May 6, 2011

Princeton Ends Penn Reign as Ivy League Queen, Will Play Harvard for Crown

from press release

PHILADELPHIA -- The Princeton women's lacrosse team hoped the game would go exactly like it did 16 days ago, when the Tigers knocked off Penn on its home field. Could lightning strike twice? Yes.

No. 14 Princeton defeated host school, top seed and No. 8-ranked Penn, 10-8 in overtime on Friday, May 6 in the Ivy League Tournament semifinals - a game that featured six lead changes and seven ties.

"Franklin Field is our new favorite field," Princeton head coach Chris Sailer joked at the post game press conference.

Princeton will face Harvard in the Ivy League Championship on Sunday, May 8 at 1 p.m., at Franklin Field.

Princeton won the first draw control of the overtime and would hang on to the ball until there was just about 40 seconds left. Sophomore Charlotte Davis ran around the back of the cage and passed off to sophomore Jaci Gassaway who was left wide open on the doorstep and she buried the goal.

Senior Lizzy Drumm would win the ensuing draw control once again and Princeton didn't hesitate to shoot the ball as junior Sam Ellis sailed the ball from behind the net in front to Gassaway who put it away with six seconds left before the teams would change ends.

Previ would win the draw and the Tigers played catch with the ball. Penn pressured hard to try to force a turnover but instead drew five fouls. Princeton would have possession as the clock expired and the Tiger bench flooded the field in celebration.

Bridget Waclawik would score that first goal on a free position opportunity two minutes into the game on Penn's first shot on goal.

Gassaway get Princeton on the scoreboard eight minutes later when junior Barb Previ fed her the ball from the goal line extended, and Gassaway shot over Emily Leitner's right shoulder.

Penn would win the ensuing draw control and Tory Benson would put away a Caroline Bunting pass.

Junior Cassie Pyle delivered the prettiest assist of the night when she left a flip pass for Drumm as the Tigers tied the game at 14:12.

Princeton would take its first lead of the game at 8:55 when Charlotte Davis scored on a free-position attempt.

Bunting tallied her second of the afternoon at 7:16 to tie the game.

Drumm had Princeton's best chance to take the lead before halftime but her free position shot was swallowed up by Leitner as the team's entered the locker rooms knotted at 3-3.

Brennan would put Penn back up on top when she scored in transition after Leitner made a save on a Drumm shot at 28:56.

Princeton would fake out the Penn defense on its next goal. Pyle set up on the far hash mark and passed off to Gassaway who was at the right side of the cage and put the ball away at 27:00.

Pyle scored a goal of her own at 19:41 when she sent a low shot into the lower left corner at 19:41 as Princeton took a 5-4 lead.

Meredith Cain would even the game again at 18:23 when she came around the back of the cage to score. Senior Erin Tochihara would stop Cain's next shot at 17:31, but couldn't stop her third shot as Cain put Penn up 6-5 at 17:05.

Leitner would stop a rocket of a shot from Pyle on the eight-meter at 15:25, but sophomore Caroline Rehfuss would score in transition one minute later to even the game at 6-6.

Penn's Lindsey Smith hit the post at 13:45, the Quaker's third post of the night.

The Quakers couldn't find an answer, for the second straight game, for Pyle as she buried a low shot at 12:01. She used a bounce shot on a pass from Gassaway on her third goal of the game at 10:42 to give Princeton a two-goal lead, the first two-goal lead by either team in the game.

Bunting tallied her third of the day from Brennan at 8:13 and Cain tied the game at 2:24 with her third, going over the right shoulder of Tochihara.

Penn won the next draw on a Princeton foul and hung onto the ball until 40 seconds remained on the clock. Tochihara made two stops on Giulia Giordano chances and would hang on to the ball with one second left in regulation.

Penn had a 27-20 edge in shots, a 24-22 advantage in ground balls and won 14 draw controls to Princeton's eight. The Tigers won three of four draws in the overtime.

Cain finished the night with five points on three goals and two assists, while Brennan had one goal and three assists. Bunting tallied two goals and one assist and Waclawik had two points. Leitner made four saves in the game, three in the first half.

Gassaway and Pyle each had five-point games. Gassaway had four goals and one assist, while Pyle had three goals and two assists. Charlotte Davis finished with a goal and an assist. Tochihara made 10 saves in the win.

Princeton improves to 10-6 on the season, while Penn falls to 11-5.

Sunday's championship game will be televised live on CBS College Sports at 1 p.m.


comments powered by Disqus