On a windy Saturday, women’s lacrosse (7-3 overall, 3-1 Ivy League) thrashed Yale (7-4, 1-3 ) 15-8 in a comprehensive victory where they did not once trail. With this win, Princeton extends its winning streak, which began with a shining win over No. 6 Virginia, to six. The last loss came in the form of a 11-10 overtime upset loss at Brown.
The Tigers got out to a hot start behind junior attack Erin McMunn who registered three of her five points in the first half. McMunn leads the team in points this season at 27. She keyed a highly efficient Princeton offense which produced nine goals in that first half.
Other big first-half contributions included two goal showings from senior attack Mary-Kate Sivilli, freshman midfielder Anna Doherty and sophomore attack Alexandra Bruno, who would go on to have a four-point day. First-year sensation Doherty in particular has been a revelation, leading the team with 20 goals so far this season.
After going up 9-1 at the halfway mark, Princeton went on to register 15 goals in the game. The Yale defense had no answer for McMunn and the intelligent Princeton offense. Time after time they shredded Yale with back cuts and screens, which resulted in close-range, high percentage shots.
When asked in a postgame interview with Verizon Fios 1 what she saw out on the field, McMunn responded, “I think we did a great job really working together today. A lot of what we do relies on picks and screens and really working to get other people open, moving the ball as quickly as we can and trying to exploit the defense. I think that’s what we do really well.”
But on a day dominated by this high flying Tigers offense, their defensive performance should not go unnoticed. The back line, held by senior Colleen Smith, sophomore Liz Bannantine and freshman Madeline Rodriguez, consistently locked down the Yale attack. They kept a Yale offense that came in averaging 11 goals per game to a mere eight on this day. The eight is even misleading, since halfway through the second half Princeton led 13-3. Given the game was basically over, Princeton made substitutions and relaxed a bit which allowed Yale to outscore them 5-2 over the last 15 minutes.
Princeton will look to carry the momentum from this victory on through their next three games, two of which come against top-twenty opponents. On April 9, the Tigers will take on undefeated No. 2 Maryland at home. College Park’s Terrapins are more of a machine than a lacrosse team, having beaten the Princeton’s women by comfortable margins in the past several matchups. The following Wednesday they will host Ivy League leader and rival No. 12 Penn. McMunn believes that every game the Tigers have played so far presents opportunities to improve, and they will hope to demonstrate that growth against top-notch competition the next two weeks.
“The goals and expectations for every one of these games,” she said, “are to play a full 60-minute game and put together all the little pieces we’ve been working at to get better all-year long.”