NCAA Preview: No. 6 Princeton
by Joel Censer | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
The February issue of Lacrosse Magazine features an extensive NCAA lacrosse preview, from Division I through Division III, plus in-depth features on the top-ranked Syracuse men and the snake-bitten Cal women. Lacrosse Magazine Online (laxmagazine.com) examines the key players, strengths, weaknesses, best- and worst-case scenarios, sleepers, what's new, what's not and rival coaches' takes on each of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I men's and women's lacrosse.
NO. 6 PRINCETON
Jonathan Meyers' decision to focus fulltime on lacrosse
bodes well for the Princeton defense.
Head Coach: Chris Bates
Conference: Ivy League
2010 Records: 11-5, 4-2
2011 Opener: Saturday, Feb. 26 at Hofstra | Schedule
A Jack McBride (Sr.)
A four-year starter and two-time All-American, McBride (35, 14) is a squarely built, hard-charging right-hander who is a true lead attackman. Will pair with cousin Chris McBride (16, 8).
G Tyler Fiorito (Jr.)
Left-handed goalie and second-team All-American had a 57 percent save percentage last year. "He's evolving as a keeper," Bates said. "He understands the game and realizes he can do some special things here."
D Chad Wiedmaier (Jr.)
Impressive athlete who has been the top cover guy since he stepped on campus. Second-team All-American in '10 despite missing the first half of the season with a knee injury.
• Star-studded attack should provide plenty of offense.
• Stingy, veteran defense is among the best in the country.
• Lose playmakers at the midfield.
• Need to win more faceoffs (won 51 percent last year)
Princeton's defense is the best in the country, and provides the fuel for an up-tempo, unpredictable offensive attack that leads the Tigers to their first Final Four since 2004.
Princeton has trouble winning faceoffs and generating offense in the half-field and stumbles in the cutthroat Ivy League.
D Jonathan Meyers (Jr.)
A former Division I football recruit and Princeton tailback, Meyers has now focused entirely on lacrosse and should be a full-time starter at close defense this year. Said Bates: "He's a phenomenal athlete."
RIVAL COACH'S TAKE
"Toward the end of (last) season they became more scoutable. A team that has a ton of talent. Their defense will be their strength. Their goalie, Wiedmaier, Cunningham, Meyers, those guys are just as good as it gets in Division I. Faceoffs are going to be something they may have to improve on, but they're well-coached, a very talented team and they're going to be dangerous."
“Their defense is as solid as it gets. They put in an unconventional indoor box offense and it causes trouble because you don’t see that very often.”
Expect freshman Tom Schreiber, a highly touted St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) product, to contribute immediately on the first-line midfield.
Chris Bates’ “pairs” offense. Inspired by the two-man games in box lacrosse, the Tigers have grown more comfortable with the constant picks and screens.
Number of times Princeton scored double-digit goals in its final 10 games of 2010. The Tigers scored at least 10 goals in each of their first six games.