In women’s lacrosse, when a Princeton player shoots, more often than not the ball finds the back of the net. Or at least that was the case in the first eight games of the season. Princeton won all eight, including impressive victories against Duke and Virginia, and converted on 51 percent of its shot attempts — best in the Ivy League by a wide margin.
Four players — Katie Lewis-Lamonica ’08, Holly McGarvie ’09, Christine Casaceli ’09, and Lizzie Drumm ’11 — scored 13 or more goals in the season’s first month. Lewis-Lamonica and McGarvie led Prince-ton last season, with contributions from Casaceli and others, and the arrival of Drumm, a poised and tenacious attacker, has added another threat for opposing defenses to consider.
At the eye of the storm is Ashley Amo ’08, the captain of the offense and the team’s assists leader. Head coach Chris Sailer said Amo has worked to fit into the role of playmaker since she joined the starting lineup in 2007, and this year she “has really taken it over.” Amo seems most comfortable behind the goal, directing traffic and looking for cutting teammates. But when defenses play her tight to close the passing lanes, she does not hesitate to find her own path to the net. Through April 2, she had 11 goals and 14 assists.
Amo played a significant role in two of the Tigers’ most explosive performances — a 17–10 win over James Madison March 19 and a 19–10 thrashing of Cornell March 29 — but when speaking about Princeton’s potential, she pointed to a less gaudy win, a 7–6 victory at Penn State March 15. “We were very flat, we were down by three goals, and we came back,” Amo said. “There are going to be days when you’re not playing your best, and you’ve got to battle through. I think it says a lot about our team that we weren’t playing well, but we still came out with a win.”
For Princeton, which ranked No. 2 in the April 1 Inside Lacrosse media poll, reaching the NCAA Championships is almost a given. The Tigers have played in the postseason for 10 consecutive years. But this year’s seniors never have reached the Final Four. Amo, who was recruited by Sailer when the Tigers were defending national champions, is anxious to make a run at the title in May. “We’re definitely ready to take it to the next level,” she said.