Princeton vs. Dartmouth
April 30, 2005
The Game Story:
With any chance of an 11th straight Ivy League championship or a trip to a 16th straight NCAA tournament gone, the Princeton men's lacrosse team had just one motivation Saturday afternooon against 11th-ranked Dartmouth: pride. It proved to be an outstanding motivator.

Freshman goalie Alex Hewit made 16 saves and Peter Trombino had two goals and an assist to become the first player in school history to have at least 20 goals and 10 assists as both a freshman and sophomore to lead the Tigers to a 10-8 win in front of 1,527 at the Class of 1952 Stadium Saturday afternoon. Dartmouth was led by Alec Hufnagel's six goals.

It was the second straight year that Princeton defeated Dartmouth by a 10-8 score. Princeton leads the all-time series 45-8, though Dartmouth had defeated Princeton 13-6 in its last game at Class of 1952 Stadium in 2003.

Jason Doneger scored three goals to move into seventh place all-time at Princeton.

The win clinched the outright Ivy League title for Cornell, who completed a perfect 6-0 league season about an hour later with its win over Brown. The Tigers finish their season next Saturday at home against Brown; a win would give Princeton at least a share of second place in the league. Dartmouth, 7-4, 3-2 Ivy, would also finish with at least a share of second with a win in its regular-season finale against Harvard.

Princeton, now 4-7 overall and 3-2 in the Ivy League, was playing seven days after a 17-4 loss at Cornell that eliminated the Tigers from the Ivy race and NCAA tournament consideration.

"We were 3-7 and lost 17-4 last week," said Doneger. "We were out of the league race and the tournament. We were playing a very good team. Most teams would have packed it in. I'm so proud of this team because we didn't."

Hewit, making his third career start, made four saves in each quarter. The freshman faced a total of 40 shots from the Big Green, who outshot the Tigers 40-25.

"We had a good week of practice," Hewit said. "We were intense the whole week. We talked about having that carry over to Saturday, and it did."

Princeton led 10-5 after Scott Sowanick's goal with 10:37 to play, but Hufnagel, who came into the game with 12 goals on the season, scored his fourth, fifth and sixth of the game in a 3:24 span to cut the lead to two.

Hewit, though, would make four more saves in the final four minutes. Dartmouth had an extra-man opportunity for the final 56 seconds, but Hewit made two saves and tracked down a loose ball that he was able to clear as Princeton ran out the clock.

"I'm so proud of this team," said Princeton coach Bill Tierney. "They're so inspirational to me. They came back after what happened last week, and we played a very good game. Our defense was good, our offense was good and the kid played a huge game in the goal."

Doneger scored three goals to give him 104 for his career, one better than Josh Sims for seventh place all-time at Princeton. Peter Trombino and Whitney Hayes both had a goal and two assists, and Mike Gaudio had two goals for the Tigers.

Trombino continued his run of having at least one point in every game of his career. Gaudio now has 15 goals and two assists in his last 10 games after having one career point in his first 16 career games. Hayes needs one goal next week against Brown to become the sixth player in school history with double figures in goals and assists as a freshman and sophomore; Sowanick and Trombino earlier this year became the fourth and fifth.

Jamie Coffin, who came into the game as the Ivy League's leading scorer, was held to two assists, both of which came on Hufnagel's last two goals. Coffin took 12 shots but did not score a goal.

In addition to Hufnagel's six goals, Brad Heritage scored the other two Big Green goals. Matt Nielsten of Dartmouth won 15 of 22 face-offs.