It was a long ride home from New Hampshire for the Princeton men’s lacrosse team this past Saturday.
While the Tigers were quietly returning to New Jersey, there was a celebration of a season radically changed for Harvard.
Princeton and Harvard - now tied in the Ivy League standings - meet in a pivotal game, one with huge implications on the league’s tournament, which offers the winner an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Princeton comes in after being stunned by Dartmouth 10-9 last Saturday. Harvard comes in after beating Penn 9-8 on Murphy Vandervelde’s goal 1:18 into overtime.
As a result, both teams are now 2-2 in the league and hoping to get into the four-team Ivy tournament. Only Princeton would be guaranteed a spot with a win in this game, though if Harvard wins, it could still get in this weekend with a Cornell win over Brown Saturday or with any number of scenarios next weekend.
Princeton is still one of two teams that could host the tournament. On the other hand, Princeton could also find itself on the outside looking in in two weeks.
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There are two weekends and six games left to the Ivy League men’s lacrosse season. Right now, no team has been mathematically eliminated from the Ivy League tournament field and it appears that two teams have clinched spots.
Cornell is 4-0 and has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League championship, which is awarded to the regular season winner (or winners). The Ivy tournament determines only the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Cornell would clinch the outright championship and home field for the tournament with a win in either of its last two games. The only other possible site for the tournament is Princeton, and only if the Tigers sweep Harvard and Cornell and Cornell loses to Brown. Otherwise, the tournament will be in Ithaca.
This year offers the possibility of something that hasn’t happened in the first three years of the tournament, and that is the chance that a 3-3 team might not make it into the field. In fact, it’s possible to have a five-way tie for second at 3-3, which would mean that two 3-3 teams would not qualify.
Princeton would clinch a spot in the field with a win over Harvard Friday. Harvard, with the same 2-2 league record as the Tigers, does not necessarily clinch a spot with a win over Princeton.
Princeton is the only team that would definitely clinch a spot in the tournament with a win this weekend. No matter what happens this weekend, the field of four cannot be set until next weekend.
Princeton could finish 3-3 with a win over Harvard and loss to Cornell and not only be in the field but also be the No. 2 seed. On the other hand, Princeton could miss the tournament entirely – though not definitely – with a 3-3 record via a loss to Harvard and win over Cornell.
Yale, which does not have a league game this weekend, has clinched a spot in the field as well.
A Penn win over Dartmouth would eliminate both Dartmouth and Brown, regardless of how Brown did. A Dartmouth win over Penn and a Brown loss to Cornell does not necessarily eliminate the Bears.
A Penn win over Dartmouth would ensure that no 2-4 team could make the field, but it doesn’t not necessarily mean that Penn at 3-3 would be in.
The Tigers would be in with a win over Harvard. How? Because with a win over Harvard, Princeton would hold the tiebreaker in every scenario other than head-to-head with either Penn or Dartmouth or a three-way tie with those two, but none of those would be mathematically possible.
There is the possibility of a five-way tie for second with Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Penn and Brown. This could only happen if Penn and Brown both beat Dartmouth, which would eliminate the Big Green. It would also be necessary for Harvard to beat Yale, which would mean Princeton would have to beat Harvard and lose to Cornell to get all five to 3-3.
There can also be multiple two-way, three-way and four-way ties.
Harvard at Princeton
Dartmouth at Penn
Cornell at Brown
Princeton vs. Cornell
Yale at Harvard
Brown at Dartmouth
Cornell – wins over Yale, Harvard, Penn, Dartmouth
Yale – wins over Penn, Dartmouth, Brown; losses to Princeton and Cornell
Princeton – wins over Yale and Brown; losses to Penn and Dartmouth
Harvard – wins over Penn and Dartmouth; losses to Cornell and Brown
Penn – wins over Princeton and Brown; losses to Harvard, Cornell and Yale
Dartmouth – win over Princeton; losses to Cornell, Harvard and Yale
Brown – win over Harvard; losses to Princeton, Penn and Yale
Note - The above scenarios are unofficial and were not compiled by the Ivy office.
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Princeton’s loss to Dartmouth marked the first time this season the Tigers did not reach double figures. Princeton’s 10 straight games in double figures was the third-longest in program history.
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Princeton is 7-4, and all four losses are by one goal. The Tigers had the lead in the fourth quarter of all four games.
The Tigers have played five one-goal games and are 1-4 in those games.
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Tom Schreiber has 23 goals and 22 assists, giving him at least 20 goals and 20 assists for the second straight year. Those are the 33rd and 34th 20/20 seasons in program history.
Schreiber needs seven goals and eight assists to have only the second 30/30 season in program history. Dave Tickner had 34 goals and 32 assists in 1976.
Schreiber has at least three points in every game this year and in 12 straight games, dating back to the NCAA tournament game against Virginia last year. He also has at least one point in 28 straight games, the longest current streak by a Division I midfielder.
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Harvard’s Devin Dwyer has been the Ivy League Rookie of the Week each of the last two weeks.
Princeton’s Ryan Ambler is also a two-time Ivy Rookie of the Week, while Jake Froccaro has won the award once.
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Harvard goalie Harry Krieger will start for the fourth time.
Krieger led Harvard to wins over Princeton as a freshman and sophomore, making 28 saves while allowing 15 goals, for a .651 save percentage.
Last year, Krieger made four saves while allowing nine goals, for a save percentage of .308, in Princeton’s 12-5 win over the Crimson.
Krieger is second in the Ivy League in save percentage (.556) and first in the Ivy League in saves per game (11.58).
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Mike MacDonald needs one goal to become the seventh Princeton player to reach the 50-goal mark before the end of his sophomore year.
Should MacDonald do so, he would join Jack McBride, B.J. Prager, Sean Hartofilis, Jason Doneger, Jesse Hubbard and Chris Massey.
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Harvard and Princeton rank 1-2 in the league in man-up goals. In fact, Harvard gets nearly 20% of its goals in extra-man situations.
Princeton is the second least-penalized team in the Ivy League.
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Ryan Ambler missed the last two games with an injury. Luke Armour started in his place and had five goals and an assist.
Princeton has also been without shortstick defensive midfielders Chris White and Jack Strabo the last two games and longstick midfielder Alex Beatty against Dartmouth, all due to injury.
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What Can You Say About ...
Ryan Ambler #14
• started first nine games but did not play against Rutgers and Dartmouth due to injury
• has 10 goals and 14 assists
• has had three five-point games (Villanova, Manhattan, Brown)
• two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, most recently after a one-goal, four-assist performance against Brown
• four assists were the most in a game to date
• also named Cascade/Inside Lacrosse Freshman of the Week after Brown game
• had two goals against Yale, with Princeton’s eighth goal with four seconds left in the third and then ninth goal 1:04 into the fourth in 10-9 win
• had three goals and two assists in the win over Villanova for first career five-point game
• also had three goals and two assists in win over Manhattan
• had two assists against Syracuse
• began career with a four-point game against Hofstra (1G, 3A) to earn first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award
• had a goal and two assists to snap a 3-3 tie as Princeton built a 6-3 lead in the second quarter; Hofstra would never pull even again
• was the fourth Princeton player with four points in opening game of his freshman year (Ryan Boyle in 2001, Jesse Hubbard in 1995, Jason Buttles in 1993)
• had one assist against Johns Hopkins
• was the second Princeton freshman in two years to start the first game of his freshman year on attack after Mike MacDonald did last year; prior to MacDonald, the last time a Princeton freshman started Game 1 of his freshman year on attack was 2004, when Peter Trombino did so
• high school All-America from Abington High, outside of Philadelphia, where he had 186 career goals and 210 career assists
• younger brother of former Princeton assistant coach Colin Ambler, who also played for Princeton head coach Chris Bates at Drexel
• father Bob is the all-time leading scorer at Drexel
Luke Armour #16
• missed first nine games due to injury
• started against Rutgers for injured Ryan Ambler and had three goals, tying career high
• had two goals and an assist against Dartmouth
• was slowed by injury for most of 2012
• played in every game, starting seven, in 2011
• was fourth on the team in scoring in 2011
Alex Beatty #36
• team’s No. 1 longstick midfielder
• missed the Dartmouth game due to injury
• second on the team with eight caused turnovers
• had two caused turnovers against Brown
• caused three turnovers against Johns Hopkins
• played in two games last year
Brandon Bonvino #21
• is the No. 1 LSM with Alex Beatty out due to injury
• had caused turnovers against Syracuse, Brown, Penn, North Carolina and Manhattan
• missed the Villanova game due to injury
• played in three games last year
Hunter DeButts #47
• has moved from attack to the offensive midfield to defensive midfield
• had a goal and two assists against Manhattan for his first career three-goal game
• had his first goal of the season in the win over Villanova
• had a caused turnover and ground ball against Rutgers
Nick Fernandez #24
• moved to being a starter on close defense after having been a shortstick defensive midfielder his first two years; Ryan Schoenig (in 2006) did the same for Princeton
• had his first career goal in the game against Syracuse last year
• also had a goal in the next game against Rutgers
• had four ground balls and a caused turnover vs. Manhattan
• missed games with ankle sprain, concussion, broken arm in 2011
Jake Froccaro #9
• starter at midfield
• has 18 goals and seven assists
• had first three goal game of career in win over Brown
• scored goal against Brown on assist from brother Jeff for Jeff’s 100th career point
• also had three goals against Dartmouth, with an assist as well
• had two goals and an assist in the win over Villanova
• had two goals and one assist against Syracuse
• had one goal and two assists against North Carolina
• named Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Week after the Villanova and Carolina games
• had two goals and two assists against Johns Hopkins
• first career assist was to his brother Jeff
• had two goals against Manhattan and Rutgers and one against Yale
• had 65 goals and 20 assists as a high school senior at Port Washington
• younger brother of senior attackman Jeff Froccaro, a first-team All-Ivy League selection last year
Jeff Froccaro #10
• 2013 preseason honorable mention All-America
• 2012 first-team All-Ivy League selection
• second on the team with 26 goals; third on the team with 36 points
• fourth in the league in goals scored per game (2.36) and is seventh in the league in points per game (3.27)
• has won 24 of 40 face-offs (60%)
• two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, most recently after four-goal, one-assist game against Brown
• had four goals against Syracuse for back-to-back four-goal games for first time in career
• second among active players and 23rd all-time at Princeton with 112 career points
• leads active players and is 19th all-time at Princeton with 80 career goals; would move to 16th with four more
• has at least one goal in 22 straight games; streak is the sixth-longest active streak in Division I
• one of two players (Tom Schreiber) with at least one goal in every game this year
• had four goals against North Carolina
• had three goals against Villanova
• won 5 of 7 face-offs in the fourth quarter against Villanova; prior to fourth quarter, Villanova had won 15 of 21 face-offs.
• had three goals and one assist in win over Hopkins to earn Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors
• had two goals and two assists against Hofstra and Rutgers; won 5 of 7 face-offs against RU as well
• had two goals against Manhattan
• had a goal and assist against Yale
• was second on team with 27 goals and 39 points last season
• had career-highs with five goals and seven points while tying career high with two assists against Villanova
Will Himler #18
• had first point of the season with a goal against Manhattan
• had an assist against Yale
• was second on the team with 13 assists a year ago
• slowed by injury in the preseason but returned to play against North Carolina
Brian Kavanagh #44
• has played 14:07 in two games, with a .500 save percentage and 8.50 goals-against
Bobby Lucas #17
• moved to second midfield unit after playing defensive midfield and facing off his entire career and then moved back to defensive midfield against Rutgers due to injuries to Jack Strabo and Chris White
• had first career point with an assist against Manhattan
• also had an assist against Brown
• won 6 of 8 face-offs against Hofstra, all in the second half
• was 4 for 4 in the fourth quarter
• twice won face-offs after Hofstra goals that led to Princeton goals on that possession
• won 91 of 152 face-offs (55.6%) a year ago
• won 46.2% of face-offs in 2011 and 52.1% as a freshman
• also plays shortstick defensive midfield
Mike McDonald #8
• tied for team lead for goals (26) and is second in points (37)
• tied with Jeff Froccaro for second in the Ivy League in goals per game (2.6) and is fifth in points per game (3.7)
• has 48 career goals
• with two more goals would be first Princeton sophomore to 50 goals since Jack McBride
• has 49 goals in 27 career games; with one more goal against Harvard would become seventh Princeton sophomore to reach 50 for his career
• third on the team in caused turnovers (6)
• has at least one point in every game
• had career highs with five goals and seven points at North Carolina
• had four goals and two assists against Penn
• had three goals against Syracuse
• had three goals and an assist against Yale
• had two goals and an assist against Brown
• had two goals and two assists against Villanova and Rutgers
• had three goals on five shots against Hofstra
• had two goals against Johns Hopkins
• has started every game of his career
• ranked fifth all-time among Princeton freshman with 22 goals
• had 22 goals on 39 shots (56.4%) in 2012
• had the highest shooting percentage (56.4%) of any Princeton player ever with at least 20 goals in a season
• shot 12 for 16 in six Ivy games
• had four goals in the Ivy tournament (two in each game)
• two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week
Justin Murphy #32
• has won 89 of 167 face-offs (.533)
• won 13 of 20 against Dartmouth
• won 13 of 22 face-offs against Yale
• won 15 of 22 face-offs against Penn, with four ground balls
• won 12 of 16 face-offs and had seven ground balls against Manhattan
• won 3 of 6 face-offs against North Carolina
• won 15 of 30 face-offs as a freshman
• missed the first nine games freshman year after breaking his leg in the fall
Matt O’Connor #11
• freshman from Lawrenceville Prep has started every game
• became the third Princeton goalie in the last 25 years to start Game 1 of his freshman year (Scott Bacigalupo in 1991, Tyler Fiorito in 2009)
• made 12 saves while allowing eight goals against Rutgers
• made 12 saves while allowing 11 goals in win over Villanova
• made 11 saves against Brown
• made five saves while allowing eight goals in the first half against Villanova; made seven saves while allowing three goals in the second half
• made 12 saves against North Carolina and Penn
• made 10 saves while allowing seven goals in win over Johns Hopkins
• allowed one goal while making eight saves against Manhattan
• made six saves and allowed seven goals against Hofstra
Kip Orban #13
• starter at midfield
• has 17 goals and four assists in 11 games this year after having eight goals and three assists a year ago
• has at least one point in every game this year
• had three goals against Manhattan
• had two goals against Yale and Brown
• had two goals and one assist against Villanova
• had a goal and assist against North Carolina
• had two goals against Hofstra
• had a goal against Syracuse and Dartmouth
• had an assist against Hopkins
Derick Raabe #5
• starter on close defense
• leads team with 53 ground balls and nine caused turnovers
• averaged 3.0 ground balls per game for the first five games and has averaged 6.3 in the last six games
• has at least five ground balls in six straight games
• had a caused turnover and six ground balls against Dartmouth and Rutgers
• had three caused turnovers and five ground balls against Syracuse
• was the only current Princeton player who had ever started a game on defense (vs. Penn and Harvard in 2011) prior to this season
• had first career goal in the game against Harvard last year
• has played mostly longstick midfield in his career
Will Rotatori #27
• playing in the second midfield and a little on attack
• had first career goal in win over Manhattan
• had first career point with an assist against Villanova
• had an assist against North Carolina and Brown
Eric Sanschagrin #31
• made two saves and did not allow a goal against Manhattan
• made 11 saves while allowing five goals in first collegiate start, against Manhattan, a year ago
• has a career .619 save percentage
Tom Schreiber #22
• 2013 preseason first-team All-America
• 2012 first-team All-America
• led team in goals and assists as a freshman and sophomore; is the only Princeton player ever to do so
• 2012 unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection
• 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year
• 2011 first-team All-Ivy League selection
• ranks 18th all-time at Princeton with 134 career points; next up would be Taylor Simmers with 137, Rob Palumbo with 139 and Josh Sims with 141
• leads team in points with 45 and assists (22) and is third in goals (23)
• has 23 goals and 22 assists, giving him two straight years of at least 20 goals and 20 assists, for the 33rd and 34th such years in program history
• has at least one goal in every game this year
• has at least three points in every game this year and in 12 straight dating to last year
• has at least three points in 33 of 40 career games
• has at least one point in 28 straight games, the ninth longest current streak in Division I and the longest current streak by any Division I midfielder
• had two goals and three assists against Brown
• had a goal and three assists against Syracuse
• had three goals and an assist against Rutgers
• had three goals and two assists against Penn
• had a goal and three assists against Yale
• had two goals and two assists against Dartmouth
• had four goals and two assists against North Carolina, including goals that tied the score and put Princeton up 15-14 late in the fourth
• had three goals against Johns Hopkins
• had two goals and an assist against Hofstra
• had a goal and two assists against Villanova
• had a goal and three assists against Manhattan
• had 32 goals and 28 assists last year, falling two assists short of having the second 30/30 season in school history (Dave Tickner 1977)
• became the fourth player in school history with at least 30 goals and 25 assists in the same season and first since Jon Hess in 1996 (Tickner did it twice and Wick Sollers)
• became the first Princeton player since Ryan Boyle in 2004 to reach 60 points in a season
• was tied for ninth in points in a single season at Princeton
• team co-captain
• father Doug, who played at Maryland and won an NCAA title there in 1973 and then the 1974 World Championship with the U.S., is a member of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame
Jack Strabo #35
• first-line shortstick defensive middie
• missed Rutgers and Dartmouth games due to injury
• had two caused turnovers and two ground balls against Hofstra
• had four goals, one assist, 19 ground balls and five caused turnovers a year ago
• younger brother Mark starts on defense as a freshman
Mark Strabo #3
• freshman starting on defense
• had two caused turnovers against Yale, including one on Conrad Oberbeck, Yale’s leading scorer, on Yale’s final possession of one-goal win
• has five caused turnovers and 18 ground balls
• played at Landon
• younger brother of junior SSDM Jack Strabo
Chris White #29
• team co-captain along with Tom Schreiber
• missed the games against Rutgers and Dartmouth with an injury
• moved from defensive middie back to offensive middie
• had a goal against Syracuse
• had a goal and assist agains Brown
• had a goal against Johns Hopkins
• had two ground balls and a caused turnover against Hofstra
• moved from offense to defensive middie as a sophomore