No. 2 ranked Tigers come to town

by Scott Harrison | 4/24/98 5:00am

Last weekend the Dartmouth men's lacrosse team turned its season around with two straight wins over Brown and Providence. This weekend they've got the chance to turn their program around with a single monumental win over the number two team in the country: Princeton University.

The defending back-to-back National Champions look to clinch their fourth straight Ivy League title here on Saturday against the Big Green, who come into the game at 4-5 on the season.

Even with the disparity in records, Dartmouth knows a win at Memorial Field would salvage its season and put a positive footnote on the end of the season.

"A win here would mean everything," Adam Demark '00 said. "It would be the biggest thing any of us have done in our careers."

Offensively, Princeton is fueled by an imposing attack line of three seniors: Jesse Hubbard, Chris Massey and Jon Hess, who have scored 93 points between them in eight games this season.

Hubbard and Massey are two of the four players in Princeton history who have scored more than 100 career goals. Hess had fed those two guys throughout his career, tallying a total of 119 assists. By contrast, Dartmouth's three highest point scorers have combined for 49 points in 10 games.

"Their offense is considered possibly the best ever to play college lacrosse," Demark said. "We can't let them take over the game. We need to make them earn their goals."

While the offense may get all of the credit on the stat sheets, it is the Princeton defensive unit that overwhelms opponents. They limited teams to an average of only 7.13 goals per game this season, while Dartmouth has let in nearly 12 goals a game.

Furthermore, Princeton has outscored opponents 33-8 in the third quarter, a quarter that coaches typically point to as the key to any game. An aggressive, athletic bunch, the Princeton defense won't be content to simply stop the Dartmouth offense on Sunday, it will look to take the ball away. That is not good news for the Big Green, who until last weekend's 29- goal output have struggled to put the ball in the net.

"This is why we play lacrosse - to challenge ourselves against the best. I'm going to enjoy every minute of it," said Adam Solow '01 who earned rookie of the week honors for his seven points in the Brown and Providence wins the past weekend.

A Dartmouth upset, however, is by no means out of the question. Princeton defeated Brown only 9-6 for their slimmest margin of victory for all season. Dartmouth also squeaked out a win over Brown 14-13, but over the first three quarters, the Big Green utterly dominated the Bears, holding them scoreless for over 30 minutes and outscoring them 11-3. If a fired up, self confident Dartmouth team can reproduce that level of play on Sunday, Princeton may be in for a tough time.

With that in mind, Dartmouth just wants to get out on the field.

"Coming out against a team like that everyone will be fired up - we'll be on that level [that we had against Brown] starting on Sunday," Gregg Edell '00 said. "We just have to play flawlessly."

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