March 15, 2017

UP FOR THE IRISH: Members of the Princeton University men’s basketball team, from left, Hans Brase, Pete Miller, Steve Cook, and Spencer Weisz, let out a yelp at a gathering at Triumph Brewing Company last Sunday evening after learning that they will be facing Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers defeated Yale 71-59 earlier in the day in the finals of the inaugural Ivy League tournament in improving to 23-6 and posting their 19th straight victory. Princeton earned a No. 12 seed in the West Regional of the NCAA tourney and will head to Buffalo, N.Y. to face the fifth-seeded Fighting Irish (25-8) on March 16 at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It was a nightmare scenario coming to life for the Princeton University men’s basketball team.

After producing a dream season that saw the Tigers go 14-0 in Ivy League regular season play, Princeton found itself trailing host Penn last Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the league’s inaugural postseason tournament. more

CRUNCH TIME: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey, right, takes a hit in recent action. Last Saturday, junior forward Hallisey had a goal and an assist in a losing cause as seventh-seeded Princeton lost 4-3 in overtime to second-seeded and No. 6 Union 4-3 to fall 2-0 in a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series. The Tigers ended the season at 15-16-3, a marked turnaround for a program that went a combined 15-72-6 in the past three seasons, including 5-23-3 in 2015-16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It ended up being a microcosm of a turnaround season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team as it played at Union last weekend in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals.

With seventh-seeded Princeton having lost 4-1 in the first game of the best-of-three series against second-seeded and No. 6 Union on Friday, the Tigers found themselves trailing 2-0 to the powerful Dutchmen entering the second period a night later. more

ANSWERING THE BELL: Princeton University women’s basketball player Bella Alarie drives to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last weekend, freshman forward Alarie starred for Princeton as it competed in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. On Saturday, Alarie piled up 17 points and 16 rebounds as Princeton defeated Harvard 68-47 in a semifinal contest. A day later, Alarie had 11 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 57-48 to host Penn in the title game. Alarie and Tiger junior Leslie Robinson were named to the All-Tournament team. The Tigers, now 16-13, will take part in the Women’s National Invitational (WNIT) Tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Before the Princeton University women’s basketball team faced Harvard in the Ivy League Tournament semifinals last Saturday, Courtney Banghart wrote three words on the blackboard in the locker room – heart, grit, and share. more

SIMPLY AWESOME: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Austin Sims heads to goal in a game earlier this season. Last week, junior midfielder Sims scored six goals to help Princeton defeat Quinnipiac 17-13. It was the second straight six-goal effort for Sims, who had hit that mark in an 18-7 win over Johns Hopkins on March 3. The 16th-ranked Tigers, now 4-1, are next in action when they play at No. 5 Rutgers (6-0) on March 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Austin Sims took his game to a higher level last summer, helping the U.S. team win the championship at the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) 2016 U-19 Men’s World Championships in British Columbia last July. more

FINAL FLIGHT: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Zahrion Blue flies to the hoop in a game last winter. Senior star Blue enjoyed a stellar final season, averaging 22.3 points per game and eclipsing the 1,000-point mark in his career along the way. PHS finished the winter with a record of 12-14 under first-year head Coach Pat Noone. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although the Princeton High boys’ basketball team ended the winter by falling 63-41 to Marlboro in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, the squad produced a couple of memorable wins over the last 10 days of the season. more

UP AND COMING: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Marissa Lewis dribbles up the court in game this season. Junior guard Lewis helped the Tartans post a 18-10 record this winter. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Coming into the winter, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team looked to save its best for last, setting its sights on a state Prep B title and a deep run in the Mercer County Tournament.

So losing to eventual champion Pennington in the Prep B finals and getting eliminated in the first round of the MCT on a buzzer beater in overtime wasn’t exactly the ending the team envisioned. more

March 8, 2017

WISE MAN: Princeton University men’s basketball player Spencer Weisz dribbles upcourt in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior guard Weisz celebrated the program’s annual Senior Night in style, scoring 13 points as Princeton defeated Dartmouth 85-48. The win was the 17th straight for the Tigers as they improved to 21-6 overall and 14-0 Ivy League. It was the program’s first perfect Ivy campaign since 1997-98. The Tigers will now compete in the Ivy League Tournament at the Palestra in Philadelphia where they are seeded first and will play fourth-seeded Penn in a semifinal contest on March 11 with the victor advancing to the title game the next day. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

History was in the air as the Princeton University men’s basketball team hosted Harvard last Friday evening.

The legendary Bill Bradley ’65, the program’s all-time leading scorer, was a towering presence courtside, sitting with Princeton athletics director Molly Marcoux Samaan and other luminaries in front row seats as a throng of 3,799 packed Jadwin Gym. more

BUZZER BEATER: Princeton University men’s hockey player Eric Robinson controls the puck last Friday as the Tigers fell 3-2 in overtime to Colgate in opening game of the ECAC Hockey playoffs. A day later, junior forward Robinson scored a goal with one second left in regulation to force overtime and keep Princeton’s season alive. The Tigers went on to prevail 4-3 in overtime and then defeated the Raiders 2-1 on Sunday to win the series. Seventh-seeded Princeton, now 15-14-3, plays at second-seeded and sixth-ranked Union (23-8-3) in the best-of-three ECACH quarterfinal series starting on March 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It was a leap of faith that saved the season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. more

COMING UP BIG: Princeton University men’s hockey goalie Colton Phinney makes a save on Friday night as Princeton hosted Colgate in an ECAC Hockey first round best-of-three playoff series. Senior goalie Phinney came up big in the decisive third game of the series, making 35 saves to help Princeton post a 2-1 win over the Raiders. The seventh-seeded Tigers, now 15-14-3 overall, play at second-seeded and No. 6 Union (23-8-3) in a best-of-three ECACH quarterfinal series, starting on March 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Colton Phinney faltered badly in his Hobey Baker Rink debut as goalie for the Princeton University men’s hockey team in November 2013, yielding five goals over two periods in a 5-0 loss to Yale. more

TRIPPED UP: Princeton University women’s hockey player Kelsey Koelzer, left, gets stymied by a foe in recent action. Last Saturday, senior defenseman and team captain Koelzer and the Tigers fell 4-0 to eventual champion Clarkson in the ECAC Hockey semifinals. The defeat left ninth-ranked Princeton with a final record of 20-10-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It took loads of energy and heart for the Princeton University women’s hockey team to outlast Quinnipiac in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals as the Tigers overcame a triple overtime loss in the opener to pull out two nailbiters in winning the best-of-three series.

Surviving that ordeal took a toll on the fourth-seeded and ninth-ranked Tigers as they prepared to play at top-seeded and second-ranked Clarkson in an ECAC Hockey semifinal contest last Saturday. more

It didn’t take long for highly-touted freshman Tess D’Orsi to make an impact for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team.

In a season-opening 19-3 win over Temple on February 18, D’Orsi scored two goals in the first 12 minutes of the contest.

D’Orsi, a member of the US Under-19 Women’s Lacrosse Team  and a three-time US Lacrosse All-America in high school at St. Mark’s (Mass.), hasn’t slowed down since her debut. Through Princeton’s first three games, she had nine goals, the second most on the team.

“My teammates don’t treat me like a freshman,” said the 5’4 D’Orsi, a native of Sudbury, Mass., reflecting on her hot start. more

PARTING SHOT: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Tooker Callaway fires the puck in a game this season. Last Thursday, senior defenseman and assistant captain Callaway scored a goal in a losing cause as ninth-seeded PHS fell 6-3 to 13th-seeded Watchung Hills in the state Public A semis. It was program’s first-ever appearance in the state semis. PHS finished the winter at 19-4-4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton High boys’ hockey team started play in the Public A state tournament, it didn’t view being seeded ninth as an impediment to making a deep run in the competition. more

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Alexa Zammit controls the puck in a game this season. Junior defenseman Zammit anchored PHS along the blue line this season as the Little Tigers went 3-10. Zammit earned All-WIHLMA (Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic) Miran Division honors for her play this winter. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Christian Herzog was losing some sleep over the prospects for his Princeton High girls’ hockey team as the winter approached. more

March 1, 2017

NIGHT TO REMEMBER: Princeton University men’s hockey player Ryan Siiro heads up the ice in recent action. Last Saturday, senior captain and forward Siiro enjoyed a special Senior Night, helping Princeton defeat Yale 4-1 in the regular season finale as the Tigers clinched home ice for the opening round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs. Princeton, now 13-13-3 overall, will host Colgate (8-20-6 overall) in a best-of-three series, starting on March 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Ryan Siiro and his fellow seniors on the Princeton University men’s hockey team, there weren’t a lot of happy evenings at Baker Rink over their first three years. more

JUMPING FOR JOY: Princeton University women’s hockey player Carly Bullock celebrates after scoring a goal for Princeton last Friday against Quinnipiac in Game 1 of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. After falling 3-2 in triple overtime on Friday, Princeton bounced back to win 2-0 on Saturday and 2-1 on Sunday to prevail in the best-of-three series. The eighth-ranked Tigers, now 20-9-3, head to the ECACH Final Four where they will host and play third-ranked Clarkson (27-4-5) in the semis on March 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Even though the Princeton University women’s hockey team had split the first two games against Quinnipiac in the best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series last weekend, Molly Contini was brimming with confidence heading into the decisive third game on Sunday. more

After the Princeton University women’s hockey team fell 3-2 to Quinnipiac in a triple overtime marathon last Friday in the opening game of a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series, Kelsey Koelzer was sore but not discouraged as she hit the ice at Baker Rink a day later.

“There are obviously bumps and bruises with six periods, there were a lot of blocked shots but that is something we pride ourselves on,” said Princeton senior star defenseman and captain Koelzer, a 5’9 native of Horsham, Pa.

“I think overall we know all the work we put in throughout the year, all the skating we do and all the conditioning and all the extra stuff that we do. It is for that type of moment. It didn’t go our way yesterday. We know we are in good shape and we would be able to take it to them today.” more

After piling up a total of 32 goals in starting 2-0, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team ran into a roadblock against Hofstra last Saturday.

With its high-powered attack getting stifled by the Pride, Princeton found itself trailing 4-1 at halftime.

Princeton senior midfielder Adam Hardej acknowledged that a gritty Hofstra defense was a thorn in the side for the Tigers in the early stages of the contest.

“Whenever you are playing a new team I think it takes a little getting used to, with their slide packages and where they are coming from,” said Hardej. more

UPSET SPECIAL: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Aidan Trainor goes after the puck in a game this season. Last Monday, freshman star Trainor scored four goals as ninth-seeded PHS stunned top-seeded Morris Knolls 5-2 in the Public A state tournament  quarterfinals. The Little Tigers, now 19-3-4, will face 13th-seeded Watchung Hills in the Public A semis on March 2 at the Codey Arena in South Orange with the winner advancing to the title game on March 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Playing at eighth-seeded Southern in the second round of the state Public A tournament last Thursday, the ninth-seeded Princeton High boys’ hockey team realized it faced a big test. more

DIGGING DEEP: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player David “Diggy” Coit dribbles up the court in recent action. Sophomore guard Coit enjoyed a superb campaign, averaging a team-high 21.7 points a game as PDS went 18-9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In the last few weeks of the season, the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team suffered some disappointing playoff defeats. more

FINISHING STRONG: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Julie David heads up the ice in recent action. Last Thursday, senior forward David ended her career on a high note, scoring a third period goal as PDS defeated Mater Dei 5-2 in its season finale. The win lifted the Panthers to a final record of 15-11-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After playing her first two years of high school hockey at the Pomfret School (Conn.) as a boarding student, Julie David returned to New Jersey in the fall of 2015 and joined the Princeton Day School girls’ program. more

HEADING HOME: James Perry, center, enjoys the moment with Bryant University Director of Athletics Bill Smith and Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley after he was named as the head coach of the school’s football program this January. Perry served as the offensive coordinator for the Princeton University football team for the last seven seasons. Employing a no-huddle, up-tempo style under Perry’s guidance, Princeton won Ivy League titles in 2013 and 2016. For Perry, a record-breaking quarterback at Brown University, taking the helm at Bryant amounts to a homecoming as the school is located about 10 miles from his alma mater. (Photo Courtesy of Bryant Athletic Communications)

As the offensive coordinator for the Princeton University football team over the last seven seasons, James Perry favored a fast and physical approach. more

LAST STAND: Princeton University women’s basketball player Vanessa Smith looks to pass the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior star Smith played well last weekend in her final games at Jadwin Gym, scoring 15 points as Princeton defeated Columbia 78-45 on Friday to clinch a spot in the upcoming Ivy League tournament and then chipping in 10 a night later as the Tigers fell 55-44 to Cornell. Princeton, now 14-10 overall and 8-3 Ivy, plays at Harvard on March 3, at Dartmouth on March 4, and at Penn on March 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After losing its first two Ivy League games this winter, the Princeton University women’s basketball team did some soul searching. more

February 22, 2017

To the Editor:

There’s an interesting Princeton back story to the movie Hidden Figures, which has been showing at the Garden Theater and is nominated for three Academy Awards. The back story centers around the movie’s main character, Katherine G. Johnson — one of three extraordinary black women mathematicians depicted in the film. Despite racial prejudice at NASA, respect for Johnson’s mathematical mind grew to the point that John Glenn refused to climb in the rocket until Johnson had verified the math behind the flight’s trajectory.

On a hunch, I traced the mathematical lineage of Katherine Johnson, and found that the string of mentors and advisors leads four generations back to Oswald Veblen, the great mathematician and visionary who played quiet but decisive roles in building Princeton’s math department of the 1930s, and bringing the Institute for Advanced Studies and luminaries like Einstein and Von Neumann to Princeton.

Another connection to the movie shows Veblen’s vision and courage, not only in helping Jewish scientists escape Nazi Germany, but in his early efforts to bring black scholars to Princeton. Johnson’s college professor, William Claytor, was the third African American to receive a PhD in mathematics, but had been forced to take a position that allowed no time for research. Veblen, aware of Claytor’s limited opportunities to exercise his brilliance, sought to bring him to Princeton University, but the University did not accept “coloured persons.” Four years later, Veblen offered Claytor a position at the IAS, which was not subject to the University’s exclusions based on race. But by that time, Claytor had apparently grown disillusioned, and turned down the offer.

Hidden Figures also tells the story of Dorothy Vaughan, who in the movie teaches herself Fortran and figures out how to run a new computer that was otherwise baffling staff at NASA. It was women “computers” who figured out how to actually operate and program the early computers men built. A similar story was told locally this past week, when two local computer societies collaborated to host a talk on the ENIAC, a World War II-era creation that “was the testbed on which the human race learned how to build and program computers.” Though not mentioned in the talk, it was the visionary Veblen who gave the go-ahead to fund construction of the ENIAC in Philadelphia.

The reason I happened to research these Princeton connections is that Veblen also championed another poorly treated entity whose contributions have long been downplayed — nature. Veblen essentially founded Princeton’s movement to preserve open space. He worked to acquire 610 acres that became the Institute Woods, and in 1957 the Veblens donated the land for Princeton’s first dedicated nature preserve, Herrontown Woods.

As president of the Friends of Herrontown Woods, I have the good fortune not only to research Veblen’s remarkable legacy, but also to lead efforts to restore Herrontown Woods and the house and cottage the Veblens donated along with the land. Recently, we submitted to Mercer County an official proposal to rehabilitate these long boarded up historic structures. The Veblens, and the public, deserve an honest effort to repurpose these structures for the benefit of all.

Stephen Hiltner

North Harrison Street

HISTORIC DEBUT: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Michael Sowers eludes a foe last Saturday as Princeton hosted NJIT in its season opener. Freshman attackman Sowers tallied two goals and five assists to help trigger the offense as Princeton rolled to a 22-8 win over the Highlanders. Sowers’s assist total broke Ryan Boyle’s school record for assists in the first game of a freshman year (four in his 2001 debut). The Tigers have a busy week coming up as they are slated to host Marist on February 21 and Hofstra on February 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Ending up with a swollen right eye and a bandage covering a nasty gash on his temple, Michael Sowers took some lumps as he made his debut for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team last Saturday. more

SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Molly Contini (No. 9), center, battles for the puck in game this season. Senior star forward Contini scored two goals as Princeton defeated Union 4-1 on Friday and then assisted on the winning goal as the Tigers defeated Rensselaer 4-2 a day later on the program’s Senior Day to clinch home ice for the upcoming ECAC Hockey playoffs. The victory improved No. 8 Princeton to 18-8-3 overall and 14-6-2 ECACH as it finished fourth in the league standings and will now host fifth-place and 10th-ranked Quinnipiac (20-8-6 overall, 13-6-3 ECACH) in a best-of-three quarterfinal series starting on February 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

With the Princeton University women’s hockey team trailing Rensselaer 2-1 in the third period last Saturday, and its hopes of earning home ice for the upcoming ECAC Hockey playoffs in serious jeopardy, the Tigers’ stellar group of seniors wasn’t about to be denied. more