Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 16
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
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CHARLOTTE’S WEB: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Charlotte Davis heads upfield in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, sophomore midfielder Davis scored two goals but it wasn’t enough as a late Princeton rally fell short in a 9-8 loss to visiting Harvard. The 19th-ranked Tigers, now 6-5 overall and 3-1 in Ivy League action, play at No. 9 Penn (9-3 overall, 5-0 Ivy) on April 20 and at No. 14 Dartmouth (8-3 overall, 4-1 Ivy) on April 23.

PU Women’s Lacrosse Runs Out of Time; Late Rally Falls Short in Loss to Harvard

Ed Benkin

A year ago, the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team fell behind 5-2 against Harvard and ran out of time for a comeback in an 11-9 loss.

Last Saturday, the Tigers experienced an uneasy feeling of déjà vu as they found themselves trailing Harvard 5-0 midway through the first half on a rainy and windy afternoon at Princeton Stadium.

With the memory of last year’s foiled comeback in their minds, the Princeton players certainly didn’t want to dig an early hole.

“We knew going into the game it was going to be a tough one,” said Princeton sophomore midfielder Charlotte Davis.

“We knew how good a team Harvard was this year and we knew we had to play our game right from the start. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that.”

The Tigers did start playing their game, narrowing the gap to 6-3 at halftime with Davis tallying one goal and Jaci Gassaway finding the back of the net twice.

In the early stages of the second half, Harvard outscored the Tigers 3-2 to build a 9-5 cushion. Once again, Princeton stormed back, reeling off three straight goals to narrow the gap to 9-8 with 3:26 remaining. The Tigers would get no closer as the Crimson ran out the clock and held on for the 9-8 win.

“We knew it was possible to come back,” said Davis, who notched the final Tiger tally as she ended up with two goals in the contest.

“We scored those first three goals in a matter of minutes. We knew we could come back from being down, 5-0, but we ran out of time.”

The loss left Princeton at 6-5 overall and 3-1 in Ivy League play with Harvard improving to 7-4 overall and 4-1 in Ivy play.

The Crimson clinched a berth in the upcoming Ivy League tournament which will include the top four finishers in the regular season standings. Princeton is currently on the outside looking in, needing one more league win to join the party.

In earning its spot in the tourney, Harvard outshot Princeton 28-12 and had a 14-5 edge in draw controls. That dominance in the draw controls allowed Harvard to spend a majority of the game in the Princeton end and gave the Tigers fewer chances to score. Princeton also hurt itself by committing 20 turnovers with senior goalie Erin Tochihara doing her part to keep the Tigers in the game as she came up with 13 saves.

Davis and her teammates are confident they can keep in the hunt for the title.

“We’re in a good spot right now,” said Davis. “Chris [Princeton head coach Chris Sailer] told us we have plenty of season left. We’re definitely not out of it yet.”

The Ivy League seems to be holding its unofficial pre-tournament this week. While the Tigers were losing to Harvard on Saturday, Penn edged Dartmouth 10-9 to move into sole possession of first place. Both the Quakers and Big Green have earned spots in the league tournament.

Princeton will travel to Penn on Wednesday and will also be on the road at Dartmouth on Saturday. The Tigers wrap up Ivy League play by hosting Columbia on April 27.

In Davis’ view, the short turnaround to prepare for Penn may be a blessing in disguise after losing to Harvard.

“It’s good for us to be playing again on Wednesday,” said Davis, a native of Alexandria, Va. who now has 12 goals and five assists on the season.

“Beating Harvard would have definitely been a good thing, but it puts us in an underdog spot. We have a great team this year and we still have great potential.”

While the defeat to Harvard was a difficult to take, Davis believes the Tigers have the potential to bounce back despite two tough tests on the horizon.

“There was definitely a lot of stress going into this game,” said Davis. “We knew this was going to be a big week with Harvard, Penn and Dartmouth. Every Ivy League game is a big game. This is our season right here.”

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