Princeton advances to quarterfinals with 12-4 win over Rutgers

Princeton advances to quarterfinals with 12-4 win over Rutgers

Princeton advances to quarterfinals with 12-4 win over Rutgers

Princeton advances to quarterfinals with 12-4 win over Rutgers

Princeton, NJ – It’s tournament time and as everyone knows the Princeton Tigers come ready to play in May. Princeton used Ryan Boyle’s first career four goal game to handle Rutgers 12-4 in first round NCAA action. Freshmen Scott Sowanick and Peter Trombino both contributed two goals for the Tigers, while classmate Whitney Hayes chipped in with a goal and two assists. For Rutgers, junior Leif Bloomquist was involved on all four Knights’ goals as he had two goals and two assists. Sophomore John Manners tried to fill in the hole of senior captain and third leading scorer, Tim White, who was lost for the season to a knee injury during practice this week, by contributing two goals. Rutgers’ leading scorer, Delby Powless, was held pointless by defenseman Tim Sullivan and the rest of the Tigers’ defense.

Freshman Scott Sowanick would waste little time before taking a Whitney Hayes feed and getting the Tigers on the board 45 seconds into the game. Ryan Boyle would notch his first goal of the game unassisted with 9:31 left in the 1st quarter. Goalie Greg Havalchak kept Rutgers in the game early as he contributed two early saves, but unfortunately they were unsuccessful in the clearing attempt. Nonetheless, Rutgers was successful in holding off Princeton for the most of the 1st quarter, as each team traded long possession after long possession. Finally Leif Bloomquist took a Matt Apel feed and put Rutgers on the board. The tally came after Rutgers had hit a post on a shot and came up with the groundball back at midfield, until Apel made the feed from the X-position.

In what would be an important factor in the game, Ryan Boyle added his second goal of the game with only 6.2 seconds remaining in the 1st period. “We always say goals in the last minute of quarters are huge," Tierney said. The last minute goals would factor in later in the game as well.

The Boyle goal started the first Princeton three-goal-run of the day (there were three). To start the 2nd quarter, senior John Robinson notched his first goal of the season. Four and a half minutes later, Princeton set up in an invert which they called “turtle”. With Dan Thompson starting the invert offense. Eventually the ball found its place in Boyle’s stick, who drove hard around the crease for the unassisted goal.

Still fighting to keep it a close game, sophomore John Manners added his third goal of the season for Rutgers of a Bloomquist feed with 7:54 to play in the half. To start the 2nd three-goal-run, Boyle fed Jason Donegar to give Princeton the four goal lead. Rutgers was given a man advantage on an unnecessary roughness call (the only minute penalty called on either team all day). However, Rutgers looked very sloppy on the crucial man-up, which would have helped give momentum to make a second half run, but instead, allowed Princeton the opportunity to take the game away for good. The Tigers weren’t happy with just one last minute goal this time, instead Whitney Hayes took the ball off a timeout and scored with just 22 seconds remaining. Peter Trombino followed 12 seconds later as Princeton won the faceoff, with Doneger immediately driving hard, dishing to Boyle who found the open Trombino. To send Princeton into the locker room with a very commanding 8-2 lead. Afterwards Coach Jim Stagnitta had this to say, “there were a couple of times in the game where, particularly in the first half, we started to turn the momentum…when you give up a goal with that little time left, that certainly deflates you.”

Leif Bloomquist would again show that there was life in the Rutgers team, by finishing a long possession off with a nice lefty bounce shot. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ final three-goal-run of the day was to come. Drew Casino added his 21st goal of the season unassisted first. The Tigers’ 10th goal came off a Ryan Boyle drive from X, that ended in a “save-the-dive” fashion – only Boyle landed and dove outside of the crease. Peter Trombino added a similar goal less than a minute later. This final fatal three-goal-run lasted 2:22.

Princeton goalie Dave Law contributed 8 saves for the Tigers and was matched by Greg Havalchak of Rutgers. Only as was noted by both Bill Tierney and Ryan Boyle in the press conference, Havalchak was amazing early. He contributed five 1st quarter goals that stifled the early Princeton attack. As Tierney mentioned later, “Greg I believe is the best goalie in the country. You have to make sure you know what you’re doing with your shots. He and Delby were what we concentrated on all week.”

Rutgers seemed to be stymied by their inability to control the ball. It seemed that in the late period of the 1st quarter and the crucial 2nd quarter, Rutgers was unable to take care of the ball. Neither team held an advantage in shots, however Princeton was able to hold an 8 goal advantage in shots on goal, which proved to be the difference. “For every good shot they put on cage, we missed one,” commented Rutgers coach Jim Stagnitta.

One of the keys as was unanimously mentioned at the post-game press conference was the improvement of the Princeton offense and the maturation of the younger Tigers. One of the other important keys was the loss of Rutgers’ midfielder Tim White. Coach Tierney pointed out “when that happens, not only do you lose that player, but you lose the chemistry.” In watching the Rutgers team, it seemed as if their chemistry was just a little off today.

Another important aspect was the effectiveness of the Princeton defense in shutting down the potent Rutgers attack. The loss of White made that easier. The playing of Tim Sullivan on Delby Powless was integral. Sullivan showed after the game exactly the team concept that is so ingrained in the Princeton Lacrosse spirit, “We had great efforts as a team on the field the guys who were covering the ball (I played mostly off covering Delby) did a great job making it difficult getting the ball to him, but also the guys throughout the week who helped us prepare for them, like Tripp Shriner and Dan Brown, gave us great efforts at practice to get us ready for what these guys would be like.”

Princeton is a team to be reckoned with now, as their patient offense is coming in to stride. The senior leaders seem to be stepping in at the right time. With Drew Casino controlling the face-off X, Ricky Schultz leading the storied Princeton defense which seems to be coming into its own and obviously Ryan Boyle running the offense. Only now the talented freshman class is forming an identity. “From day one, the talent was obvious, it was just a matter of them adapting to the college game and adapting to how Coach Metz runs our offense.” Boyle added, “you look at a guy like Whitney, he doesn’t shoot from outside 8 yards, neither do I. But as long as you make good decisions you’re going to succeed.”What better time than tournament time to make your identity. This isn’t anything new to Princeton.

Princeton now gets ready to face Maryland in the quarterfinals. Going in as the underdog may be tough, but as always Coach Tierney is looking at the bright side:“one good thing is we’re not going to have wear white, so I don’t have to wear that god-forsaken black coaching shirt.”

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    by (#64932) on 5/15/04 @5:11PM
Well count me as one of the surprised. I really believed that this would be one of the upsets that would come in the first round. I fealt that Powless could handle the Tigers D-Fence and that Havalchalk could handle the Tigers Offense. But I guess Ryan Boyle pulled a rabbit out tha hat. I expect princeton to give a scare to Cuse in the next round but Powell is too good.

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next round?
    by (#69118) on 5/15/04 @5:28PM
how is princeton going to play cuse in the next round? princeton will either play army or maryland, though army has no chance. when cuse beats albany, they will play the winner of the towson gtown game. so in order for cuse and princeton to play one another they both would have to get to the championship game, which isnt gonna happen.
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not so fast......
    by (#65) on 5/15/04 @8:11PM
dont count out the corps of cadets. their three starting attackmen all ranked in the top nine in div one scoring, with jim wagner(i think) ranked second behind joe walters in goals. if army can get scoring from the midfield and a real strong effort out of matt darak, the keeper, they will beat maryland
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it would be cool
    by (#72115) on 5/15/04 @9:39PM
it would be hot to see another p-town cuse game but that aint happening, and delby powless was never able to do anything agaisnt princetons d-fence, he only scored one against them in two games.
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    by (#69765) on 5/15/04 @9:45PM
Definitely a very impressive win for the young tigers, after all, Rutgers is legit. Princeton should prove to be a good opponent for Maryland, but the Terps should take the game by a few.
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Tigers are doing pretty well considering...
    by (#16732) on 5/15/04 @10:10PM
the tigers have lost so many players after the 2003 season.

Damien Davis? Started every game for four years. First-team All-America. Graduated.

Sean Hartofilis? The eighth-leading goal scorer in NCAA tournament history and the third-leading goal scorer in Princeton History? Graduated.

Brad Dumont? First midfield for four years. Two-time second-team All-America. Graduated.

Owen Daly? Four years in the first midfield. Graduated.

Julian Gould? The starting goalie the last two seasons. Graduated.

Matt Trevenen? Started from Day 1 back in 1999, one year before the rest. Graduated.

Josh White? Will MacColl? Anthony Perna? Graduated, graduated, graduated.

Brian Lieberman? Joe Rosenbaum? Four-year starters on defense. Graduated and graduated.

Even four-year manager Allison Binns graduated.

You would think that after six NCAA championships, eight NCAA championship game appearances, nine NCAA Final Fours and 11 Ivy League championships that Princeton head coach Bill Tierney would have seen it all in his tenure at Princeton. The 2004 season will be something completely new to him as well.

The Tigers return three starters and two of their top 10 scorers from a year ago, when Princeton went 11-4 and finished in a three-way tie with Dartmouth and Cornell for the Ivy League championship. Princeton then advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, marking just the third time in 12 years the Tigers were not in the Final Four.

Never before has Tierney had his team wiped out by graduation the way he has for this season. Not even the graduation of the classes of 1994 or 1998 left this many holes.

Consider that Princeton has only four players who prior to the 2004 season have ever started a game.

There are only eight returning players who have ever scored a goal, and only four returning players who have more than five career goals. In fact, two players (Ryan Boyle, Jason Doneger) have combined for 83% of the career goals scored by the returning players (97 of 117) and 92% of the career assists (121 of 131).

The Class of 2003, which won one NCAA championship and played in three NCAA championship games, combined for 204 goals and 134 assists, all of which have been lost to graduation.

There are only eight returning players who have ever scored a goal, and only four returning players who have more than five career goals. In fact, two players (Ryan Boyle, Jason Doneger) have combined for 83% of the career goals scored by the returning players (97 of 117) and 92% of the career assists (121 of 131).

The Class of 2003, which won one NCAA championship and played in three NCAA championship games, combined for 204 goals and 134 assists, all of which have been lost to graduation.
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    by (#38595) on 5/15/04 @10:43PM
only a f*cking NERD would know that kind of information!!!!!!!!!!!

and than post it on a website. WOW!!!!!

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i got it from a website, u #$%^!!!
    by (#16732) on 5/16/04 @11:34AM

how the hell would some memorizesomething like that. think before u post something retarded like that.
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(no subject)
    by (#70511) on 5/17/04 @12:06AM
why do you have to bash someone who is interested in a team and is tryin to make a point. Just cause he follows Princeton lax and knows who they got and what they lost doesnt mean hes a loser. you guys need to get off his back for knowin the info. chill the hell out.
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Diminished Mental Capacity
    by (#52306) on 5/18/04 @10:31AM
Could not agree with you more.The posting in question obviously overtaxed their ability to absorb information...not to mention their inability to express themselves in a civilized manner. They probably could not even complete the Princeton Enrollment Application.
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(no subject)
    by (#19315) on 5/18/04 @11:33AM
hey man good post, its nice to know there's still some Princeton fans out there
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Princeton Fans
    by (#63744) on 5/18/04 @12:24PM
I agree with all of you. Even though i'm a devoted princeton fan, i didnt know all of that information, and i think its pretty cool that you could be devoted enough to your team to actually do research like that. how the hell can you bash someone for posting that. its good to know that some people still follow the game that closely
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    by (#38856) on 5/18/04 @2:33PM
You suck Gabe
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