Rainy skies and cloud cover made way for clear skies in Princeton, N.J. Tuesday night as the Manhattan Jaspers came to town to take on the Princeton Tigers.
After a tough-fought 16-15 loss at UNC last weekend, Princeton entered the game ranked sixth in the nation, with Manhattan posting a 1-4 record coming into the contest.
The first quarter was sloppy, to say the least, with errant passes and bad shots taking center stage as both teams looked to find their groove. Manhattan posted the first goal of the game, as Patrick Hodapp beat Princeton goalie Matt O'Conner low to put his team ahead 1-0.
After the slow first stanza, the Tigers turned on the offense and went on a tear. Tiger freshman Ryan Ambler continued his excellent play and put Princeton on the board with a beautiful left-handed goal.
From there, the Tigers never looked back.
Ambler would finish with three goals and two assists on the night, while All-American Tom Schreiber played the role of distributor, finishing with a goal and three assists. Sophomore midfielder Kip Orban showed offensive prowess, posting a hat trick on his home turf.
By halftime, the Tigers were well in control, which allowed head coach Chris Bates and his staff to empty the bench and get the entire healthy roster on the field at some point. With the victory, Bates earned career win 100, with the majority of those wins coming in his 10 years at Drexel.
After letting in the first goal, O'Conner zoned in, finishing with an 88-percent save rate on the night. After his success, he was able to take a breather as backups Brian Kavanagh and Eric Sanschagrin saw action in goal late in the game.
The player of the game for the Tigers, however, posted zero points on the night. Sophomore Justin Murphy provided Princeton with stability and success on faceoffs, a dimension of the Tigers arsenal that has been less-than-stellar thus far in 2013. Hopefully for Princeton, Murphy can be the answer to its problems in that regard moving forward.
After cruising to a victory Tuesday night, Princeton will return to action Saturday as it travels to Franklin Field in Philadelphia to take on a talented Penn Quakers club. This begins the Ivy League season for Princeton, which won the regular season league title a year ago.
The Ivy League is incredibly deep this year, headlined by Cornell and Princeton, with Penn showing it has the ability to be a top-10 team in the coming weeks.
Manhattan continues its campaign Saturday as it travels upstate to take on Binghamton.