By David Marcus ’92
Under former head coach Bill Tierney, the Princeton men’s lacrosse team won games by confusing opponents with a unique defensive style. Tierney’s successor, Chris Bates, is doing the same thing with offense. The Tigers beat Johns Hopkins 11-10 in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore March 6, a week after opening their season with a 17-14 victory at home over Hofstra. Princeton’s impressive offensive production stems from Bates’s free-flowing system, and it comes despite the loss of three of the team’s top four scorers last year.
Jack McBride ’11 (Photo by Beverly Schaefer)
“They’re a challenging group to defend because of the way they play offense, a hybrid of box [indoor] lacrosse and basketball,” said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala after Saturday’s game. “They try to confuse you and force you to jump in and out of a defense. They’re slick off the ball. They’re unselfish.”
The change is evident even in Princeton’s best offensive player, preseason first-team All-American Jack McBride ’11, who scored many of his 35 goals last year by beating defensemen one-on-one. This year, McBride is moving more without the ball, and he’s quicker to pass.