February 28, 2018

Doomed by Sloppy Play at Both Ends, PU Women’s Lax Falls 14-10 to Virginia

CAVALIER APPROACH: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kathryn Hallett, right, gets stymied by two University of Virginia players last Saturday. Junior midfielder Hallett scored three goals in the contest but it wasn’t enough as Virginia prevailed 14-10. The Tigers, who moved to 1-1 with the setback to the Cavaliers, were slated to play at Lehigh on February 27 and then open their Ivy League campaign with a game at Brown on March 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team committed 12 turnovers in the first half against visiting Virginia last Saturday, the contest was a nail-biter heading into intermission.

Sparked by three goals from junior midfielder Kathryn Hallett with sophomore star Tess D’Orsi chipping in a goal and assist, the Tigers trailed only 7-6 despite their sloppy play.

Princeton head coach Chris Sailer realized that her squad was lucky to be that close.

“That is one thing I said to them at halftime — to play the way that we did and only be down by one goal, we would take that,” said Sailer.

Unfortunately, 12th-ranked Princeton kept playing that way as the 16th-ranked Cavaliers started the second half with a 5-2 run and never looked back on the way to a 14-10 triumph.

“We didn’t make the changes that we needed to make in the second half,” lamented Sailer, whose team fell to 1-1 with the setback.

“Our decision-making was not good today, our ball handling was not particularly good, our shooting wasn’t particularly good, and we made a lot of mistakes on the defensive end.”

Sailer acknowledged that the Tigers never got into a rhythm on attack.

“Offensively we just played individually and not as a team,” said Sailer, whose team was outshot 36-26 and committed 22 turnovers. “It is not typical of how we play. We just kept trying to do things ourselves; we were getting in each other’s way a lot.”

At the defensive end, Princeton was also out of sync. “We just have to get better executing the fundamental angles defensively,” said Sailer.

“The young kids did a lot of good things, especially Marge Donovan coming in. She was awesome with nine draw controls. That was just a huge positive for us in the game. She played really well defensively.”

In addition, the Tigers ran into a Virginia team that was playing very well.

“Virginia is a great team; they are tough, they are tall and strong,” said Sailer. “They really go hard to the cage; that proved to be a little more than we could handle today.”

Sailer is hoping that hard lessons learned on Saturday will help the Tigers handle things better in the future.

“Hopefully this really gets everybody’s attention in the locker room and we keep working hard and getting better,” said Sailer, whose team was slated to play at Lehigh on February 27 and then open their Ivy League campaign with a game at Brown on March 3. “I think it is cleaning up things, playing a team game, working on communication and our execution.”