GOAL-ORIENTED: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Coulter Mackesy goes to goal in a 2022 game. Last Saturday, sophomore attacker Mackesy fired in a career-high eight goals to help Princeton defeat Yale 23-10 and snap a four-game losing streak. Mackesy, who also added two assists to reach a career-high 10 points and become the ninth player in program history to reach double figures in a game, was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Princeton, now 3-4 overall and 1-1 Ivy, hosts Brown on April 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Justin Feil
Although the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team’s matchup with Yale last Saturday came halfway through the regular season, it had a must-win feeling as the Tigers challenged themselves from top to bottom.
“All our groups — coaches, players, staff, everyone — put a ton of pressure on themselves this week to have a better sense of urgency and clean it up a little bit,” said Princeton head coach Matt Madalon. “And then get yourself in a position to execute on game day. I’m really impressed with our seniors and captains again. We went at those guys pretty hard and had them teetering — you’ve gotta believe or not believe. Those guys did a really good job of believing and getting it back. You’re a couple opportunities, a couple bounces away from not feeling like that.”
The Tigers were coming off four straight losses, including back-to-back deflating overtime defeats to Rutgers (14-13 on March 11) and Penn (9-8 on March 18). It would have been easy for Princeton to tighten up further when they fell behind 1-0 to the Bulldogs over the first eight minutes, hit a pair of pipes, and saw top face-off specialist Tyler Sandoval go down with an apparent knee injury.
Then sophomore attacker Coulter Mackesy, whose shots had been the ones to clang off the pipe, including one from midfield with the Yale goalie scrambling back into cage, scored to tie it. Barely a minute later, he tallied another to help Princeton go ahead. Mackesy ended up scoring five straight to help the Tigers grab an 8-1 lead and control of the game on their way to a record-setting 23-10 victory over the visiting Bulldogs at Class of 1952 Stadium on otherwise dreary Saturday. The 23 goals scored were the most the Tigers have ever had against Yale in the 108 meetings in the series.
“If you get a hot hand, keep shooting,” said Mackesy, who finished with a career-high eight goals and two assists for 10 points, making him the ninth player in program history to reach double figures in a game. “I was just playing free and loose. Shooting to score is kind of the biggest thing. Playing relaxed out there and having fun, it made it easier for me. There was high energy from the whole team.” more