Men's lacrosse upsets Princeton with 11-9 victory

by Stephen Preefer | 4/28/08 4:44am

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Ari Sussman '10 scored three goals despite being guarded by All-American defenseman Dan Cocoziello.
by Ben Gettinger / The Dartmouth

The Big Green stayed resilient, however, and got the victory it has been looking for all season in front of a packed house on Saturday at Scully-Fahey Field, as Dartmouth shocked the No. 10 Tigers, 11-9, on Senior Day.

The victory comes on the tails of the women's lacrosse team's upset of the then-No. 2 Tigers, 13-12.

After the Princeton (7-5, 4-1 Ivy) rally in the fourth quarter, the Big Green's Phil Killian '09 responded by scoring the game winner with 10 minutes to play. After picking up a ground ball off a Princeton shot and running end-to-end, Killian missed his first attempt on Tiger goalie Alex Hewitt but was on target with his second try. Jimmy Mullen '09 put the insurance goal on the board in the final minutes of the game.

Ari Sussman '10 led Dartmouth (6-7, 2-3 Ivy) with a hat trick and Mullen and Brian Koch '09 also threw in two goals each in the contest.

"Ari played really well against another one of the nation's top defenseman, but we had so many guys step up," co-captain Doug Rendall '09 said. "Casey Hingtgen '10 shut down one of this year's Ivy rookie of the uear candidates. Koch, Mullen and [Chris] Root '10 all played really well, but it's hard to point out anyone in particular because everyone brought their A game today."

Rendall added that he was most impressed with the team's cohesive play throughout the contest. "There were some individual people that played well, but for the first time this season we played really well as a team," he said.

Despite Dartmouth's mediocre record this season, some players felt it was time for the Big Green to notch an upset.

"We knew coming into the game that Princeton was very beatable, and we felt that our defense matched up well against them," Jon L ivadas '09 said.

Dartmouth came out strong on Saturday, gaining a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game.

Mullen put the Big Green on the scoreboard less than four minutes into the contest, after goaltender Mike Novosel '10 kept the Tigers at bay with several saves. Koch and Josh Gillam '10 followed Mullen's goal with back-to-back tallies within 30 seconds of each other.

Princeton responded with one goal, but co-captain Chad Gaudet '08 won the ensuing face off and Tim Daniels '08 scored just 20 seconds later, giving the Big Green a 4-1 lead.

The Big Green added to its lead in the second quarter with goals from Sussman and Koch. Koch began the period with his second of the game on an assist from captain Ryan Orr '08 with12:51 left in the period. Sussman followed a minute later with an unassisted tally bringing the score to 6-1.

Princeton then showed signs of life, responding with three goals of its own, but Dartmouth was able to counter with a goal and maintain its lead.

Princeton junior John Lesko had two scores and senior attack Bob Schneider tallied one, but Sussman, off of an assist from Robby Pride '10, kept Princeton from further cutting into the lead. Root connected on an unassitsted goal just before halftime to give Dartmouth a 8-4 advantage going into the break.

At the half, Princeton coach and college lacrosse legend Bill Tierney was visibly displeased at his team's lackluster performance.

The Tigers came out of the locker rooms with increased intensity, opening the third period with a goal from Tiger defenseman Dan Cocoziello.

A man-up goal by Schneider with just over three minutes left in the period cut Dartmouth's lead to two.

Sussman would not let Princeton carry its momentum into the fourth quarter and scored on an unassisted shot with six seconds left in the third.

Despite Sussman's goal, Princeton mounted a rally at the start of the final period. The Tigers opened the first two and a half minutes of the fourth period with three straight scores to tie the game at 9-9.

Two minutes later, Killian's heroics halted the Tiger run, as he took a pass from Koch and bounced his shot in from 10 yards out to put the Big Green back on top, 10-9.

The two teams battled it out for the next seven minutes with both teams determined not to give up a goal. Mullen almost scored to give the Big Green a two-goal cushion but was denied by the post. Mullen would not be stopped a second time, however, as he put up Dartmouth's 11th goal of the game to seal the upset for the Big Green.

The victory does not make up for Dartmouth's disappointing season, but the Big Green hopes the victory will give the program a boost going into next year. It was the first time all season that Dartmouth has defeated a ranked opponent.

"It just showed us that when we play well together we can beat pretty much any team in the country, and it's a good sign of things to come," Rendall said.Dartmouth's win over Princeton guarantees Cornell (10-3, 5-1 Ivy) a share of the league title and creates a pivotal matchup between Princeton and Brown (10-3, 5-1 Ivy) in Providence, R.I., next weekend.

If Princeton wins, then it will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Cornell will earn the bid if Brown wins.

Dartmouth will finish its season on the road at Harvard (6-7, 1-4 Ivy) next Saturday.

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