So as I wrote about how a handful of teams recently released their schedules, Princeton decided to do the same. Which I’m absolutely okay with.
The Tigers hope to start in a new direction after last year’s situation with former coach Chris Bates (now at Episcopal Academy) being fired. Matt Madalon got the interim tag taken off and begins his first full year as the head honcho of the Ivy League institution.
Let’s dive into this schedule.
The Tigers have their first five games of the season all at home. It could be a good thing, or it could be a bad thing, we don’t know and we won’t know until May. But Princeton begins their season February 18 against fellow Jersey team NJIT. Three days later, Marist comes to town. It will be Princeton’s first ever meeting with the Red Foxes, who won the MAAC championship in 2015. It should be a good start for the Tigers, before they get set to host Hofstra on the 25th to conclude the month of February. Now let’s hope for nice weather in New Jersey. Because the last time the two teams met at the Class of 1952 Stadium, it was bad.
Princeton kicks off March with an afternoon game against rival Johns Hopkins on the 4th. It will be the 87th all-time meeting between the two blue bloods of lacrosse. Three days later, the Tigers will end their homestand with last year’s MAAC champion, Quinnipiac. This will be the third ever meeting between the two teams, and the first since 2004. The Tigers stay in the Garden State as they take on Rutgers on the 14th in the 95th all-time meeting between the Jersey schools. Ivy League play begins on the 18th at Franklin Field against Penn, followed to a return to Princeton on the 24th to take on the defending Ivy League champs, Yale.
A visit from Mike Daly’s Brown squad opens up the month of April on the 1st, before two straight road games against Stony Brook (April 8) and Lehigh (April 11). This will be the third consecutive season Princeton plays both these teams. The remainder of the season are Ivy League games. The Tigers travel to New Hampshire to take on Dartmouth on April 15, followed by the regular season home finale on the 22nd against Harvard, and the regular season wrapping up on the 29th in Ithaca against archrival Cornell.
It will be hard for Princeton to crack the top four in the Ivy League this season, but I think the league is more wide open than it was last year’s two-horse race with Yale and Brown. Senior captain Gavin McBride, Zach Currier, Riley Thompson, and Austin Sims will be looked upon to lead the Princeton offense this year, while fellow senior captain Bear Goldstein, Will Reynolds, and goalie Tyler Blaisdell will be key players on defense. And definitely look for freshman attackman Michael Sowers to get some time during the season, along with sophomore midfielder Dawson McKenzie. It might not be this year, but I wouldn't be shocked to see Princeton start to slowly climb back up soon.