February 25, 2012

Gassaway Leads Princeton to Easy Win Over Nova

from press release

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The last time the Princeton University women's lacrosse team was in Philadelphia, it was at Penn, for the make-or-break 2011 Ivy League tournament, one that led to an NCAA tournament berth and quarterfinal appearance.

Off of that end-of-year success, the 2012 Princeton Tigers returned Saturday to Philadelphia - or the Main Line at least - for the opener of a season that begins with all kinds of promise.

And the result of that first game did nothing to diminish the enthusiasm.

Jaci Gassaway scored five goals and five other Tigers had two each as Princeton defeated Villanova 16-3 on a cold, windy day to start  the 2012 season. Villanova fell to 1-2 with the loss.

The Wildcats are coached by former Princeton great Julie Shaner Young, and it marked the first time in Sailer's Hall-of-Fame career that she went against a former player as head coach.

"It was a really good game for us," Sailer said. "We came out strong. The conditions were tough with the win. They played a zone that we didn't anticipate, but we made some good adjustments. We put them under a lot of pressure and created a lot of turnovers. We had a lot of assisted goals. It was nice teamwork."

Princeton's 16 goals included 12 that were assisted, for an amazing 75%. Four players had at least two assists.

Princeton needed five minutes to score, less than two minutes to score again and then three more minutes after Villanova's goal to build a 5-1 lead that grew to 7-1 at intermission.

"Everybody played well," Sailer said. "Jaci, obviously, but it was really a complete team effort. There were so many people who contributed."

Freshman Erin McMunn had two goals and three assists in her collegiate debut and Mary-Kate Sivilli had two and two on a day when eight players had multiple points.

Princeton scored its 16 goals on just 28 shots.

Villanova's three goals were all scored by freshman Jackie Froccaro, whose brother Jeff is a junior on the Princeton men's team.

The Tigers have their home opener Wednesday night against Rutgers (6) and then host Duke Saturday at 1.

"It's obviously a big week for us," Sailer said. "I think it'll be great to be [on Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium] and have our first two home games. They're tough competition. The Rutgers game is Jersey pride. It's a good matchup, usually a close game. For us, it's a matter of getting better every time we take the field. The kids played with energy and intensity today. We need to build on positives from game to game."

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