Some of Sarah Brennan’s earliest memories revolve around time spent on the Princeton University campus.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I have been going there,” said Brennan, whose father, Sean, and mother, Susan, are both Princeton alums.
“I went to my first reunion when I was under one. I have been to 18 reunions. I have all kinds of crazy orange and black outfits.”
This week, Brennan will be donning a new orange and black outfit as she starts preseason training for her freshman season on the Princeton University field hockey team.
For Brennan, an All-Prep midfielder for Princeton Day School, the road to college field hockey started with some advice from Tiger head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn.
“It was really in sophomore year when I went to a Princeton camp and decided that I wanted to keep playing,” said Brennan.
“Kristen recommended that I join the Mystx club program. I tried out and I made it. We train year round. They have an indoor facility with a really fast surface that is like an astroturf hockey field.”
That training paid off last fall for Brennan, who was the second leading scorer for PDS and helped the Panthers advance to the state Prep B semifinals where they fell 2-1 to Morristown-Beard.
“I was personally happy with the season but didn’t like ending it with a loss,” said Brennan. “I am faster with the stick, I know I still have a lot more to do.”
Brennan’s improved stick skills helped her earn a spot in Princeton’s recruiting class.
“Princeton was always my first choice, the question was whether I had the ability to play there and whether they wanted me,” said Brennan.
“I committed in the beginning of August. For the first time, I cried because I was so excited.”
That excitement was shared by Brennan’s family. “My parents couldn’t have been happier,” said Brennan. “It is pretty special to be going to the same school as your parents.”
Princeton head coach Holmes-Winn is happy to welcome Brennan to the program.
“Sarah is grit,” said Holmes-Winn in recent comments on the Princeton sports website regarding the team’s incoming freshmen.
“Her character is evident with how she backs up will with work. As a high school student, Sarah juggled multiple jobs, demanding academic obligations, and a rigorous club and school athletic schedule. Sarah is a determined player whose strength is in her physiology and competitive drive. She will not be out-worked — her relentless nature will fit in well here. We know Sarah will give Princeton her very best on and off the field and we are honored to welcome her to the Tiger family.”
In preparing to join her new family, Brennan has put in plenty of work. “I kept my club affiliation with Mystx and did some club tournaments in the spring,” said Brennan.
“I also trained with Kristen’s club team, it was great to get out there with them. I have been working by myself and with Mary Travers (former PDS teammate who will be playing for Tufts University field hockey this fall). I have been going to camps. I went to Princeton camp and all the other freshmen recruits were there. All four of them stayed at my house. I am really looking forward to playing with them in a few weeks.”
Brennan is looking forward to hitting the field with the Tigers later this week and contributing to the powerhouse program, which took the 2012 NCAA championship and has won 19 Ivy League titles in the last 20 years.
“We report on August 22 and I am literally counting the minutes to camp,” said Brennan. “I can’t wait to start. I am ready to play wherever Kristen wants me to. I want to be a part of the team and help it win a national title.”