The NCAA D1 season is now underway! During the first couple of weeks of lacrosse season we’ll be finishing up the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we are going through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Princeton Tigers, located in Princeton, NJ.
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan
After going 9-5 last season, the Princeton Tigers will be looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament this spring, after missing out this past season. Princeton had a lot of change within their staff, but returns plenty of last year’s talent. Head Coach Chris Bates’ squad has plenty of potential, and could be a dangerous team in the Ivy League this year. Here is a look at who will be back in 2014.
Attack: Canadian Mike McDonald had the most points for the Tigers last year, with 43 of his shots finding the back of the net. McDonald is a tremendous finisher, with deadly accuracy and creative methods for getting his shots in tight spaces. McDonald also had 16 assists last year. Another returning starter is Ryan Ambler, a sophomore who had 11 goals and 17 assists last year. Ambler plays in the lefty attack slot, and has great vision. Expect Ambler and McDonald to connect for plenty of points for the Tigers. The third starter, as of right now, is unclear. However, the best option right now seems to be junior Will Rotatori, a good dodger who had two goals last year. Senior Forrest Sonnenfeldt and junior Brendan DeTommaso could also see some time.
Midfield: The midfield is led by #1 Overall MLL Pick Tom Schreiber. After being named a First-Team All American last year, Schreiber has the most returning points for the Tigers, 28 goals and 32 assists. Schreiber has been the leading scorer on the team every year he’s been on campus. Joining him is junior Kip Orban, the sharpshooter of the midfield. Orban put up 27 goals last season and added seven assists. Orban is the beneficiary of an offense with lots of talented feeders. Rounding out the unit is Jake Froccaro, a sophomore. Froccaro had 24 goals and 10 assists last season, and his good vision and accurate shot will be a big help to this unit. The Tigers also bring in Canadian freshman Zach Currier, whose box lacrosse experience will help him excel in the college game. Senior Nick Fernandez looks poised to have a breakout year at SSDM. Fernandez had to play longstick last year, but is a much better short-stick defender. He is joined by his classmate, Jack Strabo. This strong defensive midfield unit will be a big help to the entire defensive unit.
FOGO: The faceoff guy for Princeton in 2014 will be junior Justin Murphy. Murphy won 51% of his faceoffs last year and will be the main guy again. However, there are some other options the Tigers could use as well. Freshman Jack O’Brien is also a faceoff guy, and Froccaro has some faceoff experience as well.
LSM: Derick Raabe will be the starting long-stick middie this spring. After picking up an impressive 74 groundballs and causing ten turnovers, Raabe will bring his great stick skills back to the defensive unit and his ability to cause transition will be important to the Tigers.
Defense: Princeton brings in one of the best freshman in the country, Will Reynolds of Delbarton. Reynolds is a rock down low and a very talented on-ball defender. His impact will certainly be felt immediately. Joining him is sophomore Mark Strabo, who had 14 ground balls and 5 caused turnovers last year, starting every game. Chad Wiedmaier, Dan Cocoziello, and Damien Davis are the only three other freshman to start every game in the last 15 years for Princeton. Junior Alex Beatty is the fastest defender on the team, and his range will help the defense. Beatty had five groundballs and nine caused turnovers last year, but his stats will certainly improve now that he has been moved to close defense.
Goalie: Sophomore Matt O’Connor started 11 games for the Tigers last year, with a 9.38 goals against average. O’Connor stopped 52% of the shots that came his way last year. Junior Eric Sanschagrin also looked good this fall, with an 11.68 goals against average and a save percentage of 48%. It is unclear who will start, or even if these two keepers will split time, but right now O’Connor looks to be the more viable option.
Overall: Princeton has a great coaching staff and plenty of talent on their roster. Their offense looks dangerous, and if players like Reynolds can reach their potential, the Tigers will be solid defensively. The Tigers certainly have the potential to be a threat in the NCAA tournament, but they have a tough schedule to play first.
For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Boston, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius,
Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Delaware, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Furman,
Georgetown, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns_Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Monmouth, Navy, North Carolina,
Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn, and Penn State.