Princeton Heads To Ithaca To Face Cornell
Game #7: #17 Princeton (3-3, 0-1 Ivy) vs. Cornell (6-2, 2-0 Ivy)
Sherrerd Field | 12 p.m.
ESPN+ | International Stream | Live Stats
48th Meeting All-Time On Tap For Princeton And Cornell
Princeton leads the all-time series against Cornell 42-5 and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two. Princeton’s last loss to Cornell came in 2016, but that streak was in serious danger a year ago when the Tigers trailed the Big Red 12-9 late in the third quarter. The Tigers then took control, going on a 4-0 run in a 7:36 stretch that began when McKenzie Blake just beat the third quarter buzzer and then Grace Tauckus, Ellie Mueller and Kate Mulham all scored in the first half of the fourth quarter. Princeton shut Cornell out for the final 23:12 of the game. Cornell comes into the game as the highest-scoring team in the Ivy League at 13.88 goals per game, but the top four teams in the league are separated by just 0.38 per game, as Princeton is fourth at 13.50.
Amelia Hughes and Jami MacDonald are two of the 20 freshmen named to the Inside Lacrosse Freshman Impact Rankings. The two are the only Ivy League players on the list, which was presented alphabetically. Hughes, who has started every game in goal for the Tigers, is third nationally in saves per game at 12.50 while leading the Ivy League in both saves per game and save percentage. She has also been the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week (after a 14-save outing against USC) and the IWLCA Defensive Player of the Week, after a 19-save performance against Temple. MacDonald leads Princeton and is fourth in the Ivy League in both points per game and assists per game.
Blake McKenzie (vs. Temple) and Jami MacDonald (vs. Rutgers) have both had six-goal games this season. For the season, Princeton has four players in double figures in goals — Blake (17), Buonanno (14), MacDonald (13), Grace Tauckus (10).
On the draw
Princeton’s three leaders in draw controls for the season all have between 17 and 19. Kari Buonanno leads the team with 19, followed by Sophie Whiteway with 18 and Ellie Mueller with 17. A year ago, for the entire 19 game season, Princeton had four players have 19 or more.
Junior Ellie Mueller has those 17 draw controls in the last two games, with nine against USC and then eight more against Penn State. Prior to that Mueller did not have a single draw control for her career. She 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 that 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 10 points this season, scoring seven goals and adding three assists.
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.
Get the scoop
Shannon Berry and Jami MacDonald are tied for the team lead with 10 ground balls.
Keeping Track Of Kari
Kari Buonanno has 73 career points in 25 career games entering this weekend, with 55 goals and 18 assists. She has scored at least one goal in all 24 games she has played as a Tiger, and she has at least two goals in nine of her last 11 games dating to last season. Buonanno had four goals and an assist last week against Penn State.
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 seven points (7g, 4a) in five games this season, including a season-best four points last week against Penn State.
MacDonald’s Serving Up Points
First-year attacker Jami MacDonald has made a great first impression, tallying 21 points (13g, 8a) over her first six games. MacDonald is ahead of the pace of her older brother Mike, a 2015 Princeton graduate the Roper Trophy winner as the top senior male athlete in his class. Mike MacDonald, who ranks fifth all-time with the Princeton men in career points with 208, had eight goals and three assists in his first six career games.
Grace Tauckus has 100 career shots on goal, and she’s scored on just short of three-quarters of those shots, with 74 career goals. She has at least one goal in every game of her career, and she has scored 2+ goals in 23 of her 30 career appearances. Tauckus also has 13 career assists, giving her 87 career points.
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 23 of 24 career games, including a career-high six goals at Temple this season. Entering this week, she has 20 points points (17g, 3a) and nine 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 2.83 goals-per-game are No. 5 in the Ivy League and are No. 55 in the nation.