side able to take control of the period. McKenzie Blake had two goals in the third, scoring 0:30 in and adding another with 6:10 left. Ellie Mueller and Kyla Sears each had two assists for the Tigers in the third period. At one point, the Tigers had built a 13-6 lead, but the Trojans scored the next three to creep back into the game before the end of the third frame.
Lehigh 16, Siena 11
The Mountain Hawks went on a 7-1 run bridging the end of the second and beginning of the fourth quarters, turning a 9-8 lead into a 16-9 advantage, on the way to downing visiting. Junior Gabby Schneider posted four goals and three assists for her second seven-point game of the season, while classmate Emma Eberhardt scored five times and collected a game and career-high nine draw controls.
Senior Nora Giordano also tied a career-high four points in the victory, while sophomore Olivia Memeger scored three times for her third-career hat trick, all coming this season.
Defensively, juniors Julia Skillin and Cassie Marte (Spring-Ford) each caused two turnovers.
Lehigh used an early 3-0 run, capped off by two Schneider goals, to open a 5-2 first-quarter lead. Siena came right back, however, with three goals in the span of 1:33 bridging the end of the first and beginning of the second quarters, to tie the score at five.
The Mountain Hawks responded with a 4-0 run, beginning with a highlight-reel tally from Eberhardt. Schneider’s third of the game put Lehigh ahead 9-5 in the middle of the second quarter.
The Saints had another answer, however, scoring three straight to pull within 9-8.
A Skillin goal with three seconds left in the first half put Lehigh ahead, 10-8, sparking four straight Lehigh goals and seven of the next eight. Eberhardt scored three times in that stretch, before a Schneider free position goal with 10:57 left in the fourth quarter put Lehigh ahead, 16-9, on the way to the 16-11 victory.