Ivy League Madness: Princeton, Cornell, Harvard Win Thrillers


Ivy League Madness: Princeton, Cornell, Harvard Win Thrillers

COURTESY OF PRINCETON ATHLETICS

Yes, the best game on the slate on Saturday was the No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown at Audi Field. We’ll have more on Patrick Stevens’ Maryland blowout victory. In the meantime, let’s dive into the first weekend of Ivy League conference play since 2019.

Let’s just say it lived up to the hype.

PRINCETON EMERGES FROM THE THRILLER IN EXTRA

March Madness is a feeling that is not exclusive to college basketball. On the Saturday of the NCAA Tournament, Princeton and Penn delivered one of the best games of the young 2022 season.

The Princeton thriller featured 41 goals, 94 shots, 99 ground runs and a major comeback.

“It was crazy”, Princeton coach Matt Madalon said after the game. “I’m exhausted and haven’t even played.”

In the end, Chris Brown’s missile with 2:15 left in overtime drew a crowd of Princeton players and took the win 21-20 over Penn. Brown led the Tigers offensive effort with six goals and three assists, while Erik Peters made a decisive save to send the game into overtime.

Sam English scored twice in a first quarter held by Princeton, where the Tigers scored the first three goals and led 5-2 after 15 minutes. Brown, Alex Slusher and Coulter Mackesy scored back-to-back goals to make it 9-3 late in the second quarter.

Cam Rubin scored his second of seven goals with four seconds left before halftime to help the Quakers gain momentum in the 11-8 break. Rubin and Dylan Gergar added third quarter goals to make it 11-10, but Princeton responded with four of five to take the lead.

Trailing 15-11, Rubin and the Quakers took over. Rubin scored to start and end a five-goal streak that saw Penn take a brief 16-15 lead with 2:11 left in the third quarter. The teams went back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, with Brown giving Princeton a 20-19 lead with 2:06 left and Ben Smith responding for Penn 32 seconds later.

The Quakers had a chance to win as the final seconds ticked away, James Shipley’s shot was stopped by Peters, who allowed time to run into regulation time. In the overtime period, Brown received a pass from Mackesy to finish and seal the win.

CORNELL HOLDS ON

No lead is secure in the Ivy League game. Cornell almost learned that lesson the hard way.

Up seven goals in the fourth quarter, Cornell held off a furious rally from Yale and secured an eventual game-winner from CJ Kirst to win 13-12. Second-placed Kirst led the Big Red with four goals.

Kirst and Aiden Blake each scored twice in the first half, which ended 8-5 in favor of Cornell. Kirst, Blake and Matt Licciardi scored three goals in the third quarter and John Piatelli added another in the fourth to make it 12-5 with 14:00 to go.

Yale, however, was not giving up on this Ivy League rivalry. Leo Johnson started the rally, followed by Brian Tevlin, Chris Lyons and Jack Monfort – a five-goal run to make it 12-10 with 7:34 to go. Kirst scored Cornell’s 13and goal to break the run a minute later, but the Bulldogs kept pushing.

Johnson and Lyons added two more goals and Yale held one goal with less than a minute left. Christian Cropp’s shot as time expired sailed high, allowing Cornell to hold on to the top-10 win.

HARVARD SURVIVES BROWN

Devon McLane, one of the nation’s leading scorers, played his resume against Harvard, but the Crimsons proved themselves on Saturday.

Harvard led by three goals on several occasions but held firm in the dying moments for a potentially crucial 12-11 victory over Brown in the Ivy League opener for both teams. Hayden Cheek scored four goals, including a nifty one behind the back, to lead Harvard’s attack.

Cheek scored twice in a first quarter that put Harvard up 4-2. He and McLane, who finished with four goals and two assists, went back and forth in the second quarter, but the Crimson held on to a 6-5 halftime lead.

Harvard scored three straight goals (Austin Madronic, Andrew Perry, Mils Botkiss) to take a 9-6 lead – its biggest of the game at that point. The Crimson added to the lead in the fourth quarter, getting a goal from Sam King to make it 12-8 with 11:14 to go.

Darian Cook answered for Brown and McLane added two more in the final five minutes, but the Bears failed to tie. McLane’s shot with a second left was stopped by Kyle Mullin to seal the game. Mullin finished with 18 saves.

SCORES

No. 3 Princeton 21, No. 6 Penn 20 (OT)
No. 4 Cornell 13, No. 9 Yale 12
No. 15 Harvard 12, No. 19 Brown 11
Dartmouth 17, St. John’s 10

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