Showing His Diverse Skill Set, Competitiveness Currier Helps PU Men’s Lax Rout Brown 21-11
ZACH OF ALL TRADES: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Zach Currier races upfield in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Currier contributed one goal, five assists, and scooped up 11 ground balls as Princeton defeated Brown 21-11. Currier passed the 100-point mark in his Tiger career in the process. No. 15 Princeton, now 6-3 overall and 2-1 Ivy League, plays at Stony Brook on April 8 and at Lehigh on April 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Over his career, Zach Currier has prided himself on doing whatever Princeton University men’s lacrosse team has needed him to do in order to have the best chance of winning.
“I would say my role is to play where I have to,” said senior star midfielder Currier, a 6’0, 180-pound native of Peterborough, Ontario.
“Some years that has been me talking all of the face-offs and not playing any offense or any defense and some years it has been me playing the offense.”
In his final college campaign, Currier is playing all over the field for the Tigers.
“This year, it is a little bit of everything,” said Currier. “It also goes with the amount of conditioning and preparation that we have done as a team this year. The effort that we put in at practice allows me to stay ready to go and not be tired.”
Last Saturday in a 21-11 win over visiting Brown, Currier displayed that versatility, producing a stat line that included one goal, five assists, and scooping up 11 ground balls. Along the way, Currier tallied the 100th point of his career on his fourth assist of the game.
“I am pretty excited about it; it is just a number but to have that under my belt and be one of 33 Princeton players to do it is great,” said Currier, who now has 45 goals and 56 assists on his career.
“There have been a lot of amazing players out here; I am very honored to be a part of it.”
The 15th-ranked Tigers produced some amazing play on the defensive end Saturday as they contained a high-powered Brown attack that came into the day averaging 15.4 goals a contest.
“We knew this one was going to be a battle, they have some pretty strong offensive players like Dylan Molloy,” said Currier.
“The defense really executed. Bear Goldstein was sliding to them and they stayed on the double teams.”
Princeton executed with precision offensively, scoring seven goals in the the second quarter to take control of the contest in improving to 6-3 overall and 2-1 Ivy League.
“On the offensive end, it is nice to have Michael Sowers and Gavin McBride up there,” said Currier, who has benefitted from that partnership as he has 35 points this season on 14 goals and 21 assists.
“We have had really good dodgers in my time here but we have never had as pure a dodger as Sowers. He and Gavin work together in practice all the time so they have an unparalleled chemistry.”
Currier is determined to make the most of his remaining time with the Tigers.
“It just gives us more motivation to give it everything we got every day and fight,” said Currier.
“Whether it is seeing a ground ball, or dodging and trying to beat my guy. It just gives me the extra motivation to get the ball where it needs to go and get our team a win.”
Princeton head coach Matt Madalon credits Currier with having done whatever it takes to help Princeton succeed.
“If Zach just played offense for us, he would have gotten to a hundred points two years ago,” said Madalon.
“The fact that he is at 100 points means that he gets to be in the right honor of the Princeton lacrosse program. He is going to try to get 100 more. His grit and his energy is outstanding, that is why he is an impressive kid. You look at his legs and shins all beat up. He does an outstanding job setting the tone, energy and effort-wise.”
The Tiger defense set the tone early as a slide by senior star and co-captain Goldstein stymied Brown star Molloy, causing a turnover and putting the Bears on their heels.
“Containing Molloy is a rare thing; he is so dangerous so there is just a sense of awareness there,” said Madalon, reflecting on a day which saw Molloy held to a goal and two assists.
“We did a good job all week training; our scout guys did an awesome job. There were a couple of really timely plays that really set the tone like that first slide by Bear. Danny Winschuh did a good job. We had a kid, Matt Brophy, prepare him all week. That is what a full team is; we are thrilled.”
At the offensive end, Princeton focused on putting Brown freshman goalie Phil Goss under fire.
“I think 38 shots on cage, any time you are going to make a young goalie defend 38 shots on cage, that was a goal coming in. We knew they could be a little up and down. We did a good job.”
A lot of those Princeton shots found the back of the net as freshman phenom Michael Sowers tallied five goals and four assists with senior star and co-captain Gavin McBride chipping in five goals, sophomore Charlie Durban adding three goals, and junior Riley Thompson chipping in two goals and three assists.
“I think it was just a matter of continuing to execute and staying the course,” said Madalon.
“We talked all week about staying the course for 60 minutes and let the systems take of themselves. The guys did a heck of a job.”
Currier, for his part, likes the way the Tigers are staying in the present, game to game.
“The biggest thing for us is the ability to say last week was last week, this week is this week, it doesn’t matter if we won by 20 or lost by 20,” said Currier.
“We are going to come out and play the way we need to play. We do have three losses in there; I would like to have all three of those back but there is nothing we can do about it now. All we can do is focus on the next game.”