The nation's highest scoring team, led by the leader in points per game in college lacrosse for only the last 37 years, took on the nation's fifth-highest scoring team, led by the player who ranks second in college lacrosse in points per game during those 37 years. A year ago, these teams combined for 35 goals and those two players combined for 19 points.
If you were expecting more of the same, you weren't alone.
George Baughan was having none of it.
Baughan adds a caused turnover and GB to his goal. pic.twitter.com/RURibO8nFI— Princeton Lacrosse (@TigerLacrosse) April 28, 2018
Baughan, the Princeton freshman defenseman, played about a perfect game, holding Cornell's Jeff Teat - who torched Princeton a year ago for 12 points - without a goal or assist while causing four turnovers and leading Princeton to a 14-8 win over Cornell in front of 1,636 fans at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium. Baughan even outscored Teat as he scored his first career goal with 5:38 left in the first quarter, putting Princeton up 3-2. The game would not be tied again after that.
Princeton won for the fifth straight time and snapped Cornell's seven-game winning streak in the process. The Big Red knew they were locked into the second seed in next week's Ivy League tournament regardless of the outcome, while Princeton knew it needed Dartmouth to beat Brown in Saturday's late game to get in.
The Princeton-Cornell game last year, an 18-17 Big Red win, was a showcase for Teat and Princeton's Michael Sowers, who rank 1-2 in Division I in points per game and who brought in career averages of 6.12 (Teat) and Sowers (5.96) that were the best in Division I since 1981 and the fifth and sixth best all-time in Division I history.
Baughan played Teat to a draw on the first possession of the day for Cornell, and it turned out to be a preview of the rest of the game. In fact, Teat had only one shot for the entire game, as Baughan shadowed him every place he went.
Thompson unassisted. 9-4 Tigers mid-third pic.twitter.com/slbsuuGYjg— Princeton Lacrosse (@TigerLacrosse) April 28, 2018
As for Sowers, he started the scoring with the first goal of the day and would finish with two goals and two assists, giving him 83 points on the season and breaking the school single-season record of 82, which he happened to have set a year ago.
But this game was about Baughan and then an amazing team effort. Princeton got goals from 10 players, including two from poles, as Charlie Tarry also s scored - after another Baughan caused turnover. No player had more than two but Sowers was joined by Phillip Robertson, Connor McCarthy and Riley Thompson with a pair. Austin Sims had a goal and two assists.