Facing its sixth ranked opponent of the year, the No. 9 Princeton field hockey team concluded its five-game road swing with a 5-3 victory over No. 15 Albany Sunday afternoon in New York.
Freshman Cat Caro led the offense with two first half goals, while Michelle Cesan and Allison Evans each had a goal and an assist.
Cesan and Caro opened the scoring with goals just over a minute apart. The first came on an unassisted Cesan drive down the right flank, culminating with a reverse shot into the cage. Caro followed with the first of her two scores, receiving the ball from Evans in front of the cage to put Princeton up 2-0 at the 11:20-minute mark.
Princeton appeared to be in complete control of the game, limiting Albany to only one shot over the first 26:25.
As the defense held an effective and almost impenetrable line, the offense continued to command the pace of play. The Tigers added two more goals, both on penalty corner rebounds from Julia Reinprecht in the 21st and Caro in the 24th minutes to create Princeton’s substantial 4-0 advantage.
Despite pouncing early and jumping out with a multi-goal lead, it nearly was not enough to sustain a midgame Great Dane rally.
Albany responded in a big way, going on to score three uncontested goals between the 29th and 42nd minutes to make it a 4-3 match.
Looking to avoid relinquishing its lead, the Princeton offense picked up its pace. The Tigers were awarded three consecutive penalty corners, but were unable to convert on all three direct shots on frame.
At 50:35, Evans was there to grab a Cesan deflection in front of the net to add an insurance goal and ultimately seal the victory.
Princeton held a 13-9 shot and 6-5 penalty corner advantage. Defensively, Anya Gersoff (7-3) made five saves to Albany’s six.
The Tigers (10-4, 5-0 Ivy) return to Bedford Field to host their final two home matches of the year next weekend. Cornell comes to town on Saturday for a 12 noon meeting, followed by local rival Rider on Sunday at 1 p.m.