Goaltending Keys Princeton Win Over Rutgers
from press release
PRINCETON, N.J. - As man-down defense goes, you
really can't ask for more than what Princeton did against Rutgers
last night. The same goes for the effort from Princeton's
Princeton held Rutgers scoreless in seven extra-man attempts and scored the two most decisive goals of the night while a man down in the fourth quarter in a 10-8 win in front of 1,106 at the Class of 1952 Stadium. Princeton goalie Tyler Fiorito made 14 saves and assisted on one of the man-down goals with a 70-yard pass to Jack McBride.
The win gave Princeton the Harland Meistrell Cup for the 20th time in the last 21 years, despite the fact that the Scarlet Knights led for nearly 36 minutes and held a three-goal lead in the third quarter.
Princeton improved to 8-2 overall and now finishes the regular season with three Ivy League games, including a home game Saturday against Dartmouth. At 3-0, Princeton is the lone undefeated Ivy team. Princeton also was playing three days after a 13-4 loss to Syracuse in the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Rutgers, who finishes its season with four Big East games, is now 5-5. The Scarlet Knights played in Jacksonville Saturday.
"We got off to a slow start," said McBride, who had three goals for Princeton. "We started talking at halftime, and we just said 'enough talk. Let's go out and do it.' "
Princeton used three goals in two minutes during the third quarter to tie the game at 5-5, and it was 6-6 after McBride scored nine seconds into the fourth quarter.
The key point of the game came when Princeton went man-down twice early in the fourth quarter. The first was after a slash by John Cunningham with 14:15 left and the score still tied at 6-6. Rather than have the Scarlet Knights take advantage, Princeton instead went up 7-6 after Tyler Moni rolled the ball to the middle and Chris McBride came out with the ball one-on-one against Rutgers goalie Billy Olin.
That goal had nothing on the next one, which came after Jonathan Meyers was called for a slash of his own with 9:53 left. This time, Fiorito made a save and then almost accidentally threw the ball into his own net on a clearing attempt. After the ball rolled wide, Fiorito picked it up and launched it the length of the field to Jack McBride, who caught it and ripped it past Olin with four seconds still left on the extra-man opportunity to make it 8-6.
"I didn't have anything else going," Fiorito said. "I had to get rid of the ball, and I'd told Jack to go deep and I'd try to get it to him. I just threw it as far as I could."
Princeton built the lead to 9-6 with 4:19 to go when Mike Chanenchuk, who also had three goals, fed Rob Engelke on the crease. Still, Rutgers wouldn't go quietly.
The Knights scored two goals six seconds apart, both after face-off wins, to make it 9-8 with 3:59 left. Jeff Froccaro scored with 2:54 to go to build it back to two, and the Tigers held off one more Rutgers extra-man opportunity in the final minute for the win.
Princeton had to overcome an attempt at an early knockout from the Scarlet Knights, who outshot Princeton 16-2 in the first quarter and had a 20-3 edge in shots at one point. The fact that RU couldn't build more than a 4-2 lead at intermission was a testament to Fiorito, who made seven saves in each half and basically kept Princeton in the game.
"Tyler is the backbone of this team," Jack McBride said. "I never worry about him. If they score a goal, it's probably not Tyler's fault. He got absolutely bombarded by shots by Syracuse, and I thought he played great."
Longstick midfielder John Cunningham scored his third goal of the season during the three-goal third quarter run. Peter Smyth had a pair of assists, both after face-off wins.
Justin Pennington scored three goals for Rutgers. Princeton was outshot 36-29, but Princeton did have a 26-16 edge in shots after the initial Rutgers barrage.
Harland Meistrell is credited with reviving lacrosse at Rutgers in 1920 and Princeton in 1921. The teams have met every year since 1922 except for the World War II seasons of 1944 and 1945, and the winner of the game has received the Harland Meistrell Cup every year since 1958.
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