The No. 9 field hockey team was firing on all cylinders Saturday in Rhode Island as it cruised to its 17th-straight Ivy League victory.
The Tigers (8-4 overall, 4-0 Ivy League) launched a barrage of 46 shots, 23 in each half, against a Brown (5-7, 1-3) defense that held up for a little while but ultimately caved. Goalie Shannon McSweeney and her defense fended off 13 Tiger shots before Princeton first found the net 24 minutes into the first half. On that play, senior midfielder/striker Michelle Cesan earned a penalty corner — the fifth of 16 on the day for the Tigers — and moved the ball to freshman back Annabeth Donovan, who in turn fired it to sophomore midfielder/back Teresa Benvenuti. Benvenuti found the net for the seventh time this season, giving her team a lead it would not relinquish.
Benvenuti threatened again with less than two minutes to go in the period, but Brown’s defense did not make it easy. Her shot in the 34th minute was deflected, but freshman midfielder/striker Cat Caro was there to back her up, getting the rebound and sending it past McSweeney.
The Tigers wasted no time piling it on in the second half, which began with two shots and a penalty corner. Benvenuti’s attempt at a second penalty corner conversion was unsuccessful, but senior midfielder Julia Reinprecht scored on another rebound to widen Princeton’s lead to 3-0. All this happened less than four minutes into the half.
Benvenuti and Reinprecht combined for points again a short time later. Yet another penalty corner resulted in the former passing the ball to the latter, who sent it home yet again to put the Tigers up 4-0.
After making several substitutions, Brown put together a solid attack on the subsequent possession, which ended in Meghan O’Donnell — fourth in the Ivy League in points and fifth in goals — netting her ninth goal of the season.
After setting up a number of scoring opportunities, Cesan took advantage of two of the opportunities late in the game. Benvenuti notched her second assist when her shot was deflected, and Cesan scored on the rebound. Cesan also scored unassisted as the game wound down in the 65th minute. O’Donnell’s 10th goal of the season and second of the day was all the solace Brown could take when the final whistle blew and Princeton won 6-2.
Senior goalie Christina Maida played 56:26 minutes and allowed two goals. Neither she nor junior goalie Julia Boyle had any saves, as Brown managed just four shots all day. McSweeney and her defense, meanwhile, made 22 saves.
Now 4-0 in the Ivy League, the Tigers are well on their way to winning the title for the ninth-straight season. They will travel to Harvard next weekend for a Saturday game and will head to Albany, N.Y., the next day.