Scott Mackenzie's lone goal of the game was the most significant one for the Princeton men's lacrosse team.
The senior midfielder's blast from the right wing propelled the No. 8 Tigers to an 11-10 overtime win against No. 5 Johns Hopkins in the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday.
The game-winning play occurred when the Blue Jays tried to double-team Tigers junior attackman Jack McBride. Standing at the left point, McBride (three goals, one assist) crossed the ball to a wide-open Mackenzie, and he beat Johns Hopkins senior goalkeeper Michael Gvozden inside the left post just 59 seconds into overtime.
"Jack made a great look, and I just put it away," Mackenzie said. "I actually had that same look in the second quarter, and I pulled it to the right of the goalie. We had the exact same look [in overtime], and Jack and I kind of looked at each other. I was like, 'I'm going to put this away, I hope.' "
His heroics helped Princeton (2-0) avoid a potential meltdown, as the Tigers owned a 7-4 advantage at halftime. But their offense stalled in the second half, allowing the Blue Jays to cut into the deficit.
Freshman midfielder Jeff Froccaro scored his fourth goal of the game to give Princeton a 10-8 lead with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter. But 56 seconds later, freshman midfielder Zach Palmer brought Johns Hopkins within one when he shoveled a shot - while standing with his back to the net - into the top left corner past a surprised Tyler Fiorito (eight saves).
With time winding down, both teams committed a series of turnovers until Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Michael Kimmel carried the ball into the offensive zone and fired a jump shot from about 12 yards past Fiorito with 17 seconds left in regulation.
Despite that goal, the Tigers were effective in limiting the Blue Jays' primary weapons. Kimmel, who was shadowed by sophomore long-stick midfielder Jonathan Meyers, recorded one goal and two assists, and senior attackman Steven Boyle, who led the team in goals (13) and points (17) coming into the game, finished with one goal and one assist.
"I was encouraged," Princeton coach Chris Bates said. His defense had surrendered 14 goals in a three-goal win over No. 12 Hofstra on Feb. 27. "There are times when the defense bends a little bit, but we really haven't broken, and I give our guys credit for their leadership."
Boyle, who was blanketed by junior defenseman Long Ellis, said the Tigers didn't alter their defensive game plan from their season opener.
"I think we were a little bit stagnant on offense in the first half," he said. "I think we came out in the second half with a little bit of a spark, but it was just a little bit too late."
For Johns Hopkins (3-1), the outcome was frustrating because the team had chances to win in regulation. Freshmen midfielders John Greeley and John Ranagan both hit the crossbar early in the fourth quarter, and the defense surrendered a goal to McBride with one second left in the first quarter.
"We had our opportunities to actually put that one away, but you give Princeton a lot of credit," coach Dave Pietramala said. "They found a way to win. We talk a lot about how little details win one-goal games, and they were a little bit more about the little details than we were." Princeton 4 3 2 1 1 - 11J.Hopkins 4 0 4 2 0 -10Goals:
P-Froccaro 4, J. McBride 3, Moni 2, C. McBride, MacKenzie; JH-Boland 2, Duerr 2, Boyle, Chautin, Kimmel, Matthews, Palmer, Wharton. Assists:
P-Engelke 3, Chanenchuk 2, C. McBride 2, J. McBride; J-Kimmel 2, Boyle, Donovan, Greeley. Saves:
P-Fiorito 8; JH-Gvozden 10. Att: