No. 16 Women’s Lacrosse Hosts No. 20 USC Friday
Game #5: #16 Princeton (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) vs. No. 20 USC (4-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
Sherrerd Field | 12 p.m.
ESPN+ | International Stream | Live Stats
Tigers And Trojans Meet For Fourth Time
Princeton owns a 3-0 record in the all-time series between the two teams, including an 18-13 win in Los Angeles last year. This is just the second meeting all-time between the two schools in Princeton — the first also an 18-13 win for the Tigers on March 3, 2013.
Last year, Princeton dominated the first quarter by building a 4-0 lead and keeping USC off the scoreboard until just 0:03 was left in the opening period. The Tigers would go on to lead, 9-4, at halftime and the two teams played even in the second half for the 18-13 Princeton win. Kyla Sears had 7 points (4g, 3a) in the game, while McKenzie Blake had five goals. Ellie Mueller was a key playmaker with four assists, while Sophie Whiteway also had a breakout game with three goals and nine draw controls. Grace Tauckus had a pair of goals, going 2-for-3 on free positions.
Hughes And Blake Lead Tigers By Temple
Ameila Hughes had 19 saves, and McKenzie Blake scored six goals to lead Princeton by Temple, 17-9, to secure their first win of the 2023 season — and Jenn Cook’s first as head coach. The Tigers dominated the start of the game, building a 4-0 lead after the first quarter. Overall, the Tigers’ performance in the opening and closing periods was the difference as Princeton outscored the Owls, 10-1, in the first and fourth quarters. Sophie Whiteway was a factor all over the field, scoring three goals and winning five draws. The work of Hughes in the cage was most evident when Temple drew free positions — she held the Owls scoreless on all seven free positions they took during the game.
Hughes Named IWLCA Defensive Player Of The Week
For her 19-save effort against the Owls, Amelia Hughes was named IWLCA National Defensive Player of the Week. She enters the week ranked No. 1 in the nation in saves-per-game (15.0) and her .517 save percentage ranks No. 3 in the Ivy League and No. 21 in the country.
Blake Garners Ivy League Offensive Player Of The Week Honors
After her six-goal, four-ground ball performance at Temple, McKenzie Blake earned her first career Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week selection. Her eight goals through two games are No. 3 among Ivy Leaguers, And she ranks No. 1 in the Ivies and No. 11 nationally with 4.0 goals-per-game.
Jenn Cook is in her first season as head coach of the Tigers and 11th overall on staff at Princeton. The 2007 North Carolina grad takes over for Hall of Famer Chris Sailer after serving 10 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach. During her 10 previous years with the Tigers, Cook has been part of seven Ivy League championships during the eight seasons contest around COVID-19 pauses. She has helped guide the Tigers to eight NCAA appearances in those eight full seasons, reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals three times. A three-time All-American and two-time Tewaaraton Award nominee as a player, Cook was the 2007 Inside Lacrosse Defender of the Year and graduated as the Tar Heel’s all-time leader in ground balls (200) and games played (76).
Cook’s first career win came on February 25 at Temple via a 17-9 victory, and her first career win over a Top-25 opponent was an 18-12 win at No. 14 Rutgers on March 1.
Whiteway Wins Draws
Sophie Whiteway is the top returning draw specialist for the Tigers with 57 DCs during the 2022 season and 73 overall entering this weekend. Her 57 draws last year are tied for No. 7 in a season by a Tiger and her nine wins at USC in 2022 are tied for No. 6 in a game by a Princeton player. She has won 16 draws so far this season, most on the team.
Keeping Track Of Kari
Kari Buonanno has 65 career points in 23 career games entering this weekend, with 48 goals and 17 assists. She has scored at least one goal in all 23 games she has played as a Tiger.
Kate The Great!
Kate Mulham missed all of the 2019 season with an ACL injury, but returned to form in the 2020 season with eight points in five games. Last year was a breakout season for Mulham with 35 goals and 48 points in 19 games — including five-goal games against Maryland and Penn. She has five points (3g, 2a) in three games this season.
MacDonald’s Serving Up Points
First-year attacker Jami MacDonald has made a great first impression, tallying 14 points (10g, 4a) over her first four games. Last week at Rutgers, she had a breakout performance with six goals and an assist to go with three ground balls. Her 3.50 points-per-game are No. 7 among first-year players in the country and most by an Ivy rookie.
Grace Tauckus is the leading scorers among returning players with 75 career points over her first two seasons and 82 total entering this weekend. The second-team All-Ivy selection last season has 70 career goals entering this weekend, scoring her 70 goals on 93 shots on goal — scoring on 75% of her shots on goal over her career. She has at least one goal in each of her 28 career games, and has scored 2+ goals in 21 of her 27 career appearances.
Junior Ellie Mueller had 24 points in 18 games last season in her first year of college lacrosse, scoring 14 goals and adding 10 assists while also scooping up 24 ground balls. Her father, Kit, played basketball at Princeton, graduating in 1991 after a career which saw him twice be named Ivy League Player of the Year and win three Ivy League championships. Scoring runs in the Mueller family, as Kit ranks No. 4 all-time in scoring by a Princeton men’s basketball player with 1,546 points. Mueller has eight points this season, scoring five goals and adding three assists.
Know The Name Nina
Sophomore Nina Montes had 23 points in 17 games last season, playing mostly in the second line of attack. She had a six-point game at San Diego State (5g, 1) last season and matched that career-high with a 4g, 2a outing against No. 13 Virginia in the 2023 season opener. Overall this season, she has seven points (4g, 3a).
McKenzie Blake was third on the team in goals last year as a first-year player, scoring 36 and adding 10 assists for a 46-point debut season. In addition, she led all field players with 34 ground balls and pitched in 12 caused turnovers. She has scored at least one goal in 22 of 23 career games, including a career-high six goals at Temple this season. Entering this week, she has 15 points (14g, 1a) and six ground balls. She followed up a six-goal game at Temple on February 25 with three-goal games at No. 14 Rutgers and No. 22 Yale.
Blake’s 3.5 goals-per-game lead the Ivy League and are No. 22 in the nation.
Coming Up Hughes!
First-year goalkeeper Amelia Hughes has made 49 saves through four games, leading the Ivy League and ranking No. 2 in the nation in saves-per-game (12.25). She has made 10+ saves in three of her four career starts, including 19 at Temple in her first career win.