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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #28 Princeton Tigers

Princeton enters 2019 with the nation’s longest winning streak at five games.

Patrick Tewey

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Jacksonville, Boston University, and Penn State.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#28 Princeton Tigers

Conference: Ivy League
2018 Record: 8-5 (3-3 in Ivy League play)
Head coach: Matt Madalon (2nd Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Phillip Robertson (33)
Assists: Michael Sowers (56)
Points: Michael Sowers (83)
Faceoffs: Sam Bonafede (126-of-245; 51.4%)
Ground balls: Sam Bonafede (64)
Caused turnovers: George Baughan (16)
Goals against average: Tyler Blaisdell (11.53 GAA)
Save percentage: Tyler Blaisdell (53%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Austin Sims (32 Gs, 16 As, 23 GBs), M Riley Thompson (14 Gs, 19 As, 13 GBs), G Tyler Blaisdell (11.53 GAA, 53% SV %, 19 GBs), D Daniel Winschuh (6 GBs, 7 CTs), FOGO Sam Bonafede (51.4% faceoff draws, 64 GBs, 1 G, 1 A), SSDM J.T. Caputo (7 GBs, 2 CTs)
Senior scoring departing: 85 of 297 points (28.6%)
Senior starts lost: 48 of 130 (36.9%)

Season Summary

Is Princeton close to being back? It was a second straight year the Tigers finished the regular season at 8-5 before making it to the Ivy League Tournament two seasons ago. But despite getting hot late in the season, it wasn’t enough for a conference tournament spot.

Things actually began rough. After escaping Monmouth with a double overtime victory, the Tigers suffered two more losses to Virginia and Johns Hopkins. A week later, Princeton took home one of their best victories of the season with an OT win over Rutgers, thanks to five straight Tiger goals with three of them coming from Austin Sims. But Ivy League play began and it wasn’t kind to Matt Madalon’s gang early one, suffering losses against Penn, Yale, and Brown. The latter of those three games would cost them later in the season.

Princeton’s schedule in April was fairly easy, as the Tigers earned wins over Stony Brook, Siena, Dartmouth, and Harvard before taking on Cornell in their season finale. That finale may have shown what Princeton will looks like for future seasons. George Baughan limited Jeff Teat to just one shot while the freshman scored a goal and caused four turnovers in a 14-8 win over the Big Red to wrap up the season on a high-note.

Despite his team not making a conference tournament, Michael Sowers continued to flourish as a sophomore with 83 points, 56 of those coming as assists. Sowers, along with Phillip Robertson and freshman Chris Brown, made up a young attack trio. The midfield was a little more experienced with seniors Austin Sims and Riley Thompson joining sophomore Connor McCarthy on the first unit. Freshman Luke Crimmins, along with juniors Emmet Cordrey and Dawson McKenzie, also saw time at midfield.

On defense, sophomore Arman Medghalchi was the only Tiger to start all 13 games on close defense. He was joined for the most part by senior Daniel Winschuh as well as freshman George Baughan and juniors Charlie Tarry and Aran Roberts. Chase Williams and J.T. Caputo were the top two short sticks, while freshman Andrew Song and sophomore Nick Bauer were the Tiger LSMs. Tyler Blaisdell started another season in goal, while Sam Bonafede took over primary faceoff duties after Zach Currier graduated.

Looking Ahead

Princeton returns a ton of talent in 2019 and hopes to return to the Ivy League Tournament. Luckily many of those starters have in-game experience which helps. With the entire attack unit the same, the weakness on offense is at midfield. McCarthy was the sophomore on the top unit that featured two talented seniors. Crimmins, McKenzie, and even sophomore Jamie Atkinson are some guys to watch at that unit.

Defensively, the biggest weakness is in goal. It’ll be tough to replace Blaisdell, but sophomore Jon Levine hopes to fill that hole well. He appeared in seven games, though has a 41.4% save percentage in 63:11 of playing time. Another weakness is at the faceoff X once again. With Bonafede now graduated, could freshman Jack-Henry Vara or sophomore Ralph Chrappa take control?

Here’s who the Tigers will be adding to their roster for next year.*

Princeton’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Luc Anderson Midfield Avon Old Farms (CT)
Nicky Bond Midfield Westfield (NJ)
Jack Crockett Attack Sacred Heart Prep (CA)
Will Kusniarek Attack Chaminade (NY)
Luca Lazzaretto Defense/LSM Loyola Academy (IL)
Beau Pederson Attack Park City (UT)
Jake Stevens Midfield Culver (IN)
Jacob Stoebner Defense Westlake (TX)
Alex Vardaro Midfield Hewlett (NY)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.

Poll

How many wins will Princeton get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    0-5
    (1 vote)
  • 19%
    6-7
    (11 votes)
  • 49%
    8-9
    (28 votes)
  • 29%
    10+
    (17 votes)
57 votes total Vote Now