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NEW YORK, NY(SMI-SPORTS-UNIVERSITY-MAY 07, 2023)-The #3-seeded Princeton men's lacrosse team used two separate and overpowering 6-1, scoring spree in the first two quarters to defeat #4 Yale 19-10, and claim its second Ivy League tournament title (2010 & 2023) at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, Columbia University.
With the win, the Tigers earned a direct-automatic bid to the 2023 NCAA and registered its 22nd NCAA participation overall in school program history.
The 2023 Ivy League Tournament championship game between Princeton and Yale kicked-off in a ferocious style from the start when both teams exchanged goals in the first 21' seconds of the game.
The Tigers opened the score first through Alex Slusher for his 9th goal of season at 00:06' mark with the assist of Andrew McMeekin after he won the face-off draw against Yale's Nicholas Ramsey.
The Bulldogs answered back 15' second later to even the score 1-1, at 14:39 (00:21') time-clock through Jack Stuzin who scored his 3rd goal of the season assisted by Chris Lyons.
Then Princeton exploded with a 6-1, scoring spree including six consecutive goals to closed-out the first period 7-2, in favor of the Tigers. The strong offensive attack were led by Jake Stevens and Sean Cameron scoring two goals each, his 16th & 17th goals of the season for Stevens and 12th and 13th for Cameron. Beau Pederson added his 3rd while Tommy Barnds scored his 8th of the season with the assist of Coulter Mackesy.
Chris Lyons discounted for the Bulldogs scoring his 50th goal of the season with the clock winding down to make it 7-2, at the end of the first frame in favor of Tigers.
In the second quarter, Princeton picked-up where they left-off, took control of the game with a solid defense and went in another 6-1, scoring counter-attack netting six unanswered goals to widen their lead 13-3, at the half.
Alexander Vardaro led the attack with two goals, his 22nd at 11:19 mark) & 23rd (05:16) while Steven Jake(18th Goal), Sean Cameron(14th Goal), Coulter Mackesy(46th) and John Dunphey (4th) scored one each to give the Tigers 13-2, dominating lead over Yale and putting the game away with five minutes remaining in the second period.
Thomas Bragg scored for Yale to cut the deficit 13-3, his 17th of the season to closed-out the second frame with the same score.
In the third and forth periods, Yale tried to counter-attack with strong offensive attack but were neutralized by the Tigers' solid defensive line.
Both teams exchanged three goals apiece in the 3rd period while the Bulldogs netted 4-goals and Princeton added three in the 4rd period to secured the victory for the Tigers of 19-10, over Yale and 2023 Ivy League title.
The two 6-1, scoring spree of Princeton in the first two quarters was the turning point game. The Tigers dominated the game in the first two period scoring 13-goals for 13-3, lead that was never relinquished the rest of the game.
Princeton were led by Steven Jake with (6 Goals), Sean Cameron(3 Goals), Alex Slusher(2 Goals), Alexander Vardaro (2 Goals), Coulter Mackesy(2 Goals), while Tommy Barnds, Beau Pederson, Weston Carpenter and John Dunphey contributed with one goal each in the victory.
Michael Gianforcaro recorded 17-saves in the game and was name the MVP of the tournament.
The Princeton Tigers will face Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Div 1 Men's Lacrosse tournament next Sunday May 14, at Panzer Stadium, University Park, Penn State University, PA.
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