Back in the 1996 NCAA semifinals, Princeton defeated Syracuse 11-9 as Ben Strutt and Chris Massey scored fourth quarter goals to break a 9-9 tie. Princeton fans will remember that game as the one where Bill Tierney famously put in backup goalie Pancho Gutstein in the fourth quarter, and Gutstein responded with four saves and no goals allowed. Perhaps Princeton fans have forgotten that the Tigers led the game 7-1 at one point before the Orange rallied to tie it at 8-8 and 9-9.
Why bring that game up now?
Well,in many rivalries, that game would have been the highwater mark. When it comes to Princeton-Syracuse, it’s not even in the top five of the last 21 years.
Consider these five, chronologically:
1992 - Princeton defeats Syracuse 10-9 when Andy Moe scores off Greg Waller’s face-off win to start the second OT, giving Princeton its first NCAA championship
1998 - Princeton trailed Syracuse 8-4 in the third quarter of the NCAA semifinal before rallying to win as Seamus Grooms scored twice in the fourth quarter and Josh Sims snaped a 10-10 with the game-winner with five minutes left. Syracuse had the final chance to tie but couldn’t in what would be Casey Powell’s final game with the Orange. Two days later Princeton would win its fifth NCAA title and third straight
1999 - Josh Sims scored in the fourth overtime to give Princeton a wild 15-14 win at the Carrier Dome. The game had been tied at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, 11-11, 12-12, 13-13 and 14-14 before the Tigers won
2001 - Princeton 10, Syracuse 9, in the NCAA championship game. Mikey Powell tied it with 16 seconds left in regulation but B.J. Prager won it with 41 seconds left in OT, on a feed from Ryan Boyle.
2002 - Syracuse 13, Princeton 12. The teams met on Memorial Day for the third straight year, and the Orange held off Princeton as Mikey Powell had four goals and three assists.
There were others, too. Princeton beat Syracuse at Giants Stadium in 2009 to take over the No. 1 ranking in the country. Syracuse thumped Princeton in the 2003 quarterfinals after Princeton had beaten the Orange during the regular season while shutting Powell out. Ryan Powell and Liam Banks had huge days in the 2000 NCAA final win for the Orange.
The teams meet for the 29th time as Syracuse comes to Powers Field at Princeton Stadium.
Syracuse leads the all-time series by a 19-9 count.
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Princeton and Syracuse have both played eight games and are both 6-2 overall, 2-1 in their league. Princeton and Syracuse have lost four games between them, and all four have been one-goal losses.
Beyond that each team has a 16-15 and 11-10 loss.
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In eight games, Syracuse has scored 101 goals, while Princeton has scored 100. Syracuse has allowed 70 goals; Princeton has allowed 72.
There have been an average of 79.0 shots per game in Princeton’s games and 70.5 in Syracuse’s games.
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In the 12 years between 1992 and 2003, every single Princeton men’s lacrosse season ended with either an NCAA championship or an NCAA tournament loss to Syracuse. There was no other outcome to a season.
During those 12 years, Princeton went 4-6 against Syracuse and 21-0 against all other opponents in NCAA tournament games.
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Princeton and Syracuse met twice in the 1920s, once shortly before World War II and then one more time in the 1970s. The 1992 NCAA final was the fifth meeting in the series.
Syracuse won three of those first four meetings.
The teams have played in the regular season every year since 1999.
Syracuse has won the three meetings between the teams, including a 10-9 victory in the Carrier Dome last April. Princeton led 7-5 in the third before SU scored four goals in a 1:45 span late in the third quarter and then got the game-winner from Tommy Palasek with 4:11 to go after Princeton had tied it at 9-9.
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Tom Schreiber has at least three points in every game this year and in his last nine games dating back to last year. He has at least three points in 30 of 37 career games.
His current streak of at least one point in 25 straight games is the longest active streak by a Division I midfiedler and the ninth-longest overall in Division I.
Schreiber is also the only midfielder in the top 10 in the Ivy League in goals and points.
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Princeton has no players with between two and 10 goals; Syracuse has seven players with more than two but fewer than 10 goals.
There are seven players in this game who have scored 11 or more goals for the year, and five of them play for Princeton.
Of the next 12 highest goal scorers, 10 of them play for Syracuse.
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Princeton has won 50.8% of its face-offs for the season. Syracuse has won 41.5%.
Chris Daddio has won 49.2% of his face-offs for the Orange, but he won seven of 11 against Princeton last year in the win in the Carrier Dome.
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Princeton has been in double figures in every game this year. It is the second-longest such streak to start a year in program history.
The only other time Princeton started a season with more consecutive games scoring in double figures was in 1951, when Princeton did so in all 10 games.
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Jeff Froccaro had four goals and an assist last week against Brown to earn Ivy League Player of the Week honors for the second time this year.
Froccaro also went over the 100-point mark for his career, becoming the 27th player in program history to do so.
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Ryan Ambler had a goal and four assists last week against Brown to earn Ivy Rookie of the Week and Cascade/Inside Lacrosse Rookie of the Week honors.
Ambler has 10 goals and 12 assists, all in Princeton’s six wins. He has no goals and no assists in the two losses.
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Mike MacDonald scored 22 goals last year in 16 games. He has 21 in eight games this year. MacDonald, a sophomore, has equalled his freshman year point total of 30. Last year, MacDonald had 22 goals, eight assists, for 30 points. This year has has 21 goals and nine assists
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At one point this season, Princeton scored on seven straight extra-man opportunities. Take away those seven (against Manhattan and North Carolina), and Princeton is 5 for 24 the rest of the year.
Syracuse has allowed teams to score on nearly more than 45% of their EMOs (15 for 43).
Syracuse is 9 for 25 on EMOs. Princeton’s opponents are 10 for 26.
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Syracuse and Princeton have one common opponent. Both teams have beaten Johns Hopkins, Princeton by a score of 11-8 and Syracuse by a score of 13-8.
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Syracuse has outscored its opponents 28-14 in the first quarter. Princeton has been outscored 23-18 in the first quarter by its opponents.
On the other hand, Princeton jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead against SU last year and lost 10-9.
Princeton has outscored its opponents 29-13 in the second quarter and 29-23 in the fourth quarters.
Syracuse has outscored its opponents 29-19 in the second.
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Princeton is ranked seventh by the media and eighth by the coaches. Princeton and Syracuse are actually tied for eighth in the coaches’ poll. SU is also eighth in the media poll.
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Both teams have quick turnarounds. Princeton is at Rutgers Tuesday; Syracuse is home with Cornell Wednesday, in another ESPNU game.
What Can You Say About ...
Ryan Ambler #14
• has 10 goals and 12 assists in Princeton’s six wins and no goals and no assists in Princeton’s two losses
• has taken 28 shots, 25 in the six wins and three in the two losses
• has had three five-point games (Villanova, Manhattan, Brown)
• two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, including the current, 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
• 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
• has missed entire season due to injury
• was slowed by injury for most of 2012
• had three goals and an assist against Dartmouth
• three goals and four points were career highs
• had two assists against Manhattan
• played in every game, starting seven, in 2011
• was fourth on the team with 14 points (9G, 5A) in 2011
Alex Beatty #36
• team’s No. 1 longstick midfielder
• leads team with seven caused turnovers
• had two caused turnovers against Brown
• caused three turnovers against Johns Hopkins
• played in two games last year, when he was slowed by injuries
Brandon Bonvino #21
• is the No. 2 longstick midfielder
• had caused turnovers against 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 assits against Manhattan for his first career three-goal game
• had his first goal of the season in the win over Villanova
• had two goals on two shots (including the first goal of the game) against Brown after missing the first seven games due to injury a year ago
• had an assist against Cornell, Rutgers, Dartmouth and Yale in the Ivy final
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
• 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
• had two goals and an assist in the win over Villanova
• 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 one against Yale
• won 1 of 2 face-offs against Hofstra
• 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
• two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, including most recent, after four goal, one assist game against Brown
• second among active players with 102 career points; became 27th player in school history to reach 100 in win against Brown
• leads active players with 74 career goals
• has at least one goal in 20 straight games; streak is the sixth-longest active streak in Division I
• second on the team this season with 20 goals; third on the team with 26 points
• 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
• 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
• No. 2 goalie
• has played 14:07 in two games, with a .500 save percentage and 8.50 goals-against
Bobby Lucas #17
• has moved to second midfield unit after playing defensive midfield and facing off his entire career
• 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
• leads team in goals (21) and is second in points (30)
• second on the team in caused turnovers (5)
• has 21 goals in eight games this year; had 22 goals in 16 games last year
• 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 and an assist against Yale
• had two goals and an assist against Brown
• had two goals and two assists against Villanova
• 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 51 of 81 face-offs (63%) the last two games after winning 8 of his first 23 (34.8%)
• has moved from below 40% winning percentage to 15th in Division I at 57.1%
• 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 goalie from Lawrenceville Prep
• 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 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 14 goals and four assists in eight 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 an assist against Hopkins
Derick Raabe #5
• starter on close defense
• leads team with 36 ground balls
• had 15 ground balls in the first five game and now has 21 in the last three
• had seven ground balls against Penn, eight against Yale and six against Brown
• has 12 ground balls on face-off wins in the last three games (four vs. Penn, five vs. Yale, three vs. Brown)
• 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
• 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
• played final 5:05 against Brown in regular season without allowing goal
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 21st all-time at Princeton with 122 career points; next up would are Charles Stillwell and Bill Chaires with 127 and Tommy Davis with 128
• leads team in points with 33 and assists (16) and is third in goals (17)
• has at least one goal in every game this year; has at least three points in every game this year
• has at least three points in 30 of 37 career games
• has at least one point in 25 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 three goals and two assists against Penn
• had a goal and three assists against Yale
• 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
• had two caused turnovers and two ground balls against Hofstra
• has 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 four caused turnovers and 16 ground balls
• played at Landon
• younger brother of junior SSDM Jack Strabo
Chris White #29
• team co-captain along with Tom Schreiber
• moved from defensive middie back to offensive middie
• 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