Lightning-Quick Start Leads Princeton Past Yale in Ivy League Final


Jake Stevens scored six goals, on six shots, in Princeton's 19-10 victory over Yale for the Ivy League championship.

Princeton wasted no time in taking care of its own business to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament.


The Tigers scored six seconds into the game, three goals in the first 61 seconds and 13 goals in the first half of a dominating 19-10 victory over Yale to win the Ivy League men’s championship at Columbia University.

Princeton (8-6), which likely needed to win the Ivy League’s AQ to earn an NCAA tournament berth, won the Ivy tourney for the first time since winning the inaugural event in 2010. Yale (9-5) will find out on Sunday night if it earns an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament field.

Everything the Tigers did on offense worked in the early going, including this hidden ball trick for a long-distance goal from Beau Pederson.

The Tigers shared the ball throughout, finishing with 14 assists on their 19 goals. Senior midfielder Jake Stevens was the biggest star with six goals on six shots.

“The most impressive part about that midfield crew is next man up,” Princeton head coach Matt Madalon told ESPN’s Paul Carcaterra after the game. “We’re getting dinged up, playing hurt. Jake does it all for us. In a game for seniors where it’s win or go home, it’s just awesome to see him step up.”

Princeton was well aware of the importance of the game.

“We’ve been in playoff mode for a while now,” Madalon said. “We didn’t handle our out of conference business.”

Princeton was ranked No. 5 in the Nike / USA Lacrosse NCAA Division I preseason rankings, but challenged itself with a difficult early-season schedule that ended up resulting in losses to Georgetown, Maryland and Rutgers out of the Ivy League. An April loss to Syracuse was a further blemish on its postseason resume.

An overtime loss to Cornell in the final Ivy League regular season game left the Tigers on thin ice, but they held off Penn on Friday and then left no doubt against Yale.

Michael Gianforcaro, who split time in the cage early in the season, made 17 saves to hold the Bulldogs’ powerful offense to just 10 goals. Stevens had plenty of help on offense, led by Sean Cameron (3g), Coulter Mackesy (2g, 3a), Alexander Vardaro (2g,2a) and Alex Slusher (2g, 1a).

Jack Stuzin led Yale with three goals and Chris Lyons had two goals and two assists.


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