March 29, 2017

Senior Star McBride Hits 100 Points in Career But Frustrated as PU Men’s Lax Falls to Yale

CENTURY CLUB: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Gavin McBride celebrates a goal last Friday as Princeton hosted Yale. Senior star and co-captain McBride tallied five goals and two assists in the contest as he passed the 100-point mark in his career but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 16-13 to the Bulldogs. Princeton, now 5-3 overall and 1-1 Ivy League, hosts Brown (4-3 overall, 1-0 Ivy) on April 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Gavin McBride had 99 points in his career for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team as the Tigers hit the field to host Yale last Friday afternoon. 

It didn’t take long for senior attacker McBride to hit the century mark as he assisted on a Zach Currier goal 25 seconds into the contest to put the Tigers up 1-0.

Unfortunately for McBride and his teammates, that was the only time they led the Bulldogs all day long as Yale answered with three straight goals to go ahead 3-1. The Tigers did knot the contest at 8-8 early in the third quarter but yielded another three-goal run by Yale and the Bulldogs held on for a 16-13 triumph.

While McBride, who didn’t score any points as a freshman, was proud to hit the 100-point mark, hitting the milestone was bittersweet coming in a tough loss.

“It is nice; it is more of a testament to the guys I have played more than anything else,” said McBride, who ended up with a career high seven points on five goals and two assists.

“They have put me in a good spot. I would have liked three more today.”

McBride acknowledged that Princeton wasn’t in a good spot as it dug the early hole, trailing 8-4 late in the first half.

“It’s always tough when you go down early in the first quarter and first half,” said McBride.

“It always tough to gain back momentum, especially with a team like that.”

Scoring a pair of goals to make it an 8-6 game at halftime, Princeton came out firing in the second half as senior star Zach Currier tallied twice to pull the Tigers even at 8-8.

“We came out strong; Zach [Currier] made a nice play,” said McBride.

“We definitely felt some good momentum in the beginning of the second half.”

Yale responded by reeling off five unanswered goals and never looked back on the way to the victory.

“It was a game of runs and they had a few more runs than we did in the end,” said McBride, who ended the day with a career-high seven points on five goals and two assists.

“If the game is a little longer, I definitely like our chances. It is fine, we will see those guys again later in the year.”

McBride has enjoyed emerging as one of Princeton’s top guys on offense.

“I play with guys like Mike Sowers, Zach Currier, Austin Sims, and Riley Thompson,” said McBride, who has a team-high 24 goals this season. “My job is easy.”

Taking on the job of team captain this year has been special for McBride.

“I love it; these are my 45 best friends in the world,” said McBride, who serves as co-captain along with classmate Bear Goldstein.

“I am honored to be their leader and that they trust me in leading this team. It is something I take a lot of pride in.”

Princeton head coach Matt Madalon didn’t love the way his team started the game against Yale.

“They did an outstanding job executing early; the kid (Conor) Mackie at the face-off X (26-of-33) was excellent,” said Madalon.

“Ben Reeves was excellent. It took us a minute to find our groove. We were fighting back; it was too little, too late.”

On defense, the Tigers struggled to get in a groove, ultimately going to a zone to slow the high-powered Bulldogs.

“We changed some things up; we tried to make it a little more uncomfortable,” said Madalon.

“It was a fluid state for our defense. We were constantly adjusting. I thought when they settled in, we played well.”

In the final analysis, Mackie’s dominance on faceoffs made the difference in the contest.

“I think we probably scored on 55 percent of our offensive possessions; we probably stopped them 55 percent of the time,” said Madalon. “When it comes down to it, we were playing way too much defense.”

While disappointed by the outcome, Madalon credited several of his players with stepping up in defeat.

“Gav did a heck of a job, he is Mr. Consistent,” said Madalon of McBride. “Zach Currier (4 goals, 2 assists) did a good job battling. Sam Gravitte (2 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers) did a heckuva job battling. Tyler Blaisdell (18 saves) does a good job in goal.”

Madalon will be emphasizing attention to detail as Princeton looks to get back on the winning track when it hosts Brown (4-3 overall, 1-0 Ivy) on April 1.

“We have to do a better job when the ball is on the ground and we have got to do a better job managing the game,” said Madalon.

“We need to bail our defense out when we are playing good long possessions and not throw the ball away offensively.”

McBride, for his part, is confident that Princeton will do a better job when it takes on the Bears.

“We just got to get better, we have to do the little things right, we have got to battle between the lines,” said McBride.

“We will move on, we will be fine. We have got Brown next, it is on to the next one.”