Dartmouth vs. Princeton
April 26, 2008
The Game Story:
The Dartmouth men's lacrosse team celebrated as if it had won a championship. The Princeton men's lacrosse team still might.

Princeton's 11-9 loss to Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Scully-Fahey Field carried with it a huge consolation prize for the Tigers: The Ivy League's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament is still Princeton's to lose. With one week to go in the regular season, it's a pretty good prize to still have.

Princeton never led in the loss to the Big Green, and Philip Killian's goal with 10:31 remaining snapped a tie game and thwarted a big comeback attempt as the Big Green defeated the Tigers for the first time since 2003 and the eighth time in 56th all-time meetings.

Cornell, meanwhile, defeated Brown 11-7 in Ithaca, giving the Big Red a share of the Ivy League championship with the winner of next week's game between Princeton and Brown in Providence. A win by Brown would give Cornell the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament; a win by Princeton would give the Tigers the automatic bid. Brown cannot win the automatic bid to the tournament.

Dartmouth came into the game ranked near the bottom of Division I in scoring defense and with a goalie, Michael Novosel, who had a .479 save percentage on the season. Novosel, though, made 16 saves for a .620 save percentage in the game, and the Big Green defense swarmed the Princeton shooters, limiting the good looks that the Tigers were able to get.

For Novosel, it was his second straight strong game against Princeton. The sophomore has made 33 saves while allowing 22 goals in two career games against the Tigers for a .600 save percentage; his career save percentage against all teams other than Princeton is .468.

The Dartmouth offense, meanwhile, turned 23 shots into 11 goals.

Dartmouth came out sizzling, scoring the first three goals of the game and six of the first seven to make it 6-1 with 11:28 remaining in the first half. Princeton closed to 6-3 and 7-4 and had a chance to get some momentum at intermission, but Chris Root picked up a loose ball in font of Novosel and went end-to-end to score with 1:33 left and make it 8-4 at halftime.

Dan Cocoziello scored 12 seconds in the second quarter, and Bob Schneider got Princeton within two at 8-6 with 3:27 to play in the third. Ari Sussman scored a big goal for the Big Green with 6.1 seconds remaining in the quarter, and it was 9-6 Dartmouth after three.

Princeton erased that lead in the first 2:28 of the fourth quarter, as Tommy Davis, Alex Haynie and Connor Reilly scored three straight to make it a 9-9 game. Just when it appeared the Tigers had the momentum, Killian scored his goal on a bounce shot from 10 yards out with 10:31 left.

Princetonn had several possessions after that but could not score. Jimmy Mullen's goal with 1:42 sealed it for the Big Green.

Sussman scored three times for the Big Green, while Brian Koch and Mullen had two each.

Schneider and Josh Lesko scored twice each for the Tigers.