March 27, 2019

George Hits 100-Goal Mark for PU Women’s Lax But Tigers Squander Early Lead in Loss to Brown

CENTURY CLUB: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Elizabeth George looks to unload the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, senior attacker George tallied six points on two goals and four assists, including the 100th goal of her career, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton lost 12-11 to Brown. The 16th-ranked Tigers, now 5-2 overall and 1-1 Ivy League,  play at No. 2 Maryland (10-0) on March 27 and at Villanova (5-5) on April 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Elizabeth George came into last Saturday needing two goals to hit the contrary mark in her career with the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team.

As Princeton hosted Brown, George scored 7:36 into the contest to hit 99 and then 1:40 later notched her 100th as the Tigers jumped out to an 8-2 lead.

“We started out hot which was good, we saw a lot of looks there,” said George.

Minutes later, Princeton stretched its advantage to 9-2 as George assisted on a tally by Kyla Sears but that ended up being the high water mark for the Tigers. Brown proceeded to score 10 unanswered goals over the rest of the first half and into the second and held off a late Princeton rally to pull out a 12-11 victory.

“We just started rushing a little bit and lost control there,” said George, reflecting on a stretch that saw the Tigers held scoreless for 37:06.

“A big lesson is that we need to be consistent the rest of the game. They definitely did some different things on defense which we needed to recognize.”

George was not surprised that the Tigers battled back after falling behind 12-9, as Sears scored two goals in the waning moments of the contest in a rally that fell just short.

“I think as a team we have shown that we can come back,” said George, who ended up with six points on two goals and four assists in the setback.“We always have that fight, we thought it was coming.”

For George, getting her 100th goal in a defeat was decidedly bittersweet.

“It is exciting but it is not the important thing,” said George. “It is not that much of a focus.”

Looking ahead, George is focused on getting the most out of her senior season. “I appreciate every game for what it is,” said George a 5’9 native of Lutherville, Md, who now has 129 points in her career on 100 goals and 29 assists. “It is really exciting to have fun with my whole team with the last games here and hopefully for the postseason.”

Princeton head coach Chris Sailer didn’t have fun watching her team struggle at both ends of the field as the 9-2 lead slipped away.

“We looked to be moving the ball well and finding the cutters; it was really nice and then the tide turned in the first half,” said Sailer, whose team dropped to 5-2 overall and 1-1 Ivy League with the defeat.

“We really had difficulty defensively; we had trouble stopping them and then they got on a run. I think there was a period where we had seven turnovers in a row on our offensive possessions; that really killed all of the momentum for us.”

While Sailer was proud that her team fought hard to the final horn, she acknowledged that some sloppy play doomed the Tigers.

“We battled down the stretch; we were trying to force things that weren’t there all of the time,” said Sailer.

“We have to learn to be more patient and work the ball more and not just hold the ball and look for one or two people. We were able to get some calls and Kyla converted on two which brought us back but we just couldn’t get over that hump.”

With the 16th-ranked Tigers playing at No. 2 Maryland (10-0) on March 27 and at Villanova (5-5) on April 2 before heading into the Ivy stretch drive, Sailer is looking for her players to show more attention to detail.

“We have to understand that every game is a big game; you try to prepare them and let them know that this is the big game of the week not the one we just played,” said Sailer. “You have to do the little things right. We will have to battle against Maryland and then we will have the Ivies coming up.”

George, for her part, is confident that the Tigers will be sharper as they take on the high-powered Terrapins.

“We are super excited for that game and we are going to be ready to refocus after this one; it is a good challenge for us,” said George.

“We need to play smart and we need to play consistent. We need to play for a whole two halves. I think we are going to see that.”