Chris McBride, Froccaro, Engelke Lead Princeton In Bates' Debut
Chris Bates talked about how it was good to get his first win at Princeton. Chris McBride talked about how happy he was to help give it to his new coach.
McBride tied his career high with four goals, Rob Engleke had a goal and four assists for a career-high five points and freshman Jeff Froccaro scored three times in his first college game as the Princeton men's lacrosse team defeated Hofstra 17-14 in front of 1,146 at the Class of 1952 Stadium.
The game was the first for Bates at Princeton after 10 seasons as the head coach at Drexel. Bates took over for Bill Tierney, who left Princeton to become the head coach at Denver after winning six NCAA titles and reaching 10 Final Fours in 22 seasons with the Tigers.
"I think I'm able to focus on the 110x60, but to get the first one here is exciting," Bates said. "It's the way you want to start. You want to build some momentum, and it validates these guys' hard work."
The win came against one of only two teams to defeat Princeton a year ago, when the Tigers went 13-3, tied for the Ivy title and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Besides Hofstra, only Cornell was able to defeat the Tigers in 2009, something the Big Red did in the regular season and the NCAA tournament.
Since then, Princeton lost Tierney and associate head coach David Metzbower, who left college coaching after 20 years at Princeton. Additionally, Princeton also graduated eight seniors, all of whom were significant contributors for three or four years.
And, to top it all off, the Tigers were without preseason first-team All-America defenseman Chad Wiedmaier, who is out until midseason with a knee injury.
"Everyone said we would be nervous for our first game, but I was very exciting to get it going," said McBride, who equalled the four goals he scored last year in a win over Albany. "For him, he's been through so much. Transitioning from city to city, with his family. Our coaching staff is one of the best. I'm very fortunate to have them as my coaches."
The 2009 Hofstra win over Princeton was by a 9-7 score; that would be the halftime score (in Princeton's favor) this time around.
The teams played a wild back-and-forth game that saw each team have at two runs of at least three goals, including a 3-0 Princeton start in the first three minutes and a 4-0 Hofstra run in 2:03 of the second quarter that took the game from 7-3 Princeton to 7-7.
Hofstra led only once, at 10-9 after scoring three times in 1:30 of the third quarter, but Princeton came back with its own 3-0 run on goals by McBride, Froccaro and Tyler Moni to lead 12-10 at the end of the third.
Hofstra would get within one three times in the fourth at 12-11, 14-13 and 15-14 before Princeton sealed it on Froccaro's third goal with 2:09 remaining and then one by Engelke with 37 seconds to go.
"Coming off my knee injury, I'm running a little slower than usual," Froccaro said. I'm getting better, and today I ran pretty well. I'm pretty happy."
Princeton had nine players score at least once and five score at least twice. Jack McBride and freshman Mike Chanenchuk each had two goals and an assist.
Jamie Lincoln, a transfer from, ironically, Denver, had four goals to lead the Pride.
Princeton plays Johns Hopkins next Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.