May 21, 2014

Glory Days: Not an Upset, but Start of Princeton Dynasty

As told to Justin Feil | | Twitter

Hall of Fame attackman Kevin Lowe played on two Princeton championship teams. (Larry French)

Lacrosse Magazine gathered stories of NCAA tournament lore, straight from the mouths of champions, as part of our May 2014 edition. Extended versions appear here. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 415,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Princeton 10, Syracuse 9 (2OT)
Franklin Field, Philadelphia

Princeton had never won an NCAA championship when it met top-ranked Syracuse in the 1992 final at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Andy Moe scored nine seconds into double-overtime to give Princeton its first NCAA championship in any sport since 1964.

The Tigers went on to win six national championships in nine years under coach Bill Tierney. Kevin Lowe, a Hall of Fame attackman, played on two of those title teams.

Kevin Lowe

We came storming out on them. They were surprised. With our team, we were kind of a nobody. We had a bunch of nobodies, but everyone that played against us knew we had players. We weren't the best team, but we knew nobody was going to beat us. We played a brutally fundamental style of game. There wasn't any flash to it. But it certainly was effective.

The tenacity of our defense caught them by surprise. They were surprised we weren't intimidated by them. A lot of teams were. We weren't one bit. It all kind of surprised them.

We were feeling pretty good. We had a six-goal lead. We knew they were going to make a run. It went from 6-2 to 8-8. We were just scrapping against a team like that that had the momentum going. We just knew every slide counts, every ground ball counts, every save counts. We survived that.

Greg Waller had a huge goal to go up 9-8 and Scott [Bacigalupo] made a couple big saves. We had the ball and were killing a penalty, and somehow they got a turnover, they chucked the ball to the end of the field and it fell out of Scott's stick and they scored in the final minute. It was pretty unbelievable.

Both teams survived the first overtime. In the second, Andy Moe took off like a rocket from the faceoff and put it in the back of the net. Mike Mariano, in the press conference, said, "I don't view this as an upset, I view this as the start of a dynasty."

The core of our team was seniors and sophomores, and the sophomores were probably more talented. We had a good young team coming back.

The '92 guys, the guys that were seniors, that was a really special group. They genuinely cared about the Princeton lacrosse program. It was an unselfish group. They started as freshmen and gave up their jobs. It was totally selfless. They just wanted to win. Those guys were the basis for building that culture.

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