Despite holding a 39-6 shot advantage, the No. 9 Princeton field hockey team needed a Michelle Cesan overtime goal to earn a 2-1 victory over Rider Sunday afternoon to conclude the home half of the 2013 schedule.
After tallying a 10-0 shot advantage, including five on frame, an unsatisfied Princeton side went into halftime holding the upper hand tempo-wise in a scoreless bout.
The Tigers picked up the pace to open the second half, peppering Rider goalie Joelle Prettyman with 15 consecutive shots. Prettyman and her backline continued to deny Princeton until the 55th minute.
Following Rider’s first two shots of the match, both stopped by Tiger goalkeeper Christina Maida, Princeton sent the ball right back into the Bronc circle and was awarded a penalty corner.
Freshman Cat Caro picked up Teresa Benvenuti’s deflected shot off Prettyman’s pads to send in the go-ahead goal and extend her scoring streak to five consecutive games.
With time winding down, Rider took possession of the ball in the Tiger circle and employed its first real offensive swing. The Broncs capitalized on their third consecutive penalty corner with 14 seconds left in regulation to end Princeton’s chance of shutting out its weekend opponents.
On a day honoring the graduating senior class, it fittingly was a senior captain to send the Class of 2014 off the home turf on a winning note. In only their second overtime game of the year, the Tigers took possession and this time never relinquished it. At 75:23 Cesan inserted Princeton’s 12th penalty corner, connecting with classmate Amanda Bird. Bird then dribbled the ball to the left side and passed it back to Cesan on the near post to tap in the game-winner.
Maida (4-1) concluded the day with two saves to Prettyman’s 17, as Princeton held a 19-3 on goal shot advantage.
Princeton (12-4, 6-0 Ivy) closes out the regular season with a winner take all match for the outright Ivy League title at Penn on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 11:30 a.m. in Philadelphia. The Tigers have already clinched a share of their ninth consecutive conference crown, but must defeat the Quakers to earn the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.