SportsProf

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Princeton Tigers Win Ivy Men's Lacrosse Title

Normally I'm not part of the "late-arriving" crowd, but yesterday's activities -- chauffering kids to their own games -- had me get to Princeton late, have great pizza at Conte's, and then arrive with the Tigers up 4-3 early in the second quarter.  Class of '52 Stadium at Princeton was packed -- with the Tiger faithful (lots of beige in the parents section on a reasonable night -- no rain, low fifties, but chilly when the wind kicked up) buzzing, many high school, middle school and elementary school lacrosse players and a Cornell contingent of good size and vocals.  My guess is that risk management in Tigertown would have been a bit concerned -- the place was, metaphorically, packed to the rafters.

The hometown 10 had its "A" game on, and the visitors played with a great sense of urgency, in some significant contrast to games that I watched in the same stadium against a woeful Dartmouth team that seemed to be stuck in a low gear and a middling Penn team that ran out of gas after half time.  The game proceeded at a fast, almost brutal pace, with attackmen in high gear cutting and dodging, trying to gain an edge, while the Tigers' defensive three of Cunningham, Meyers and Wiedemaier (pardon the spelling) played with a tremendous combination of urgency and patience, always working to force Cornell attackers away from the goal.  And when the visitors got there they were met with some spectacular play from the Tigers' goalie Tyler Fiorito, who as part Stonewall Jackson and part Peking Acrobat.  All that plus solid movement on offense, and the Tigers won the game and the Ivy League by a score of 14-9.

It was a fun atmosphere at Class of '52 Stadium, high-end lacrosse, a nice night, gelato from the Whole Foods down the road afterwards to make the night complete.  That said. . .

The Ivy post-season lacrosse tournament -- for the Ivies' automatic bid to the NCAA tournament -- is at Princeton next weekend.  Cornell and Princeton are favored to meet in a re-match for the title, one with even higher stakes than last night's game.  The drama will build, it will be a revenge game for the Big Red, but if the Tigers show up as ready for that game (so long as they and Cornell don't look past their semi-final opponents) as they did for last night, they will be primed to put on quite a show.

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