Junior Sam Horan set a 21 save school record in Aztec Lacrosse’s home opener loss to No. 10 Princeton

Shelby+Hook+trying+to+get+around+a+Princeton+attacker%2Fmidfielder

Tania Gallardo Avalos

Shelby Hook trying to get around a Princeton attacker/midfielder.

by Adam Correa, Staff Writer

The San Diego State women’s lacrosse team (2-4) lost to the No.10 Princeton Tigers (5-0) 27-18 on Saturday, March 12.

It was the home opener for the Aztecs after starting the season with five straight road games. The Aztec Lacrosse Field was surrounded by a mixture of loud SDSU and Princeton fans. 

The opening draw control was won by senior captain Cailin Young as she sprinted past Princeton defenders and took a wicked shot for a goal past Princeton senior Sam Fish. 

The first half soon started leveling out. It was a goal for a goal situation as the Aztecs kept it close against the undefeated Tigers.

The speedy Princeton freshman Nina Montes was relentless and scored four goals in the first half while Princeton senior Kyla Sears — the leading scorer on the team — had three goals in the first half.

Balsama had three goals in the first 30 minutes to bring her season total to 29, two more than what she had at George Mason last year (27). 

Junior Sam Horan had 16 huge saves in the first two quarters as the Aztecs trailed the Tigers 14-11.

Balsama would get the scoring started in the second half, but The Tigers would end up going on a 7-0 run making it 21-12.

During that 7-0 run, the Aztecs were being called for fouls which head coach Kylee White said was one of the reasons for Princeton capitalizing.

“We played a little undisciplined,” White said. “We gave Princeton some more opportunities and fouls change momentum.”

Balsama would end the Tigers’ run with her fifth goal of the game.

While the game did start going back and forth with goals, the Scarlet and Black couldn’t get a run of their own.

Goals by sophomore Mia Kohn and junior Camdyn O’Donnell tried to start something but the Tigers defense was relentless. They held up the Aztec attackers and midfielders from getting quality scoring opportunities.

It would go Princeton’s way after offensive possession swung in their direction.

The Tigers started getting production from multiple attackers and midfielders and kept a nine-goal win of 27-18.

Montes finished the game with five goals and Sears with four goals. Sears has 19 goals on the season.

Balsama ended the game with eight goals — just like she did against Oregon — and has 34 goals on the season. She tied a school record of 10 points (eight goals and two assists).

Horan had a school record of 21 saves with Princeton putting 48 shots on goal.

Horan wished the school record was broken in a win.

“School record doesn’t matter to me, I would like to win,” Horan said. “We can beat a top 10 team, we proved that in the first half but again we need to be more disciplined and finish strong.”

Putting up 18 goals on Princeton was something no opponent has done this season. 

The #17 University of Southern California Trojans — who beat the Aztecs 18-7 earlier in the season — lost to Princeton on Tuesday, March 8 and only put up 13 goals.

White said they learned how to stick with a great team and hopes to carry that mentality to their next opponent.

“We can hang with some of the best teams in the country when we stick to our game plan and we’re physical yet disciplined and connected,” White said. “It’s just making a conscious effort to play each quarter as its own so we get 60 minutes.”

The Aztecs’ next game will be against the Marquette Eagles (4-4) on Tuesday, March 15 at the Aztec Lacrosse Field.