October 1, 2016

Seifert’s Move to Forward Paying Big Dividends as PU Men’s Soccer Tops FDU for 4th Straight Win


FORWARD PROGRESS: Princeton University men’s soccer player Greg Seifert tracks down a ball in a game last season. Senior star Seifert, who was recently moved to forward from defense, tallied a goal and an assist to help Princeton defeat Fairleigh Dickinson 3-1 last Saturday for its fourth straight win. The Tigers, now 4-2, play at Villanova on September 28 before hosting Dartmouth on October 1 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Greg Seifert distinguished himself as a dependable, rugged defender for the Princeton University men’s soccer team in his first three seasons with the program.

Seifert played in 43 games for Princeton from 2013-2015, making 23 starts, including 13 last season.

But the 5’11, 185-pound native of Woodland Park, N.J. has been harboring a desire to get a shot at forward for the Tigers.

“I have played a little bit in practice,” said Seifert. “I have always been in coach’s (Jim Barlow) ear to put me up top. I have asked him a couple of times.”

With Princeton starting the 2016 season with two straight losses and locked in a scoreless draw at halftime with No. 22 Rider on September 13, Seifert got his chance to play up top as Barlow moved him to forward for the second half.

Making the most of his opportunity, Seifert scored two goals to help Princeton prevail 3-1 over the Broncs and break into the win column.

“That was our first win, it was just really good to get the win for the team,” said Seifert. “That was a huge boost for us.”

Princeton hasn’t lost since, topping Boston University 2-1 on September 16 and beating Drexel 2-0 on September 20 before defeating Fairleigh Dickinson 3-1 last Saturday.

“We feel like we have jelled a little bit more,” said Seifert, reflecting on Princeton’s recent surge. “We are just grinding out games with heart recently and it has been going well.”

In the win over FDU, Seifert kept things going offensively, scoring Princeton’s first goal and then assisting on the second.

“I just do my best when they put me up there, I try to bring a lot of energy and am happy to get some looks,” said Seifert, who now has three goals and an assist on the season to tie him with freshman Benjamin Martin as the team’s top scorer. “So far, so good.”

On his first tally against the Knights, Seifert benefited by some good work by senior defender Mark Romanowski.

“It was just a corner kick, Romo got his head on it and knocked it down and I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Seifert.

FDU, though gave Princeton a hard time over the rest of the half, tying the game 17 seconds later and generating some other opportunities as the team were locked in a 1-1 stalemate at intermission.

“We let up a frustrating goal right after we had scored; we just needed to bring it back together, buckle down and get going again,” said Seifert.

“At halftime we came together and everyone was on the same page. We knew we needed to pick it up and bring more energy into the game and just turn the game back around in our favor. We just worked hard and did well.”

Seifert helped energize the Tigers after the break, heading the ball off a corner kick that senior defender Patrick Barba converted into a goal with 12:55 remaining in regulation.

“I just went up for it and got a piece of it and then we ended up putting it away,” recalled Seifert. “We were definitely pretty happy to get the result on that one.”

With Princeton starting Ivy League play by hosting Dartmouth on October 1, Seifert and his fellow seniors are looking to spark the Tigers to a title run after some recent near misses.

“We have a chip on our shoulder, we know what it is like to be so close the past two years and it has been really frustrating for us,” said Seifert.

“I think we have helped instill that attitude to the younger guys and it is carrying over well so far.”