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Although inclement weather forced the cancellation of today's Harvard-Brown match in Providence, the men's lacrosse race in the Ivy League figures to heat up soon, with a number of key games on the docket this weekend.
The season may be young, but one team has already established itself as a force to be reckoned with: Princeton.
The Tigers (6-1, 3-0) have dominated their league rivals to this point, outscoring Ancient Eight foes by a 53-17 margin and tallying 85 goals in their last five games, a school record. Last week, Princeton crushed Brown and Penn, by respective scores of 15-5 and 19-4.
Leading the surge for the Tigers is a talented corps of young players--freshman Lorne Smith, sophomores Chris Massey, Jesse Hubbard and Jon Hess, and junior Todd Eichelberger. The quintet scored 14 of 15 goals against Brown, and has accounted for 74 of Princeton's 106 goals on the season.
Smith, who has a goal in every game this year, was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the third time. He tallied two goals and an assist against Penn, and added three more goals in the win at Brown.
Goalie Patrick Cairns has also been solid for the Tigers, leading the league with a 7.22 GAA.
Harvard and Dartmouth are currently tied for second place behind Princeton.
The Crimson (4-1, 1-0) had a solid week that featured a pair of non-league games, an 18-3 trouncing of Vermont and a 7-6 overtime loss to 11th-ranked Notre Dame on Saturday. Junior goalie Rob Lyng earned a spot on the Ivy League Honor Roll by making a total of 36 saves in the two contests.
Senior co-captain Mike Eckert showed why he is the fourth-leading scorer in the league by exploding for eight goals and seven assists in the three contests.
With yesterday's contest indefinitely postponed, the Crimson must now focus on Saturday's crucial match against Princeton.
The Big Green (3-1, 1-0) inaugurated its Ivy campaign in grand style by dispatching of Penn, 21-14. Junior Scott Hapgood recorded seven goals and one assist in the victory, and has the second-highest overall goals total in the league.
The surprise team of the Ivy League thus far has undoubtedly been Yale (4-4, 2-1). The Elis have won three of their last four contests, including a surprising 11-9 triumph over Brown and a 14-8 trouncing of Rutgers last week.
Junior Shawn O'Rourke has been the heart of Yale's offense, and earned Ivy League Player of the Week Honors for his five goals and nine assists in the two contests. He ranks second in the league in overall scoring (18g, 16a) and first in Ivy League scoring (8g, 9a).
Cornell (3-4, 1-1) won its only contest last week, a 15-9 triumph over UMBC. Senior goalie Michael LaRocco earned a spot on the Ivy League Honor Roll by making 15 saves in the game, while freshman Pat Dutton added three goals and an assist.
A pair of winless teams, Brown and Penn, are firmly entrenched in the league's cellar.
The Bears (4-4, 0-2) have been the league's most disappointing team to date. After a 4-1 start that saw wins against three nationally-ranked squads, they have lost three straight games, including last week's setbacks to the Elis and Tigers.
Brown needs to win its weekend contest against Penn to get back on track. The Quakers (3-7, 0-4) have looked outmatched in league play thus far, primarily due to a defense that has allowed a league-worst 123 goals to date.
These shortcomings have offset an impressive offense that has tallied a league-high 118 goals and features the league's leading scorer in sophomore John Ward (30 g, 8a).
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