Even though Jen Hoy’s internship with Barclays took up most of her time last summer, that didn’t keep her from preparing hard for her final season on the Princeton University women’s soccer team.
“I was working long hours and I had to work out at night; I was playing in a league in the city on the weekends,” said Hoy, who had tallied a total of 18 goals in her first three college campaigns as the Tigers posted an overall record of 22-23-5.
“I was not satisfied with how we had done so far; I wanted to do everything I could to help the team and I was not going to stop until we were winning.”
Once Hoy got back to Princeton last fall, the speedy forward was an unstoppable force. The Sellersville, Pa. native scored 18 goals as the Tigers won the Ivy League title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, finishing with a final record of 14-4-1 overall and 7-0 Ivy.
Hoy earned a slew of awards for her stunning campaign, including Ivy Player of the Year, second-team All-American, and the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award as one of Princeton’s top senior female student-athletes.
“It was that attitude and the success that came from it that helped me be able to get into this position,” said Hoy, who ended up with 36 goals in her Tiger career, fourth-most in program history, and was a three-time All-Ivy choice.
“There was a sense of urgency; I was attacking the season and things came from that. We just clicked, it didn’t come down to any one thing. Everyone bought into the season and our team goals. I am so incredibly thankful for the awards and honors. At the end of the day, what means the most to me is that the team came together and won the title. In soccer, you can’t do anything alone.”
By virtue of finishing her college career with a bang, Hoy achieved goals of competing with the national program and joining a professional soccer team, as she played with the U.S. Under-23 national team this spring and signed with the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League after being drafted in January.
For Hoy, getting the call to the U-23 squad was a dream come true. “I was in school in my dorm room after going to Red Stars camp and I had a missed call from Es [Princeton assistant coach and Tiger all-time leading scorer Esmeralda Negron],” recalled Hoy.
“I played the voice mail and Es said ‘Jen I hope you had a nice trip back; you have been called to train with the U-23 team.’ I had thought about that for so long; there was a lot of jumping around. I had never played for one of the younger U.S. teams.”
Jumping at the chance to showcase her skills on a national level, Hoy scored a goal for the U-23 squad in an April 16 match against the US U-20 team.
“It was really exciting to get to know the high-level players and coaches,” said Hoy.
“A lot of people struggle in their first camp; it is hard to be competent. I struggled. Getting a goal made me more confident. I thought of coach Shackford [Princeton head coach Julie Shackford]. It was the type of goal she was always talking about. I was paying attention, the defender made a mistake, I stole a pass and scored with my left foot.”
Hoy trained with the U-23 squad again in May and is hoping for more action with the program.
“I was personally not satisfied with the May camp, I pulled a quad so that didn’t help,” said Hoy.
“It all depends on how you do at the camps; they have another camp coming up in a couple of months.”
Prior to her U-23 call up, Hoy was chosen by the Chicago Red Stars in the inaugural draft of the National Women’s Soccer League. She took part in a camp with the Red Stars in March, turning heads as she picked up an assist in a 2-0 win over Marquette in a scrimmage.
“It was a great way to put an end to my college career; I was not ready to be done with soccer,” said Hoy, reflecting on getting a chance to play for the Red Stars.
“I had wanted it but I didn’t expect it. The camp in March went really well. I set up a program with my strength coach, lifting, cardio, and playing. I was really prepared. I was fortunate to play well and get an offer.”
Finishing her classwork at Princeton after the March camp, Hoy headed to Chicago right after commencement.
“I graduated on June 4, drove out there on June 5, and joined the team on June 6,” said Hoy.
“It was good that I came out before because I got to know the girls. I really like my teammates and it was an easier transition.”
Since arriving, Hoy logged 49 minutes of action in two appearances, slowed by her nagging quad injury.
“It is difficult to compare pros to college; both are very fast-paced games,” said Hoy, whose calling card is blazing runs to goal.
“You are going against high quality players and mistakes can come back to bite you. If you lose the ball, it can end up being a goal for the other team. We have some national team players like Shannon Boxx; it is great playing with players you have looked up to for so long.”
Confident that she can rehab her injury and get back on the field, Hoy is looking to help the 3-6-3 Red Stars make a playoff push in the eight-team league that has regular season play running into mid-August.
“As a rookie, nothing much is expected of you so you can do anything,” said Hoy. “I want to help the team continue to win and make a positive contribution, whatever that means.”
Noting how far she has come since last summer, Hoy is looking to stay in the game as long as possible.
“Ideally I will play for at least another year,” said Hoy. “It is all about performance. If I play well, I can stick with it a little