The women’s lacrosse team (5-3, 1-1 Ivy), riding a four-game win streak, will face its third Ivy League opponent of the season on Saturday when it hosts Cornell (4-4, 1-1 Ivy) for an afternoon matchup at Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium. The last time the Tigers played on their home turf, they capped off their most impressive win of the season thus far, a 15-13 victory over then-No. 6 Virginia.
Since the two sides began competing in 1980, the Tigers own a dominating 31-4 record against the Big Red. For two decades, the Princeton women brutalized the girls from Ithaca, winning 22 consecutive matchups between 1989 and 2009. Cornell has raised its intensity over the last several years, however, as the Big Red has won two of the last five meetings between the sides. While Princeton took down Cornell in Ithaca last season 12-10, the Big Red was victorious the last time the two sides faced one another on Princeton soil, when Princeton fell 13-12 in a heated overtime contest.
Princeton will look to its offense for continual production if it wants to move toward a winning record in the Ivy League. The Tigers have manufactured a minimum of 10 goals per game thus far and are netting 13.75 goals per game on average. Equal contributions from both upperclassmen and underclassmen have fueled offensive production over the first half of the season. As expected, the team’s veterans have provided strong leadership so far, as junior midfielder Erin Slifer and junior attack Erin McMunn have combined for 36 points through the team’s first eight games. Slifer has 11 goals and seven assists, while McMunn has scored 10 times and leads the team with eight assists. Senior midfielder Sarah Lloyd and senior attack Mary-Kate Sivilli have added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The underclassmen have produced striking results through the first half of the season, as freshman midfielder Anna Doherty and sophomore attack Alexandra Bruno lead the team with 20 points apiece. The two combine to average four goals per game thus far, as Doherty leads the team with 17 scores, and Bruno has added 15 thus far in her sophomore campaign. Freshman midfielder Olivia Hompe and sophomore midfielder Anya Gersoff have tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively, in the one month the Tigers have competed for so far.
After winning four of its first five games this season, Cornell has struggled to maintain its winning form, with three straight losses coming to Albany, Rutgers and Stanford. While the Big Red only fell by one to Rutgers, its other two losses were blowouts in which they fell by at least seven goals. Despite their recent struggles, though, the close contests between Princeton and Cornell over the last two seasons show the clear threat that the Big Red will present for the Tigers on Saturday. Vital to the Tigers’ success will be shutting down Cornell midfielder Emily Tripodi, who currently leads the Ivy League with 18 assists and ranks ninth in the nation with 2.57 assists per game. Attack Lindsay Toppe also poses a heavy threat to the Tigers, as the New York native leads the Ivy League with 29 points and 4.14 points per game.
With heavy implications for how the Ivy League standings will develop into April, the Tigers’ final contest of March could prove to be one of the most crucial games of the 2014 season. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium.