In the quarterfinal round of this year’s NCAA Championships, the Princeton women’s lacrosse team struggled to keep up with top-seeded Northwestern, allowing six goals in the first 12 minutes while replying with just one of its own. The Wildcats, who came into the May 17 game with a
43-game winning streak at home, would build their lead to 11 goals before a late Tiger rally closed the final gap to 18–11.
The loss ended what had been a promising campaign. After a scorching 10–0 start, the Tigers were slowed by injuries to key players and a string of challenging opponents late in the year. The team lost four of its final six regular-season games, but at 12–4, Princeton managed to earn the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Championships, drawing a home game against Vanderbilt in the opening round.
The ninth-seeded Commodores stayed close for much of the contest, but a late surge led the Tigers to a 14–10 victory. Princeton received contributions from what head coach Chris Sailer called her “walking wounded.” Heavily taped Holly McGarvie ’09, who hurt her left knee in the season finale against Georgetown, scored two goals and assisted on a third, while Katie Lewis-Lamonica ’08, who missed the second half of the season with a torn ligament in her right knee, returned to action wearing a brace and scored a goal on her only shot of the game. “They do a great job gutting it out, and they inspire me and their teammates,” Sailer said afterward.
Princeton’s win over Vanderbilt was Sailer’s 28th postseason victory in 22 seasons as the Tigers’ coach. She ranks second in Division-I playoff wins, behind former Maryland and current Navy coach Cindy Timchal, who has 29.