PHILADELPHIA — Princeton is headed back to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers defeated Harvard 12-10 in the 2011 Ivy League Women’s Lacrosse Championship to earn the league’s automatic bid to the tournament.
Princeton took a 5-0 lead but Harvard rallied in the second half jumping in front 10-9. The Tigers then responded with three consecutive goals for the win.
Erin Tochihara was tested early after Princeton got off to a shaky start. The Tigers cleared 2 of 4 and turned the ball over four times at the start of the first.
Tochihara made a great save on the first shot on goal of the game by Melanie Baskind, as Baskind took off in transition five minutes into the game. Tochihara made another stop on Jess Halpern’s shot as she weaved in to the goal two minutes later. Basking had a free position chance after she stripped the Tigers off the ball around the 40, but Tochihara once again was there.
Princeton started to settle down and soon found its rhythm. Helping the Tigers was a 4-1 advantage in draw controls that allowed Princeton to get some solid possession time.
Junior Barb Previ scored on Princeton’s first shot on goal at 22:05 with an unassisted tally. Drumm wheeled her defender in the lane for a goal at 19:01 and added her second less than a minute later on a feed from sophomore Sam Ellis.
Princeton got a 4-0 lead when Pyle had the ball at the top of the arc and fed Gassaway inside, who then sent a high shot into the back of the back at 17:02.
The Tigers weren’t done yet when Charlotte Davis scored at 16:33 when she came in on the left side extended goal line for the tally.
Harvard would call a timeout to regroup.
The Crimson would have two chances to get on the scoreboard with two free position attempts within two minutes. Jennifer VanderMeulen had a chance at 14:36 but instead of shooting, she went to her left and was caught by two defenders who caused a turnover. Two minutes later, Chelsey Newman had a free position shot stopped by Tochihara.
Kyler Keating ended the drought for Harvard with an unassisted goal at 11:09, and Basking would make it 5-2 at 9:36.
The Crimson started to control the center circle helping swing possession their way.
VanderMeulen had a free position attempt stopped by Tochihara at 8:30, as the senior netminder came up big again.
Princeton would expand its lead to 7-2 with two goals in three minutes. Senior Maisie Devine spun and scored on a pass from Pyle at 7:10 and Pyle would get a goal of her own at 4:47.
The Crimson won the ensuing draw and ran down to score to make it 7-3. Harvard couldn’t get another as Baskind ran the length of the field but was stopped from scoring by Tochihara with her eighth save of the half at 5:29.
Harvard’s goalie Kerry Clarke made her first save of the day with three minutes left on a shot from Previ.
Harvard scored three consecutive goals to start the second half, making it a one-goal game, 7-6 at 21:05. The Crimson went 3-0 on draw controls to start the half. Jess Halpern scored back to back goals at 25:58 and 21:51 and Danielle Tetreault made it a one-goal game at 21:05.
Princeton would win the next draw and Gassaway one-timed a pass from Ellis at 20:31 to make it 8-6.
Halpern tallied her third of the day at 17:15 when she got open on the far side.
Drumm would get fouled and score a free-position goal at 16:18, 9-7.
Tyler Petopulos went over the right shoulder of Tochihara at 15:10 and Tetreault would tie the game when she scored a free-position goal at 14:29.
Harvard would take its first lead at 11:16 on Tetreault’s fourth goal of the game, but Princeton quickly responded on the other end with a goal from Charlotte Davis at 11:00.
Davis would score her second straight at 9:24, a free position goal that would give her a hat trick – and the Tigers back the lead 11-10.
Gassaway would seal the win for Princeton with a goal with six seconds left.
Pyle led the Tigers with four points on one goal and three helpers. Charlotte Davis, Drumm and Gassaway each had hat tricks while Ellis had two assists. Tochihara would finish the day with nine saves.
Tetreault would collect five points on four goals and one assist and Halpern tallied three as the only two multiple-point scorers. Clark finished the game with four saves.
Harvard had a slim 29-21 edge in shots and a 19-17 edge in ground balls. Princeton won the draw control battle, 14-10.