BALTIMORE — With one game under its belt, Princeton, complete with four starting freshmen and only two starters back from two years ago, faced third-ranked Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field. The Tigers showed its power from start to finish en route to an 11-8 win against Johns Hopkins in front of 2,352.
It was a great team effort by Princeton, starting with freshman goalie Matt O’Connor, who made 10 saves against the Blue Jays.
Princeton’s 10 goals came from four players, inlcuding Tom Schreiber and Jeff Froccaro’s three goals apiece and Jake Froccaro and Mike MacDonald’s two apiece. Princeton trailed 7-6 midway through the third quarter before scoring five of the final six goals of the day.
The end of the first quarter was the turning point for the Tigers. Johns Hopkins outshot Princeton 17-5 and won all six face-offs in the first quarter, but O’Connor made four huge saves and Princeton turned its five shots into three goals (both Froccaro’s and Schreiber) to make it tied at three heading into the second.
Jake Froccaro’s second goal, which made it four-all in the second quarter. The play of the game, though, was Princeton’s 11th and final goal. The Tigers led 10-7 when Brandon Benn scored his fourth goal of the game, making it 10-8 with 7:37 to play. Hopkins won the face-off, but O’Connor made a save to start transition the other way. Chris White took the ball near midfield and had a full head of steam heading into the box. White put a laser past Pierce Bassett to make it 11-8 with 5:40 to play.
Princeton won despite winning just seven of 22 face-offs and took 33 shots, and 27 of them were from the starters on attack and the first midfield.
Hopkins had 27 shots in the first half – and then just 10 in the second. Princeton’s defense guarded extremely well, especially considering it’s just the second game with a longstick for Nick Fernandez, that Derick Raabe was primarily an LSM his first two years and Mark Strabo is a freshman playing his second college game.
Princeton got a huge lift from its second midfield group of Will Rotatori, Brendan McGrath and Hunter deButts – despite not getting any points from them. Rotatori helped set up one of Jeff Froccaro’s goals, though he didn’t get an assist on the play, but mostly what the second group did was keep the offense flowing and allowed Princeton to rest its first group as much as possible.