The euphoria of an amazing Friday night gave way to an equally frustrating Sunday afternoon, leaving the Princeton men's lacrosse to wonder what Sunday night was to have in store.
Yale's Dylan Levings won 20 of 24 face-offs to earn Most Valuable Player honors while leading Yale to a 12-8 win over Princeton in the Ivy League tournament championship game at Cornell Sunday. The win gave Yale an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and left Princeton wondering if it will be the last at-large team in, something that was not to be when the field was announced.
The loss came less than 40 hours after Princeton's heart-stopping 14-13 overtime victory over Cornell in the semifinals Friday night. That game was an exhilarating back-and-forth offensive display; the championship game would turn out to be a half-field, deliberate, possession-dominated game, something that Yale played to near perfection
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME - Yale led 6-2 late in the first half before Mike MacDonald's goal made it a 6-3 game at the break. Princeton then scored three goals in a 1:09 span early the third, tying it on Jeff Froccaro's second straight with 10:43 to go. Princeton, though, could not gain the lead, and instead Yale's Conrad Oberbeck put the Bulldogs up 7-6 two minutes later, starting the game-breaking 5-0 run that made it 11-6 by the end of the third.
STAT OF THE GAME - Princeton won just 2 of 20 face-offs in the first three quarters, led to a 38-21 edge in shots for the Bulldogs through three quarters.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND - Princeton won 13 of 54 face-offs in the two games of the tournament.
WHAT THE BOX SCORE DOESN'T TELL YOU - Princeton came in averaging nearly 42 shots per game, or more than 10 per quarters. Because of all the face-off wins, Yale was able to hold Princeton to 34 shots for the game. In the first quarter, Princeton took only four shots, which turned into two goals. At that pace, Princeton would have had three more goals had it had its season's average for shots per quarter. Princeton, with nine, even had five fewer turnovers than it normally has, which is another sign that the Bulldogs limited Tiger possessions Yale won by imposing its style on Princeton, rather than the other way around.
WHAT ELSE THE BOX SCORE DOESN'T TELL YOU - Princeton led 2-0 after five minutes on goals by Kip Orban, who had the overtime goal against Cornell Friday, and Tom Schreiber. The Schreiber goal came on a shot that ripped through the net and came out the back.
NOTES - Tom Schreiber had two goals and two assists and now has 60 points for his second straight season ... Mike MacDonald had a goal and two assists and now has 59 points, including 43 goals, which is the sixth-best single-season total in school history ... Schreiber, MacDonald and Kip Orban were named to the all-tournament team for Princeton ... Derick Raabe had five ground balls for Princeton and now has 73 for the year, the most by a Princeton player since James Mitchell had 95 in 1997.