Vol. LXIV, No. 45
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
(Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)
BIG BEN: Princeton University mens soccer senior star Ben Burton, center, celebrates with Mark Linnville, right, and Antoine Hoppenot after scoring a first half goal last Saturday in Princetons 2-1 win over Penn. Center halfback Burton also helped to spearhead the Tiger defense as it held off a late Quaker charge.
Roberts Stadium was overflowing with a raucous crowd of more that 2,000 last Saturday evening as the 16th-ranked Princeton University mens soccer team hosted No. 13 Penn with the Ivy League title on the line.
If you had told Princeton senior defender Ben Burton in 2007 that he would be playing his last regular season home game of his Tiger career under such circumstances, he would likely have dismissed such a notion as some crazy fantasy.
Its been a long time coming, said Burton. My freshman year was tough, we had an 0-6 start. Our sophomore year wasnt that great.
Last Saturday, Burton helped Princeton get off to a great start in the matchup which saw both teams enter the evening with 5-0 Ivy League records as he scored on a header in the 14th minute to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Adding a new chapter to the programs storied tradition, the Princeton University mens basketball team ended last winter by making a run to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) semifinals.
Like some of the great Tiger teams of the past, Princeton showed verve and skill on a national stage as it knocked off Duquesne and IUPUI before falling to St. Louis University.
For Tiger head coach Sydney Johnson, the late run was an important step forward in his effort to raise Princetons competitiveness and profile.
I think that was important because we got more games in, said Johnson, speaking at the programs recent media day in reflecting on a winter that saw his team go 22-9.
Courtney Banghart laughs when she recalls that her Princeton University womens basketball team was picked seventh in the Ivy League media preseason poll prior to her debut season as head coach in 2007-08.
We were picked seventh and finished seventh, said Banghart at the programs recent media day. They havent gotten it right since then. In my second year, we were picked seventh and finished third. Last year, we were picked third and finished first.
In ascending to the top of the league last year, Princeton produced the best season in program history as the team went 26-3, including a 14-0 mark in Ivy play and its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
With the 2010-11 season tipping off this weekend as the Tigers host Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU) on November 13, Banghart is hoping that the preseason poll is finally right again as her team is a nearly unanimous pick to win a second straight title.
On Saturday evening, Maxime Hoppenot was in the crowd cheering on the Princeton University mens soccer team as it battled Penn.
Hoppenot enjoyed a special moment late in the contest when his older brother, PU junior star Antoine Hoppenot, scored the goal that gave the Tigers a 2-1 victory and a share of the Ivy League title.
The next afternoon, Maxime was drawing the cheers as he helped the Princeton Day School boys soccer team edge visiting Gill St. Bernards 2-1 in the state Prep B championship game.
In the wake of the victory, the PDS midfielder got hugged and saluted by Antoine, who was on hand to support his brother and his former high school side.
Coming into this fall, Laila Razzaghi had visions of triggering the offense of the Princeton Day School girls soccer team from the forward spot.
But after some preseason injuries hit PDS, senior star Razzaghi was moved to the sweeper position along the Panther backline.
As it turned out, Razzaghi was able to have just as much influence leading from the back.
At one end of the bar at the venerable Princeton hangout, Contes Pizza, two framed photos grab the eye.
One is a shot of Italys 2006 World Cup champions and the other depicts the Princeton High boys soccer team after it won the 2009 Group III state championship.
For the longtime proprietor of Contes, Ciro Baldino, those images represent two of the driving forces of his life.
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