Vol. LXII, No. 14
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
DRUMM BEAT: Princeton University womens lacrosse freshman Lizzy Drumm heads up the field in recent action. Last Saturday, Drumm scored a career-high five goals to help Princeton beat Cornell 19-10 in its Ivy League opener. The second-ranked Tigers, now 7-0, host No. 13 Yale on April 5.
Lizzy Drumm reached a comfort level with her teammates on the Princeton University womens lacrosse team long before she made her debut on the field this spring.
The gifted freshman attacker was impressed by the way the Princeton veterans rolled out the welcome mat for her last fall.
At the beginning of the year in September at captains practice and then coming out and playing pickup, they definitely helped me become part of the team and learn the offense, said Drumm.
Amo [senior attacker Ashley Amo and Cas [junior attacker Christine Casaceli] and me all work really well together. We just look for each other, there is that connection on the field.
Last Saturday, Drumm was at the receiving end of some key connections as she scored a career-high five goals to help second-ranked Princeton rout Cornell 19-10 in its Ivy League opener and improve to 7-0 on the season.
While the final score was lopsided, it took Princeton a while to get going as Cornell held a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the first half. Drumm, however, broke the Princeton drought scoring two goals in a 30-second stretch as the Tigers took the lead and proceeded to build a 10-3 halftime lead.
In Drumms view, Princeton took things to a higher level in its 10-2 outburst over the last part of the first half.
I think the last 18 minutes of the first half were some of the best minutes we have played so far this season, said Drumm, who also got an assist on the day and now has 16 points on the season with 12 goals and four assists.
I think we were put in our place a little bit after that 1st goal. We definitely knew that we had to step it up and come back with a bunch of goals. We went on a run.
Drumms run against Cornell was helped by the confidence she gained a week earlier from scoring two goals and getting the assist on the game-winning score in Princetons 8-7 win over then-second-ranked Virginia.
Playing such a big team as UVa and being a freshman, it was nice to have a good game, said Drumm. It gave me confidence, I think it helped me with this game.
The game against Cornell was key as Princeton wanted to make a statement in its league opener. No matter what the other teams are ranked, there are still gunning for you just because we are Princeton and we have a tradition of being the Ivy League champions, said Drumm.
I think it is important, especially this year since we didnt win last year. To regain that title, thats definitely the main focus right now of our team.
Princeton head coach Chris Sailer liked the focus her veteran performers are showing on offense.
A lot of the people in that 7-man offensive group are juniors and seniors now, said Sailer, who got four goals from senior star Katie Lewis-Lamonica with juniors Holly McGarvie and Kristin Schwab adding three apiece and Casaceli chipping in two.
They have been with each other, they know each other, they look for each other. They are really an unselfish team. They get excited to set each other up and see each other make great plays.
The Tiger veterans were excited to welcome Drumm into the fold. They have taken her under their wing since she got here, said Sailer.
I think Amo and Lizzy have a really special relationship, they both play around the crease a lot and they look for each other. From day one, they have been working with her outside practice, getting her involved and boosting up her confidence. They are thankful for the kind of player she is and that she is here. It was open arms, come with us, play with us.
With Princeton up to No. 2 in the national rankings, Sailer has the feeling that her team can play with anybody.
We talked about what that means and what it doesnt mean, said Sailer, who has guided Princeton to three national crowns in her 22-season tenure at Princeton.
The ranking that matters is the one at the end of the season. Right now it has given a lot of our competition an extra incentive to try and knock us down but we believe that we have earned it. Weve played well and were going to try to use it to our advantage. We have worked real hard to get here and we are not going to give it up easily.
Sailer knows that it is not going to be easy to regain the Ivy crown that it lost to Penn last spring.
The Ivy League is very, very competitive, you cant take anybody for granted, said Sailer, whose team hosts No. 13 Yale (7-3 overall, 2-1 Ivy) on April 5 in a crucial league contest.
I told the kids they dont care what your record is or what your ranking is, they just want to come in and beat Princeton. I think you could see that at the beginning of the game — the energy that Cornell started off with. I think it was really good for us to experience that and know that what Im telling them is really true.
Drumm, for her part, thinks that Princetons balance will make it hard for those Ivy foes to knock off the Tigers.
I think its better to play on that kind of team instead of one with just one or two superstars because you are getting involved, said Drumm.
Its fun to be out there, setting up your teammates, fun to watch them score those big goals. I think it makes it a lot harder for our opponents to guard our attack because they are not necessarily focusing on one player. Its definitely a positive for us, having so many people being able to score.
And its definitely a huge positive for Princeton to have a freshman star like Drumm contributing to that attack.
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