March 6, 2019

Faltering Down the Stretch in Loss to Hopkins, PU Men’s Lax Aims to Regain Winning Ways

FEELING BLUE: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Connor McCarthy prepares to unload the ball in recent action. Last Saturday against visiting Johns Hopkins, junior midfielder McCarthy scored a goal, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 14-12. The Tigers led 9-7 late in the third quarter before the 18th-ranked Blue Jay reeled off five unanswered goals to take control of the contest. Princeton, which dropped to 1-2 with the loss, was slated to play at Navy on March 5 and at Rutgers on March 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In its final game of February, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team took 9-7 lead over Virginia midway through the third quarter.

Unable to hold off high-powered Virginia, Princeton fell 12-11 to the Cavaliers in overtime in the February 23 contest.

Last Saturday in their first outing of March as they hosted another perennial power, Johns Hopkins, the Tigers experienced an unfortunate case of deja vu.

Princeton built a 9-7 lead over the Blue Jays late in the third period but surrendered five unanswered goals on the way to a 14-12 defeat.

A glum Princeton head coach Matt Madalon acknowledged that his squad sputtered in crunch time.

“They had some good shots and we had a couple of letdowns,” lamented Madalon, whose team dropped to 1-2 with the setback. “We just have to play better defensively down the stretch.”

The Tigers kept scrapping to the final horn as Beau Pederson and Alexander Vardaro scored in the final 1:15 of the contest.

“My teams will always fight for 60 minutes so we have just got to get better at executing,” said Madalon.

Madalon saw good execution at the offensive end from senior midfielder Charlie Durbin, who had three goals, with sophomore attackman Chris Brown chipping in two goals and an assist.

“Those guys did a very nice job,” said Madalon, who also got two goals and three assists from junior standout Michael Sowers.

“Durbin keeps getting better; Brownie keeps getting better. Hopefully there are bigger and better things on the horizon.”

While the defeat to the Blue Jays stung, Madalon sees big things ahead for his squad.

“We have got to keep working, we have got to keep getting better everyday,” said Madalon. “We are going to be excited to go back to practice with this group.”

With Princeton slated to play at No. 19 Navy (3-1) on March 5 and at No. 20 Rutgers (3-2) on March 9, the Tigers will be facing some exciting challenges this week.

“We have a quick turnaround so we have to learn a lot and be able to shore up some of our systems to keep moving forward,” said Madalon.

“We want to play as many games as possible, hopefully the schedule works out for us.”