The women’s lacrosse team defeated Dartmouth 12-10 at the Class of 1952 Stadium on Saturday afternoon, securing its third consecutive victory and clinching the regular season Ivy League Championship for the first time since 2006. With the win, the Tigers (10-4 overall, 6-1 Ivy League) earned their ninth victory in their last 10 games, while the Big Green (5-8, 2-4) dropped their fourth straight contest. Princeton will wrap up the regular season on Saturday, April 26 at Penn State before returning home for the Ivy League tournament.
The Tigers’ victory marked the first time in seven seasons that the team has won the regular season Ivy League Championship, earning along with it the right to host the Ivy League Tournament in May. The last time the Tigers took the regular season title, the team went 6-1 in the Ivy League and eventually advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. The Tigers fell to Dartmouth 7-6 in overtime in that round while the Big Green went on to lose the championship against Northwestern.
Princeton has high hopes again this year, especially given its current momentum heading into the end of the regular season. Since opening the season 1-3 the Tigers have gone on a tear, winning nine of their last 10 games. In the process Princeton defeated then-No. 6 Virginia (9-7, 3-4 ACC) and No. 10 Penn (8-4, 4-1 Ivy League), falling only to No. 2 Maryland (16-1, 6-1 ACC). The Tigers lost in only their first Ivy League matchup this season, losing 14-13 in overtime at Brown (9-5, 2-4 Ivy League) in March. Princeton is 6-0 in the Ivy League since then.
The Ivy League dominance culminated in Princeton on Saturday afternoon, when the Tigers beat Dartmouth 12-10. The Tigers opened the contest on a 4-0 run, closing the half with a comfortable 4-1 cushion. But in the second half the Big Green fought back, three times cutting the deficit to two goals. Junior midfielder Erin Slifer led Princeton in scoring on the afternoon, tallying three goals on six shots. Attacker Sarah Byrne led Dartmouth with three goals on four opportunities.
Dartmouth would eventually cut the gap to two goals with less than a minute left on the clock, but did not have the time to solidify its comeback. Thirty-six seconds later Princeton emerged victorious, carrying with it the regular season Ivy League title and the right to host the Ivy League Tournament.
“It’s a huge win for the program,” head coach Chris Sailer told GoPrincetonTigers.com. “It’s our first regular-season title in seven years. As a coach it’s awesome. We have great assistant coaches who do a phenomenal job. The team has been driven. They’ve worked hard, they’ve embraced the work. They do what you ask. They are confident and they rise to challenges. The senior class created a great culture here. Ever since they were freshmen, they’ve had an impact on the team — how close they are, how giving they are, how hard they work. They put a lot into it this year and I’m just so happy for them.”