The Rutgers women's lacrosse team fell to Princeton this evening by a score of 18-12. The No. 14 Scarlet Knights (3-2, 0-0) conceded 8 goals in the first half following a dominant offensive performance from the No. 15 Tigers (2-1, 0-0).
Shortly after getting on the score sheet, the Tigers would score 2 goals in less than 1 minute to take a 3-1 lead. Graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn responded, scoring the Knights' 2nd goal of the game.
Less than 1 minute later, MacDonald scored again to extend Princeton's lead to 2 goals. Hartshorn would fire back, but Kari Buonanno beat the clock with 10 seconds left to put the Tigers ahead 5-3 heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth scoring affair. Senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis started off strong and scored from a free position attempt in the opening 4 minutes. Princeton would then score back-to-back goals from MacDonald and Buonanno to extend its lead to 3 goals.
With 7:37 remaining, Spilis found the back of the net for the second time in the quarter to cut the score to two points. Kate Mulham quickly responded, netting the Tigers' 8th goal of the game.
Rutgers would gain momentum at the end of the second quarter, as the team scored 3 goals in the final 5 minutes. Sophomore attacker/midfielder Michelle Warren netted her first collegiate goal, and freshman attacker Ava Kane scored 23 seconds later. Hartshorn secured her hat trick to knot things up at 8-8 heading into halftime.
In the first 5 minutes of the third quarter, Princeton retook the lead through McKenzie Blake. With 4:04 remaining, the Tigers took a 4-goal lead thanks to 2 goals from MacDonald and 1 goal from Buonanno. With Princeton threatening to pull away, Spilis and sophomore midfielder Emalie Clothier both scored to cut the Knights' deficit to two. Junior attacker Kate Carolonza beat the buzzer to make the score 12-11 heading into the final quarter.
The Tigers would take full control of the game in the fourth quarter. Princeton scored 5 straight goals to extend its lead to 17-11. With 2:48 remaining, Spilis scored Rutgers' 12th goal of the game, but it was too little too late.
Buonanno finished things off in the last 2 minutes of the game with her 4th goal, which sealed victory for the Tigers.
The Knights will begin Big Ten play when they take on Penn State next Saturday. Face-off is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will be played in Nashville, Tennessee.
"We got a lot of possessions, and we're winning the draw controls," said head coach Melissa Lehman after the game. "I think overall, some untimely turnovers and losing some of the 50-50 balls went Princeton's way today."
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