Princeton downs Dartmouth to claim first Ivy League title since 2006
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton defeated Dartmouth 12-10 in the Ivy League finale to clinch the 2014 Ivy League regular-season title on Saturday. It’s Princeton first Ivy League title since 2006.
"It's unbelievable," said captain Sarah Lloyd after the game. "We worked since July for this, and we knew coming into the year we were going to have a great team and had the potential to win the league championship. It just feels awesome, knowing our hard work paid off. One of our goals was to host the tournament. We wanted to have it here. We love 52."
The Tigers looked to be in control and had a four-goal lead on three occasions and their largest lead of five. However some second-half jitters pushed the Big Green within one strike.
Princeton (10-4, 6-1 Ivy) opened the first half with a 4-1 lead with Lloyd collecting the opening goal. Junior Erin McMunn scored back-to-back goals with help from Colleen Smith and Olivia Hompe. Hompe notched a goal of her own on a pass from Alexandra Bruno.
Sarah Byrne ended the run with Dartmouth’s (5-8, 2-4 Ivy) first and only goal of the first half.
A free-position goal by Erin Slifer, who was 2 for 2 on free-position shots, started the second half by giving Princeton a 5-1 lead.
Dartmouth wasn’t going away quietly as the Big Green scored three straight goals to make it a one-goal game, 5-4, 4:37 into the second session.
Two consecutive draw control wins gave Princeton two quick goals, as Anna Doherty converted a free-position opportunity and Lloyd scored her second goal of the day to make it 7-4 Princeton with 17 minutes left. Lindsey Allard said not-so-fast as she buried a free-position goal at 12:38.
Free positions proved to be a vital statistic as Princeton was 4-for-4, and Dartmouth just 2-of-5.
Hompe whipped in an Anya Gersoff pass and Bruno converted from the eight-meter arc as Princeton gained its largest lead of the game, 11-6 with 8:09 left to play.
The Big Green weren’t done yet, scoring three goals in 1:39 to make it an 11-9 game with four minutes left.
Princeton’s Liz Cutting won the next draw but a freak collision of two Tigers behind the goal led to a turnover as the ball dropped and rolled out of bounds.
Dartmouth leading scorer Jaclyn Leto shot wide on a free position attempt she was given on her team’s next trip down the other end.
Doherty caused Byrne to turn over the ball and Hompe collected the loose ball and the Tigers scored a quick transition goal for a 12-9 edge.
Leto rebounded by winning the next draw and Calby scored with 35.4 seconds left.
Amanda Leavell won the final draw of the game and Princeton held possession until the buzzer sounded -- signaling a victory and title.
Slifer had a hat trick for the Tigers, while both Bruno and Hompe scored twice and assisted once. McMunn and Lloyd had two goals apiece. Hompe also had three ground balls and one caused turnover. Smith had a team-best three caused turnovers and three ground balls as well. Fellow defender Liz Bannantine had three ground balls as well. Annie Woehling made two saves in her ninth win of the season.
Bryne led the Big Green with a hat trick and won a game-high five draw controls.
Allard had two goals and one assist, while Calby scored twice. Leto had a goal and an assist with three draws and two ground balls. Kristin Giovanniello made five saves in goal.
Princeton outshot Dartmouth 25-17 and won the ground ball battle decisively, 17-6. Draws controls fell in Dartmouth’s favor 15-10 but 14 Big Green turnovers to Princeton’s eight proved to be a bigger factor.
"It's a huge win for the program," said head coach Chris Sailer. "It's our first regular-season title in seven years. As a coach it's awesome. We have great assistant coaches who do a phenomenal job. The team has been driven. They've worked hard, they've embraced the work. They do what you ask. They are confident and they rise to challenges. The senior class created a great culture here. Ever since they were freshmen, they've had an impact on the team - how close the are, how giving they are, how hard they work. They put a lot into it this year and I'm just so happy for them."