Princeton vs. Rutgers
March 25, 2008
The Game Story:
Bill Tierney joked that his offense was heating up with the weather. Fortunately for Tierney, his goalie was hot when he was needed most.

Alex Hewit stopped a point-blank shot from Rutgers' Justin Pennington with six seconds remaining to preserve Princeton's 7-6 men's lacrosse win Tuesday night in front of 1,221 fans at the Class of 1952 Stadium. The win gave Princeton the Meistrell Cup for the 18th time in 19 years and upped Princeton's overall record in the series with its in-state neighbor to 54-29-3.

Princeton was playing for the first time since a 10-2 loss to Albany Friday afternoon in a game played in wind chills approaching zero. By contrast, the Rutgers game saw the temperature rise to what felt like a balmy 45 degrees. Princeton's goal total against Albany had been its lowest in 20 seasons.

"Considering where we were the other day, we'll take it," Tierney said.

Princeton, ranked 17th in the USILA poll and 16th in the Inside Lacrosse poll, squared its record at 3-3 heading into its Ivy League opener Saturday against Yale. Rutgers fell to 2-4.

Princeton eclipsed its goal total from the Albany game in the first quarter against Rutgers, but the Tigers never were able to shake the Knights. Rutgers would lead 5-3 on Kory Kelly's goal with 6:15 left in the first half, and RU appeared to add to that when Pennington skipped one past Hewit, only to be called for being in the crease

Instead of owning a 6-3 lead, Rutgers saw Princeton get goals from Bob Schneider and Tommy Davis to tie it 5-5 at the half. Dan Cocoziello, the All-America defenseman, scored two minutes into the third on an end-to-end rush for the only goal of the quarter, and Princeton scored its fourth straight when Davis rocked home his second of the night to make it 7-5 with exactly nine minutes to play.

Rutgers finally snapped its scoreless string after 28:54 when Pennington scored his third of the evening with 7:21 to play, and the Scarlet Knights had several chances after that but could not tie. The final opportunity came in the waning seconds, when Pennington fired a low shot against Hewit from near the crease.

"He's tough," Hewit said of Pennington. "He made a good strong dodge and shot it. I got it with my foot."

Charlie Kolkin corralled the loose ball and fired it the length of the field to kill almost all but the final 0.6 seconds. Rutgers goalie William Olin picked up the loose ball and sent it back down the field, but it rolled out of bounds to Princeton. The restart ended the game.

Hewit finished with 10 saves for the Tigers. Davis was the only Princeton player with more than one goal.

Alex Berg won 10 of 16 face-offs for the Tigers.

Pennington was the only Rutgers player with more than one goal, and he added an assist for a four-point night.