November 24, 2021

Members of the Princeton University football team celebrate after they defeated Penn 34-14 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia last Saturday to clinch a share of the Ivy League title. The Tigers ended up 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy to tie Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) for the crown. It marked the fourth Ivy title in the last eight seasons for the program. For more details on the game, see page 32. (Photo by Mitchell Shields, provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) at their November 15 meeting voted unanimously to recommend the creation of the Prospect Avenue Historic District as Princeton’s 21st historic district. The recommendation will go to the Princeton Planning Board and Princeton Council for approval in the coming months.

The proposed district, which includes 17 current and former undergraduate eating clubs, two residences, a monumental wall and gateway, and an apartment building, would extend from Washington Road to Murray Place. It would not include the academic buildings on the corner of Washington Road.

“The historic district designation would bring a very important level of protection to Prospect Avenue,” said Clifford Zink, a historic preservation consultant and author of The Princeton Eating Clubs. Properties included in a local historic district require review by the Princeton HPC for any alterations or additions visible from the street.

“The value of this district designation is not to freeze Prospect Avenue at some particular period, but rather to appropriately manage changes in the future so that they respect the historic significance of the street,” Zink added. “You want to manage the changes appropriately so that any changes respect history.”

The HPC resolution recommending the Prospect Avenue Historic District emphasizes the “unique and character-defining streetscape comprised of stately structures in residential appearance,” the embodiment of “many aspects of significant American and local history,” primarily involving “the eating clubs of Princeton University and the people who fostered, belonged to, worked for, associated with and even opposed them over seventeen decades since the 1850s even to the present day.” more

By Anne Levin

With the cancellation of last Saturday’s community meeting on permit parking, a work session on the subject, originally scheduled for Princeton Council’s Tuesday, November 22 meeting, was removed from the agenda.

Council President Leticia Fraga addressed the situation in remarks at the beginning of the meeting, citing “a campaign of misinformation” recently aired by the group SensibleStreets.org that challenges the goals of the Permit Parking Task Force, on which Fraga serves along with Council members Michelle Pirone Lambros and David Cohen.

The task force was “really blindsided just before the community meeting,” she said. “We felt we truly could not go on until we were able to respond to what’s being put out there, that is truly a lot of misinformation.”

Fraga said the task force is regrouping. “Expect to be hearing from us,” she said. “We have been, for almost three years, soliciting feedback and hearing from the community. Ultimately our goal has been to improve the quality of life for many of our residents whose parking needs are not being met. That’s our ultimate goal. It’s still our goal, and we will continue with those efforts. But we felt at first we needed to respond to basically the alternative facts that are being put out there, that are alarming many of our residents who will benefit from the proposed changes we are presenting to Council.”

The cancellation of the work session made for an unusually short meeting, during which some routine business was conducted. Council introduced six ordinances, one of which had to do with affordable housing, and another with the affordable housing overlay that reduces off-street parking requirements for developments in different areas of the town. The governing body also introduced ordinances having to do with the sanitary sewer system and the sewer storm system, plus the vacating of an unused municipal sanitary sewer easement at 100 and 101 Thanet Road. more

OFF TO A FAST START: Fifteen 3- and 4-year-olds are part of Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) sixth free preschool classroom, which opened this fall at the Crimmins Learning Center at Princeton Community Village — a collaborative initiative of PPS, Princeton Community Housing, and the Princeton Family YMCA. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Family YMCA)

By Donald Gilpin

Fifteen children, ages 3 and 4, are attending a new free preschool classroom this fall at Princeton Community Village.

Princeton Family YMCA CEO Kate Bech commented on the partnership of Princeton Public Schools (PPS), Princeton Community Housing (PCH), and the YMCA that launched the preschool in September.  “It was a classic example of ‘It takes a village,’” she said. “Princeton can be a bit siloed, but this is a great example of what happens when we’re all working together to come up with solutions that work.”

She pointed out that 13 or 14 of the 15 preschool students are residents in affordable housing, from families with low income. “This program is essential to them, and it’s great to get them in this early, for their learning and for the long-term trajectory of their education.”

PPS’ sixth free preschool class, the new Crimmins Learning Center classroom at Princeton Community Village is using the same space where the YMCA has operated the Princeton Young Achievers after-school program since 2011.  The preschool runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the after-school program operates until 6 p.m. every day.  more

SAVING THE SOURLANDS: The destructive emerald ash borer is no match for the volunteers and staff from the Sourland Conservancy, who planted 10,000 trees over the past year to restore the forest and reduce the impact of ash decline caused by the insects.

By Anne Levin

In an unprecedented effort, a massive tree-planting project has helped save the Sourlands from the devastating effects of the invasive insect known as the emerald ash borer. This past year, a mix of volunteers and staff from nonprofits, land trusts, counties, and municipalities, as well as private residents, have managed to get 10,000 new trees into the ground at the 90-square-mile Sourland region.

“We’ve never done anything to this scale before,” said Carolyn Klaube, stewardship director of the small, nonprofit Sourland Conservancy. “But when we realized how many trees were dying because of the emerald ash borer, we knew we had to do something.”

The New Jersey Forest service alerted the Conservancy in March 2020 that, due to the insects, the region could lose more than 1 million trees within the next few years. That number represents approximately one of every five trees throughout the region, according to a press release.

It wasn’t just the emerald ash borer that caused havoc. In July, a tornado ripped through 230 acres of mature forest on Baldpate Mountain, already victim to the insects. Hurricanes Henri and Ida also left their mark, with flooding that “scoured streambeds and resulted in the loss of lives as well as serious damage to homes, farms, businesses, and natural areas throughout the region,” reads the release. “Trees help filter water, stabilize stream banks, and reduce stormwater runoff. The loss of 1 million trees is expected to exacerbate the effects of climate change, and could result in more serious flooding in the future.”

The Conservancy reached out and received help from the Mercer County Park Commission, Hopewell Valley Open Space, The Watershed Institute, D&R Greenway, and Montgomery Friends of Open Space, among other organizations. Students from the College of New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College, Princeton University, and Rutgers University pitched in. Seasonal interns were hired by the Conservancy for the first time, enlarging the staff by 30 percent. more

ON THE JOB: Shown at his current post at Snowden Lane and Abernathy Drive, Councilperson David Cohen recently decided to take on a shift as a crossing guard. The town is looking to fill 10 more vacancies that are currently being covered by police officers.

By Anne Levin

During the “announcements/reports” portion of the November 8 Princeton Council meeting, Council member David Cohen reported to his colleagues and the public that he had signed on as a crossing guard for the Princeton Police Department. His post, currently at Snowden Lane and Abernathy Drive, means one less police officer having to staff the town’s crossings and intersections as children make their way to and from local schools.

Cohen urged others to follow his lead and consider taking on the morning and afternoon shifts, which pay $15 for 30 minutes and $22 for 45 minutes. “It’s really a feel-good activity,” he said. “The kids and parents are really appreciative.”

Keeping the town staffed with crossing guards has been an ongoing challenge for the police department. Those who are hired have to be able to escort children across designated crossing zones, stop traffic efficiently in all weather conditions, be able to communicate with children and parents, report license plate number of vehicles that don’t slow down or stop where they should, report suspicious activity, report unsafe traffic conditions in school crossing zones, and more. more

ELECTRICITY FROM THE SUN: Solar panel installers from Exact Solar prepare to create a spark and light a candle from the sun’s energy, as Riverside School fourth graders and their teachers look on during a field trip where the students learned about solar panels, clean energy, and climate change. (Photo courtesy of Sustainable Princeton)

By Donald Gilpin

Riverside School fourth grade teacher Terry McGovern and local residents Ted and Jess Deutsch teamed up with solar panel installers from Exact Solar last Friday to provide McGovern’s 17 students with an encounter with a genuine global challenge and a learning experience they won’t soon forget.

“We were getting solar panels installed, and it was a great opportunity to educate the kids,” said Ted Deutsch, whose two children went to Riverside and who lives just across a field from the school. 

Deutsch contacted Riverside Principal Ebony Lattimer, who put him in touch with McGovern, who did not hesitate.  “Clean energy is of interest to children,” said McGovern. “They were eager to listen to something that is a real world issue. This was a hands-on experience. They learned about electricity and how solar panels work.”

The excitement of a field trip after 20 months of pandemic was also a significant attraction.  As one fourth grader noted, “Mr. McGovern, it’s been a long time since we’ve been on a field trip.”  more

By Stuart Michner

I’m a dark horse
Running on a dark race course…

—George Harrison (1943-2001)

According to Glyn Johns, engineer and producer of the Beatles’ famously fraught Get Back sessions, “If I was ever going to write a book about George, I would print out every lyric he ever wrote, and I guarantee you would find out exactly who he was. Beginning with ‘Don’t Bother Me,’ it’s all there, as plain as plain can be.”

In George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door (Overlook 2015), Graeme Thomson notes that “Don’t Bother Me” was “written out of sheer necessity” at a time when “the insatiable appetite of Beatlemania” was “really beginning to bite.” As someone who “would never be much inclined to float off and write about ‘newspaper taxis’ or ‘Maxwell’s silver hammer,’ “ and who was already “adept at writing about himself,” Harrison was “the first Beatle to write songs about being a Beatle.”

So there he was, at 20, the youngest member of a band dominated by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, a compositional dynamo producing hit songs with titles like “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me,” “Thank You Girl,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” and “From Me to You.” Laid up with a head cold while the Beatles were playing “a summer season in Bournemouth,” as he recounts in I Me Mine (Chronicle Books 1980, 2002), Harrison gamely sets about writing the first chapter of his own narrative, a subtext in song with a distinct point of view. While “Don’t Bother Me” is plotted around the standard she-left-me-on-my-own plotline, it comes across as a dispatch from the combat zone of Beatlemania by a singer with no interest in holding hands or making nice: “So go away, leave me alone, don’t bother me … don’t come near, just stay away.”  more

By Nancy Plum

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra launched the second of its online fall performances last Wednesday night with a multi-media presentation of 19th-century music. Recorded last May at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and led by NJSO Music Director Xian Zhang, this concert focused on “A Woman’s Voice” in programmatic music, performance, and poetry. Although the Orchestra presented only three works, last Wednesday night’s performance was dense with text and backstories to the music, accompanied by poetry of local writers. Joining the Orchestra was one of opera’s great legends, soprano Renée Fleming.

French composer Georges Bizet’s four-movement suite L’Arlésienne (The Girl from Arles) originated as incidental music to a failed theatrical play.  New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performed the third movement “Adagietto,” scored for strings alone. Under Zhang’s direction, the strings of the Orchestra began the movement introspectively; with a smaller than usual ensemble of strings, the violins reached the heights of phrases well, with an especially lean melody from the first violins. The performance of this piece was preceded by a reading of the poem “Elizabeth, NJ” by New Jersey poet and artist Michelle Moncayo. 

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra introduced Richard Wagner’s romantic Siegfried Idyll with the poem “Convergence” by New Jersey native, poet and educator Jane Wong. Wagner, one of the towering composers of the 19th century, composed the one-movement Idyll as a “Symphonic Birthday Greeting” to his wife at the time. Zhang and the Orchestra began the piece with the same light touch heard in the Bizet work, with more strings and the addition of winds and brass. A solo line from flutist Bart Feller soared above the orchestral palette, complemented by pastoral solo playing from oboist Alexandra Knoll. Clarinetist Pascal Archer also provided expressive solo passages as the strings gracefully maneuvered repeated melodies and rhythmic patterns. A quartet of principal string players presented melodic lines well punctuated by solo horn player Christopher Komer, and conductor Zhang and concertmaster Eric Wyrick added a playful character to the music. Zhang brought the Idyll to a joyous close, aided by rich orchestration and playing of the German trumpets for which Wagner’s music is known.    more

“MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING”: Theatre Intime has staged a reimagined “Much Ado About Nothing,” presented November 12-21 at the Hamilton Murray Theater. Directed by Katie Bushman, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy is transplanted to the era of World War I. Benedick (Solomon Bergquist, center left) and Beatrice (Cassy James, center right) have a bickersome courtship, which is jeopardized by an action taken by Claudio (Harit Raghunathan, left) at his wedding to Hero (Lauren Owens, second from left). Onlookers: Leonato (Hank Ingham, second from right) and Don Pedro (Alex Conboy, right). (Photo by Elliot Lee)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare has Balthasar, a musician, sing: “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.” This world-weary comment, about the timelessness of dishonesty in relationships, would seem to offer directors latitude to reimagine the period in which this comedy is set.

Princeton University’s Theatre Intime has presented (from November 12-21) a production that takes advantage of this dramaturgical license. Director Katie Bushman transplants the play — first published in 1600 — to the end of the First World War.

This is clear as soon as the audience enters the theater. We hear popular songs of that period, including Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and, more thematically relevant, George M. Cohan’s “Over There.”

Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon (portrayed by Alex Conboy) returns home from winning a battle. With him are two of his soldiers: Claudio (Harit Raghunathan) and Benedick (Solomon Bergquist). The play is set at the home of a noble, Leonato (Hank Ingham); he invites the soldiers to stay for a month.  more

LIVE AND LIVE-STREAMED: Voices Chorale NJ performs its first in-person concert since the pandemic on December 17 at Trinity Church.

The first live and live-streamed concert of Voices Chorale NJ since December 2019 is scheduled for Friday, December 17 at 8 p.m. Featuring works based on the poetry of E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and more, this concert includes holiday music along with sounds to soothe the soul after a long time apart.

Among the works on the program is Joan Szymko’s I Dream a World, based on Langston Hughes’ poem, imagining a world “where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.” Sing Gently, composed by Eric Whitacre in March 2020, was written in a spirit to bring comfort to those who need it. Where Riches is Everlastingly is Bob Chilcott’s upbeat arrangement of a 16th century carol. Little Tree, based on a poem by E.E. Cummings, reflects the childlike wonder and excitement of dressing the Christmas tree, and Eight Days of Lights, by Judith Clurman, honors the Hanukkah celebration.

The concert is designed to explore diverse music that brings people together, as individuals with different beliefs, traditions, and tastes.

Singers and audience members will wear masks, and there is a streaming option for those who cannot join in person. Tickets are $15-$25. Visit voiceschoralenj.org.

Laquita Mitchell

Soprano and Westminster Choir College alumna Laquita Mitchell performs with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra at its Holiday POPS! concert on Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Matthews Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center.

Mitchell sings Giacomo Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi, Robert MacGimsey’s spiritual-inspired song “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” and an arrangement of “This Little Light of Mine.” Conducted by Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov, the program also includes dances from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Snow Maiden and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, plus Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” Johann Strauss Jr.’s “Blue Danube” waltz, and favorites including “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

“I’m excited to welcome Laquita Mitchell back to Princeton and have her be a part of our holiday celebration. Her performance will bring a poignancy to this year’s program as well as a note of hope to carry us through to the new year,” says Milanov.

Mitchell earned positive reviews for her début as Bess in Porgy and Bess with the San Francisco Opera. She reprised the role with opera companies and orchestras nationwide and with Grange Park Opera in the U.K. and the Lithuanian State Symphony. She recently performed the title role in Tom Cipullo’s Josephine with Opera Colorado, as well as The Promise of Living, a concert program she conceived. She appeared in New York Philharmonic’s Bandwagon concerts and the Kauffmann Music Center’s Musical Storefront series in spring 2021, and performed with the Columbus Symphony and Rhode Island Philharmonic. more

“LINE OF LIGHT”: This painting by Bill Jersey is part of “Sharing,” his exhibition with artists Laura Rutherford Renner, Heather Barros, and Larry Mitnick, on view at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville December 9 through January 22.

Artists Bill Jersey, Laura Rutherford Renner, Heather Barros, and Larry Mitnick  have announced the opening of their joint show, “Sharing,” on view  December 9 through January 22 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. The exhibit features  paintings by the four artists. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, December 11, from 1 to 3p.m.

“Sharing” invites viewers to pause, to see, to remember the beauty of the world that we share with you.

Residing in Hunterdon County,  Jersey says,  “I am surrounded by creeks, forests, fields, and hills — an abundance of scenes I want to capture or interpret on canvas. Over time, my paintings evolved from more realistic scenes of the natural world to more interpreted representations, using dramatic colors to evoke fresh perspectives. As a documentary filmmaker of many years, I learned to catch a moment in time and use it to tell a larger story. That is what I seek to capture in my paintings.” more

“GARDENS OLD AND NEW”: This work by Arsen Savadov and Georgii Senchenko is part of “Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985–1993,” on view at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University through March 13, 2022.

The exhibition “Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985–1993” explores the inventive new art styles by Ukrainian artists responding to a trying transitional period of perestroika (restructuring) during the collapse of the Soviet Union. On view at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University through March 13, 2022, the exhibition highlights an explosion of styles, rediscovered histories, and newly found freedoms that blossomed against economic scarcity and ecological calamity, creating an effect of baroque excess.

Organized by guest research curator Olena Martynyuk, Ph.D. with assistance from Julia Tulovsky, Ph.D., the Zimmerli’s curator of Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art, “Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985-1993” is accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, co-published with Rutgers University Press.

An in-person exhibition reception is scheduled for February 26, 2022, with performances of Ukrainian musical pieces composed in the 1980s and early 1990s, recreating the cultural atmosphere of the time.  more

 

EXHIBIT AT TERHUNE: Local photographer Eddie Dzik will discuss his work on Sunday, November 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Terhune Orchards’ historic barn on Cold Soil Road.

The work of local photographer Eddie Dzik will be featured in an exhibition opening Sunday in Terhune Orchards historic barn on Cold Soil Road. Dzik will be available to discuss his work from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, November 28.
Dzik was raised in Lawrenceville. As a way to show his love for the outdoors and concern for environmental preservation, he began photographing both local and national parks to document their ever-changing landscapes.
Currently, he has been assisting world-renowned National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita, most recently working on the creation of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Through his photography, Dzik strives to share his vision of nature in hopes to grow awareness of the beauty of our natural resources and remind others of the importance of protecting and preserving them. View Dzik’s portfolio at: eddiedzik.myportfolio.com.

WINTER CLASSES: The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster is offering in-person and virtual art classes and workshops this winter for adults, teens, and children in a variety of media including oil and acrylic paint, pastel, watercolor, drawing, and ceramics. 

The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster is offering in-person and virtual art classes and workshops this winter for adults, teens, and children beginning January 10. Select classes will be offered in a hybrid format. Classes and workshops are offered for artists with all levels of expertise in a variety of media including oil and acrylic paint, pastel, watercolor, drawing, and ceramics. 

There are more than 60 winter adult classes including, Portrait Drawing, Watercolor Step-by-Step, The Power of Pastels, Introduction to Acrylics, Morning Oil Landscape, Watercolor Portraits of People and Animals, Evening Painting, and ceramics classes such as Beginner Wheel Throwing, and Wheel Throwing and Hand Building. New classes this winter include Intro to Oil Painting, Classical Portraiture, Drawing Like the Old Masters in Pen Ink, Introduction to Drawing, Tricolor and Colored Pencil Drawing, Introduction to Basic Sculpting Technique, Media Sampler, Art and Literature, Video Art, and The Art of Comedy. more

A TRUE TREASURE: “Customers are enjoying coming in again. They really like to see things firsthand. We also have online shopping, but many of our customers have fun coming into the shop and enjoying the in-store atmosphere.” Debra Lampert-Rudman (left), curator of education and public programs at Morven Museum, and Kathy O’Hara, hospitality manager and buyer for The Morven Museum Shop, are enthusiastic about the shop’s treasure trove of gifts. They are shown at Morven’s annual “Festival of Trees” holiday event.

By Jean Stratton

It has been called “the best kept secret in town.” The Morven Museum Shop at 55 Stockton Street, next to Morven Museum & Garden, is filled with a selection of delightful items in a wide price range.

With the holidays fast approaching, it is the perfect place to find a special gift. The selection is indeed a treasure trove of surprises for friends and family, and all in a variety of styles and signature specialties.

The shop itself is a fascinating piece of history. Dating to 1844, the building was formerly Morven’s Wash House.

“The concept of the shop is to carry on Morven’s mission and to promote New Jersey culture and history and the Morven Garden,” explains Hospitality Manager and Buyer Kathy O’Hara, who has been with the shop since it opened in 2005. more

TITLE RUN: Princeton University quarterback Cole Smith runs past a Yale defender. Last Saturday, senior star and co-captain Smith passed for 214 yards and ran for 69 yards to help Princeton defeat Penn 34-14 and clinch a share of the Ivy League title. The Tigers went 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy to tie Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) for the crown. It marked the fourth league title in eight seasons for the program. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As evening descended on Philadelphia last Saturday, the Princeton University football team held an impromptu party in one corner of venerable Franklin Field.

After thumping Penn 34-14 to earn a share of the Ivy League title, Princeton players, coaches, family and friends mobbed each other on the turf with the revelry including bear hugs, countless cell phone photos, cigar smoke wafting into the air, and dumping buckets of water on Tiger head coach Bob Surace.

The Tigers ended up 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy to tie Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) for the crown after having last season canceled by the league due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. It marked the fourth league title in eight seasons for the program, which came into the game ranked 20th nationally in the AFCA Coaches Poll.

Princeton senior quarterback and co-captain Cole Smith, who passed for 214 yards and rushed for 69 and a touchdown in the win over the Quakers, savored the moment of triumph as the celebration went on around him.  more

NEAR MISS: Princeton University women’s soccer player Aria Nagai dribbles the ball upfield in a 2-0 win over Vermont in the first round of the NCAA tournament on November 12. Last Friday, sophomore midfielder Nagai picked up an assist in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to TCU in overtime in the second round of the NCAA tourney. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 15-3-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Rutgers University played host to two major landmark moments in the Princeton University women’s soccer season in 2021. Both visits showed just how good the Tigers were this year.

Back on September 5 in just the fifth game of the season, the Tigers rallied for a 4-3 overtime win over a Rutgers team then ranked ninth in the country. On the heels of a 1-1 tie with then-No. 8 ranked Georgetown, it set expectations high for the remainder of the year.

Princeton did not disappoint over the course of a memorable season that ended at 15-3-1 overall after a 3-2 double overtime loss to fourth-seeded Texas Christian University (TCU) on Friday at Rutgers. The Tigers were less than two minutes away from extending a season that had included a second-place finish in the Ivy League, a home NCAA tournament game that they won, and the third-most wins in a season in program history on the heels of a full year away from competition.

“I absolutely adore the group, I love the group,” said Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll.

“That’s what makes losing so difficult because I wanted to keep the season going. As I said to them Thursday in training, I want to keep it going because I don’t like the idea of not having a tomorrow with you guys, that’s all it comes down to.” more

RESERVE STRENGTH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Ryan Langborg guards a foe in game earlier this season. Last Wednesday night, junior guard Langborg scored a career-high 14 points off the bench to help Princeton defeat Marist 80-61. On Sunday, he chipped in eight points as the Tigers edged Oregon State 81-80 in improving to 4-1. In upcoming action, Princeton plays at Monmouth on November 24 before hosting Fairleigh Dickinson on November 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ryan Langborg came off the bench in the early going for the Princeton University men’s basketball team as it hosted Marist last Wednesday and didn’t waste any time making an impact.

Entering the contest with 15:56 left in the first half, junior guard Langborg drained a three-pointer 58 seconds later. That bucket was a harbinger of things to come as Langborg ended up tallying a career-high 14 points to help Princeton pull away to an 80-61 victory.

“We had a good game plan, we were trying to get the ball inside,” said Langborg.

“If we get the ball inside to Keeshawn [Kellman], Mason [Hooks] and Tosan [Evbuomwan] and they make something happen and they crash on those guys, we move and we knew we would be open and get good shots. We like getting the ball inside and getting it back out and swinging it around for a good three. They fell tonight so I just kept taking them.”

In reflecting on his performance, Langborg credited defense with leading to offense. more

OH BOY: Princeton University men’s soccer player Kevin O’Toole dribbles past a foe in recent action. Senior star O’Toole, who was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year this season as he helped Princeton go 7-0 in league play, saw his brilliant career come to an end as the Tigers fell 1-0 at St. John’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament last Thursday. Princeton ended the fall with an overall record of 12-6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In late September, the Princeton University men’s soccer team lost a hard-fought 1-0 battle to St. John’s.

Last Thursday, Princeton got a rematch at St. John’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament and the Tigers were primed to turn the tables on the Red Storm.

“The last couple of games were really hard to grind out results; we had stretches during those games where I thought we played well but I think the guys were so determined to win the league and get through the league unbeaten,” said Princeton head coach Jim Barlow, whose team came into the NCAA game at 12-5 overall and 7-0 Ivy and riding an 8-game winning streak.

“At times it was more about competing than it was about putting the best soccer out there. At times we were able to do both. We had stretches down the stretch where I thought we were really connected, defending as group, moving the ball well and creating chances. I think there was a lot of confidence going into the tournament.”

Barlow knew it wouldn’t be easy to overcome St. John’s. “They are just so hard to score on, they concede so few goals,” said Barlow.

“They are big, they are athletic. It is a tough matchup. We didn’t create many chances in the first game against them and I don’t think they did either. It was a pretty competitive game with neither team able to generate many chances.”

The NCAA contest turned out to be competitive but with same result as the Red Storm won 1-0, finding the back of the net at the 43rd minute and holding off the Tigers from there. more

ON BOARD: Princeton University men’s hockey player Finn Evans (No. 16) battles a St. Lawrence player for the puck along the boards last Friday at Hobey Baker Rink. Senior forward Evans tallied a goal and an assist in a losing cause as Princeton fell 6-4 to the Saints. The Tigers, who lost 8-3 to Clarkson last Saturday to move to 3-3-1 overall and 2-2 ECAC Hockey, host a two-game set against RIT on November 26 and 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although their 2020-21 season was canceled by the Ivy League due to COVID-19 concerns, Finn Evans and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s hockey team still made progress.

“We were just skating at local rinks around New Jersey and working out,” said senior forward Evans, who was enrolled in school and living in the Princeton area with some of his teammates last school year.

“We were brought back in the spring and we were able to skate and work out. That was good, the freshmen were here. It brought us closer together as a group. I think it shows this year. We are all really tight, everyone is contributing.”

That group effort had been reflected in scoring balance across the team’s lines.

“It is nice this year, in previous years it has been a top-heavy contribution,” said Evans.

“The great thing about our lineup this year is that you look throughout the lineup and it is evenly spread right through. I think the theme of our team is that it doesn’t matter who scores. It is all just working hard and playing the game.”

Last Friday against visiting St. Lawrence, Evans contributed an assist and a goal as Princeton overcame an early 2-0 deficit  to build a 4-2 lead over the Saints with 14:38 left in the second period.

Evans set up the first goal, feeding Nick Seitz who banged home the pass. more

PEAKS AND A VALLEY: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Megan Rougas, center, battles for the ball in a game this season. Last Sunday, senior star Rougas and PHS made the program’s first-ever state final appearance and fell just short of the crown as they lost 2-1 in overtime to Wayne Valley. The Tigers finished the fall with a final record of 21-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When it was over, Megan Rougas embraced Sophia Lis on the field as they consoled each other.

Although the two senior stars for the Princeton High girls’ soccer team were upset in the wake of the squad falling 2-1 in overtime to Wayne Valley in the state Group 3 final last Sunday afternoon at Kean University, that sadness couldn’t take away from what the Tigers accomplished this fall.

Utilizing a blend of skill and togetherness, PHS enjoyed a dream season this fall, advancing to the state final for the first time in program history and ending the campaign with a 21-3 record.

While her eyes were reddened from tears, Rougas managed a smile in reflecting on how the fall unfolded for the Tigers.

“Unexpected is the word I would use,” said standout midfielder and co-captain Rougas.

“I have seen so much talent pass through this school, with players like my sister (Lauren), and Sophia’s sisters (Taylor, Devon). I think we were the underdogs this year. We took everything we could. We took giant steps, we did exactly what we needed to do to get to where we needed to be. We made it to the top, somehow, some way. I could not be prouder of these girls.”

The Tigers expected a battle from Wayne Valley, the Passaic County champions, who entered the final at 21-3 and riding a 16-game winning streak.

“We knew coming in that this was going to be a really tough game,” said Rougas. more

SO BRILLIANT: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Sophia Lis heads to goal in state tournament action. Senior star and Lehigh-bound Lis helped fuel an unprecedented postseason run for PHS as it reached the state final for the first time in program history. Lis tallied nine goals in the squad’s postseason run, including the winning goals in the sectional quarterfinal, semis, and final and Group 3 semis. She tallied the one goal for the Tigers in a2-1 overtime defeat to Wayne Valley in the Group 3 final in Sunday, giving her 38 for the season, the second highest single-season total in CVC history behind the 65 scored by Steinert’s Lisa Gmitter in 1982. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sophia Lis appeared exhausted as the Princeton High girls’ soccer team prepared to go into overtime against Lacey Township in the state Group 3 semis last Wednesday.

As the PHS players stood in a huddle around Tiger head coach Dave Kosa getting their final instructions before starting the extra session as the foes had played to a scoreless stalemate, a red-faced senior star forward Lis sat on the bench, gulping Gatorade and catching her breath.

Having battled a pesky Lacey defense on its pockmarked grass field as she made run after run to goal, Lis had plenty of reason to be spent.

“I think the grass has a really bad effect on my legs, I have always found that,” said Lis.

“But the playing field is even for everybody. It was hard for me to get over that but this is what we have worked so hard for the whole season so I might as well give it everything I have got this game and see how it plays out.”

Minutes into OT, Lis gave PHS the win, making a run down the flank and dipping the ball over the Lacey goalie.

“I won the ball and I just turned and dribbled down the sideline,” said Lis, recalling the winning tally.

“I have been finding this whole season, I have been doing a lot of sideline work. So using my speed I just ran to the corner and took a shot to see if maybe a rebound could be found or it could find the back of the net. I was fortunate that this time, it did.”

Seconds later, Lis was mobbed by her teammates as they sprinted across the field to hug her. more

GUTTING IT OUT: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Kento Nakaya heads to the finish line at the Mercer County championship meet in late October. Last Saturday, senior Nakaya helped PHS place sixth at the Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Kento Nakaya’s third and final season on the Princeton High boys’ cross country team has gone better than he could have dreamed.

The PHS senior produced arguably the best race of his career at the perfect time as the Tigers placed sixth at the Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park on Saturday in a meet won by Union Catholic. The finish ties the third-best placing in PHS boys’ history. The 2016 team won MOC, and the 2017 team placed fourth, while the 1974 Tiger boys also placed sixth.

“As a PHS cross country team, we didn’t qualify for Meet of Champions for three years,” said Nakaya, who was the Little Tigers’ third finisher Saturday.

“I’ve never qualified to Meet of Champs in my life. I wasn’t expecting a lot from the meet. I was very surprised to be on the podium getting sixth place, and very happy to be there.”

Nakaya is one of two seniors in the PHS boys’ top seven. They will be without their other senior, Addison Motto, when the Tigers compete at the Nike Regionals in Bowdoin Park, N.Y., on November 27 as a springboard to a potential nationals spot next year. Nationals are not being run this season, and it will be the final race for Nakaya, who expects to return to his native Japan for college following graduation.

“I really want to thank my teammates for helping make my senior year great,” said Nakaya, who moved from Japan to Princeton in sixth grade. “I obviously had a lot of fun with working out with them and getting sixth at the Meet of Champs.”

The PHS girls’ squad also competed at the Meet of Champions. It’s the only time other than 1985 that both Princeton teams reached the Meet of Champions together. In 1985, it was Eva Klohnen in 25th individually who paced the PHS girls to a ninth-place team finish while Nathaniel McVey-Finney who took 41st to lead the Tiger boys to 12th place. more