Just when it looked like Mike MacDonald was relishing his new role as a feeder, he went back to what has worked so well for him in two-plus seasons at Princeton. Finishing.
MacDonald scored four times in the first half as Princeton blew the game open in the second quarter to run away from Villanova 14-6 in front of 607 at Villanova Stadium. Jake Froccaro had a three-goal, three-assist night, and Tom Schreiber - wearing an unfamiliar number - had three goals and two assists.
Princeton won its second straight and improved to 4-2 heading into its game at Yale Saturday. Villanova, who fell 12-10 to No. 1 Maryland last Friday, is now 1-5.
The Wildcats had played three one-goal games and two two-goal games in its first five. This time, it would not be nearly as close.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME - Villanova played a very tight defensive first quarter and trailed 2-1, and even though Princeton had an 11-4 edge in shots after 15 minutes, most of them were coming from outside. It all changed in the second quarter, when Princeton took 12 more shots but this time turned them into seven goals. By halftime the score was 9-2 Princeton, and shots were 23-5 in favor of the Tigers. Princeton would have two 10-goal leads in the second half.
PLAYER OF THE GAME - Princeton had a lot of candidates. Mike MacDonald had his four-goal first half, Jake Froccaro had six points and Schreiber had a typical night for him. Matt O'Connor made 10 saves while allowing five goals for his best game of the season, and Justin Murphy won 10 of 17 face-offs. Princeton also played its best defensive game to date, and its shortstick D middies helped force 18 Villanova turnovers and five failed Villanova clears. Hunter deButts gets the nod after having two caused turnovers and a goal in transition to start the second quarter goal onslaught, though Nick Fernandez and Jack Strabo were tremendous as well.
STAT OF THE GAME - Jake Froccaro had three goals and three assists for six points on the night after having seven points in the first five games combined.
JERSEY OF THE GAME - Tom Schreiber left his usual No. 22 jersey in Princeton, and so he wore No. 26 in this game. Owen Knights, the usual No. 26, wore No 46. Schreiber's other numbers were consistent with how he usually plays. The senior All-America had three goals and two assists, giving him at least three points in 22 straight games. He now has 93 career goals and 85 career assists, and he is the only midfielder in Ivy League history with at least 90 career goals and 85 career assists. His 175 career points are now seventh best all-time at Princeton, as he moved past Wick Sollers (174). Next up would be Dave Huebeck, with 182. Schreiber has at least one point in every game of his career except the one against Villanova his freshman year, but he came back with nine goals and four assists in his final three games against the Wildcats.
GOAL SCORER - Mike MacDonald scored four goals and moved from 24th place to 21st place all-time at Princeton, all in the first half. MacDonald now has 78 career goals and 37 career assists, though he had two goals and nine assists in his last two games.
STREAKS - Kip Orban extended his streak of at least one goal to 19 straight games, the longest current streak by a Division I midfielder. He also has at least one point in 21 straight games, as does MacDonald, whose own goal-scoring streak is at 16 games.
UP NEXT - Princeton is at Yale Saturday. For the last two seasons, Princeton has defeated Yale in the regular season and then lost to Yale in the Ivy tournament final.