The 2014 Princeton men’s lacrosse season will be my 25th with the program. I spent the 1990-94 seasons covering the team for the Trenton Times, and I have been the athletic communications contact here since then.
In advance of the 2014 season, I have put together a list the 25 best players I have seen play at Princeton. I will be releasing them in groups of five, beginning today with Nos. 21-25, as well as the honorable mention list.
This list is based solely on what players did as Princeton lacrosse players, not what they did on the professional or international level. Though I consulted a bit with a few people, this is ultimately my own personal list. Others may feel free to disagree.
- Jerry Price
Class of 2001
Gill, Mass. • Deerfield
Currently national director for Trilogy Lacrosse, as well as a professional and international player
Matt Striebel earns wildcard status, because he is the one player who cannot be looked at soley in terms of what he did at Princeton. Striebel was an honorable mention All-America his senior year and was twice named All-Ivy League, and he ranks eighth all-time at Princeton with 74 career assists. He also moved as a senior from attack to midfield to make room for Ryan Boyle when he came to Princeton, and the move led to Princeton’s 2001 NCAA championship. Had Striebel never played after Princeton, he would have had a very good career. It’s what he’s done since Princeton that makes him a Hall-of-Fame player, as he has won multiple World and Major League Lacrosse Championships and is MLL’s all-time leader in games played. If the list included post-Princeton accomplishments, then Striebel would have moved into the top 10 or even top 5 of Princeton players in the last 25 years.
Class of 2009
Landon School • Washington, D.C.
Currently a third-year medical student at George Washington University, with plans to become a surgeon
Mark Kovler was a first-team All-America middie as a senior in 2009, when he scored 34 goals and had nine assists. He was also a first-team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore and senior, and he was on his way as a junior until a broken ankle wiped out the last four games of the 2008 season for him. Even with that, he was honorable mention All-America as a junior and a third-team All-America as a sophomore. He stands 17th all-time at Princeton with 84 goals, which also ranks him second all-time at Princeton behind only Josh Sims among players who were strictly midfielders. Kovler’s biggest weapon as a scorer was his ferocious lefthanded shot.
Class of 2005
Lynbrook High School • Hewlett, N.Y.
Currently heads up the U.S. convertible bond sales business for Barclays.
Jason Doneger ranks seventh all-time at Princeton with 105 career goals, including 36 as a junior and 41 as a junior, tying him for eighth all-time in a single season. Until Mike MacDonald’s 43 goals last season, no Princeton player had scored more in a season than Doneger’s 41 in 2004. He was an honorable mention All-America and two-time All-Ivy League selection as well.
Class of 2015
Trinity Pawling • Georgetown, Ont.
Currently a junior on the Princeton men’s lacrosse team
Mike MacDonald, one of two active Princeton players on the list, has scored 65 goals in his first two seasons, and he trails only Jesse Hubbard and Chris Massey for most goals by a Princeton player after his sophomore year. A left-handed finisher, MacDonald scored 43 goals a year ago, the sixth-most ever by a Princeton player in a single season and the most by any Princeton player since Massey scored 45 in 1997. MacDonald, who scored seven goals against Cornell in the Ivy League tournament semifinals, was a first-team All-Ivy League selection and honorable mention All-America in 2013.
Class of 2008
Delbarton School • Oldwick, N.J.
Currently works in Project Management in the construction management industry in Manhattan and is also getting his master’s in real estate from NYU
Dan Cocoziello began his career as the first defenseman to be named Ivy League Rookie of the Year and ended it as a first-team All-America. He started every game for his entire four-year career and was a second-team All-America as a sophomore and junior in addition to his first-team selection senior year. He was a four-time All-Ivy selection, including unanimous first-team selections as a sophomore and senior and second-team selection as a junior.
Class of 2003
Gilman School • Baltimore, Md.
Currently is Director and Portfolio Manager for Brown Capital Management in Baltimore, where he also coaches the defense for the Gilman School lacrosse team
Damien Davis is one of the great defensemen in Princeton lacrosse history who, along with Cocoziello, started every game of his four-year career. In fact, his resume pretty closely mirrors that of Cocoziello, as he too was a first-team All-America as a senior after being second-team All-America as a sophomore and junior. He was also a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection as a junior and senior, as well as a second-team selection as a sophomore and honorable mention selection as a freshman. His most famous moment came in the 2001 NCAA championship game, when he stripped Syracuse’s Mikey Powell of the ball in overtime to start the sequence that led to the game-winning goal.
Next week – No. 16-20