September 19, 2018

COMING THROUGH: Princeton University football player Charlie Volker fights to break a tackle in a 2017 game. Last Saturday, senior running back Volker rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns to help Princeton defeat Butler 50-7 in its season opener. The Tigers host Monmouth (2-1) on September 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University football team headed into its season opener last Saturday at Butler University, Bob Surace was cautiously optimistic.

“It is always hard to predict; we are always going against each other but they have been so good in camp,” said Surace. “They have been focused, they have worked hard. They have done all the things right. It makes you feel good as a coach that they are going to be ready.”

It didn’t take long for Surace to feel very good as senior star quarterback John Lovett returned with a bang after missing 2017 to injury, hitting classmate Jesper Horsted for a 63-yard touchdown pass 26 seconds into the contest. more

By Bill Alden

Lucy Rickerson is just a sophomore, but she stands out as the most battle-tested player on the back line for the Princeton University women’s soccer team.

Last fall in her debut campaign, Rickerson made 17 appearances with 16 starts, earning Honorable-Mention All-Ivy League honors at defender as she played alongside senior stars Natalie Larkin, Mikaela Symanovich, and Katie Pratt-Thompson.

With the trio having graduated, Rickerson has assumed a leadership role despite her relative youth.

“It was definitely a little intimidating at the beginning of the year because we weren’t sure what we were going to do. All three seniors that we graduated were amazing players and mentors to me,” said Rickerson, a native of San Diego, Calif.

“It has been that transition from me being the freshman on a back line with seniors to having to step into that leader role, which is very humbling. I am very thankful that I get to do that. I hope we can just continue to grow; that is all we can do.”

Last Sunday evening, the back line showed growth, holding the fort as the Tigers battled to a 0-0 draw through two overtimes against visiting Drexel, moving to 5-2-1 and earning their fifth shutout of the season.

“I think we did a really good job this game; we got a shutout and they definitely had chances,” said Rickerson, who is being joined in the back by junior Olivia Sheppard, sophomore Emily Hilliard-Arce and sophomore Eve Hewins.

“Numbers four (Rachel Sharkey) and six (Shaelyn McCarty) for them were amazing players. The fact that we held them speaks a lot to how we have grown as a back line this year and people stepping up at those positions.”

Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll liked the way his team stepped up in the second half after getting outshot 4-2 in the first half.

“I thought we were a lot more proactive defensively in the second half,” said Driscoll, whose team had a 7-4 edge in shots over the last 45 minutes of regulation.

“We made them work harder to get out of situations. We created a lot of turnovers in the middle third, we created some turnovers in the final third. We made the game more difficult for them and that was from a change in the intent of the defending, playing with more focus.”

Driscoll credits Rickerson and Sheppard with displaying good focus in the middle of the Princeton defense.

“Lucy and Olivia played every minute of the game today and they played every minute of the game against Georgetown (a 2-1 overtime loss on September 13); they are a good partnership,” said Driscoll, whose team has been yielding 0.75 goals a game this season.

“Emily did well, Eve did well; they are all working supremely hard. They are still figuring things out back there because they are new playing together. We don’t give up many goals. It is a credit to them and credit to the players in front of them working hard to help.”

The Tigers need to produce better work around the goal. “We created better chances in the second half, I thought, than they did,” said Driscoll.

“In the first overtime, I thought we were better. In the second overtime, I thought they were better. The plan was there; the execution was not as good as we would like but we kept the ball really well, we moved the ball, we generated chances. I think the reality is that we just need to get better in the final third. You have to give the maximum effort every second you are on the field from the first minute to the last.”

With Princeton opening its Ivy League campaign at Yale (5-2-1) on September 22, Driscoll is confident he will get a big effort from his players.

“It is a great group of kids, we have a lot of talent,” asserted Driscoll. “We move the ball very well in the middle third of the field, we move the ball very well out of the back. We just have to get better in the final third; that is our focus.”

Rickerson, for her part, believes that the Tigers are primed to show their talent against the Bulldogs.

“Every game we have grown a little bit, no matter the outcome, and we have learned a lot about ourselves so I personally feel very good going into this first game with Yale,” said Rickerson.

“We know what we need to work on. We have been watching Yale’s games as well; it is going to be a great matchup. Yale is always a great opponent and all of the Ivy games have a different energy. I am excited to get into that. It is fun to play against schools who we have a lot of respect for and get to see every year.” 

GROUP EFFORT: Princeton University field hockey player MaryKate Neff, far left, along with Elise Wong, goalie Grace Baylis and Nicole Catalino take a break during a recent game. Sophomore star Neff scored goals in both games last weekend as No. 5 Princeton defeated Monmouth 4-1 on Friday and then topped No. 13 Delaware 4-2 on Sunday. The Tigers, who improved to 5-2 with the victories, were slated to host No. 3 Maryland on September 18 before starting Ivy League play by hosting Dartmouth on September 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With one college season under her belt, MaryKate Neff is developing a knack for being in the right place at the right time around the goal for the Princeton University field hockey team.

“The way I like to play and the positions I get on the field helps me to find the last touch,” said sophomore midfielder Neff, a 5’7 native of Villanova, Pa.

“Most of it comes from the other people on the ball finding the back post and me making those runs, trying to get there. On the corners, I am in a prime rebound spot to put it back in.”

Against visiting Monmouth last Friday afternoon, Neff came through on a penalty corner in the first half, redirecting a hit from Maddie Bacskai into the cage to give Princeton a 2-0 lead.

“Maddie was looking to score and I know she tends to go certain places, so I knew to put my stick in and hopefully I got a touch on it,” said Neff.

The Tigers didn’t lose their finishing touch, pulling away to a 4-1 win over the Hawks.

“We really try to have our corners be efficient and we have been practicing them a lot,” said Neff. “They kind of fell a little bit in our last games. I think today, they were executed better; even if we didn’t get them all first, we got the second rebound.”

With so many returners from a 2017 squad that went undefeated in Ivy League play and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals, the Tigers have been showing a greater efficiency this fall.

“The core of our team is still the same from last year,” said Neff, who scored another goal last Sunday as No. 5 Princeton defeated 13th-ranked Delaware 4-2 and improved to 5-2. “It was just finding our identity and playing together a little more. I know where my role is on the team and that helped me settle in.”

Earning a spot on the U.S. Under-21 team this summer gave Neff the chance to sharpen her skills.

“I had the opportunity to play in a bunch of different tryout tournaments,” said Neff.

“Playing at that high level of hockey, playing with new coaching styles and new people helped me keep my game at a certain level and not to fall off, to keep skills and stay in shape. I had the opportunity to make the 21s, which is great.”

Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente likes the way Neff capitalizes on her chances around the goal.

“MaryKate is one that is opportunistic; she gets her nose in there and rolls her sleeves up,” said Tagliente of Neff, who has three goals in Princeton’s last four games and now has a team-high four on the season. “She is a gritty player and has one of those engines that doesn’t stop. It is good and timely as well, when we need them.”

While acknowledging that the Tigers could have been sharper against Monmouth, Tagliente still saw a lot of positives

“A win is a win and it feels good; I would like us to be a little more opportunistic with the chances that we had,” said Tagliente.

“Monmouth defends well, I think we had some nice goals tonight. Overall, we played nice hockey. We possessed the ball well; we were very close to executing on some more.”

Freshman Ali McCarthy enjoyed a nice moment on Friday, tallying her first career goal.

“That was helpful because I think she struggled out of the gate to get going; hopefully this is a boost to her confidence,” said Tagliente of McCarthy, who added another goal in the win over Delaware on Sunday. “I think she had a nice game today; she almost broke open a couple more.”

Senior star Sophia Tornetta has given the Tigers a big lift in the early going this season.

“Sophia has gotten off to a good start; she has played extremely well all over the field,” said Tagliente of Tornetta, who has tallied three goals and two assists.  “She has been a big bright spot for us so far; her confidence is super high.”

Tagliente is confident that her squad’s best hockey is ahead of it.

“We are playing good hockey,” said Tagliente, whose team was slated to host No. 3 Maryland on September 18 before starting Ivy League play by hosting Dartmouth on September 22.

“I don’t think we have played our best hockey yet, which is fine. We have room for growth. Their responsiveness to ‘take each game as it is and not look ahead’ has been good. I am happy with the potential that we have. We have done really well, but we have not quite hit our stride yet, especially in the attack end. So when that happens, it will be good.”

Neff, for her part, senses that the Tigers are on their way to a very good season.

“I think our team is really, really special this year. There is something about the way we show up to practice, everybody has this energy and everybody is willing to put the work in,” asserted Neff.

“Every single person on the team has the capability to play on the field and make an impact; everyone always gives 100 percent and it brings out the best in everyone. The attitude of everybody on the team is so positive. We are all genuinely like a family and that shows on the field.”

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton Day School field hockey Gwen Allen controls the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, senior star and tri-captain Allen scored the winning goal as PDS edged Stuart Country Day School 2-1 in overtime. The Panthers, now 3-0, host Blair Academy on September 22 and Peddie School on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gwen Allen and her teammates on the Princeton Day School field hockey team were a bit frustrated as their battle with local rival Stuart Country Day School headed into overtime last Thursday.

“I feel like we should have scored earlier on; we had a lot more opportunities than they did and we had great offensive sequences,” said Allen.

“We felt like we were playing well, we just weren’t able to finish it. It was ‘let’s just close it out.’”

After coming to the bench for a brief rest during the overtime, Allen returned to the contest and finished it off, tallying a goal with 3:36 left in the extra session to give PDS a 2-1 win as it improved to 3-0.

“When I went back in, Val [Radvany] had the ball at midfield and there was nobody in front and I got it and it was a one versus two,” said Allen.

“I tried to get close to the circle and my first shot was bad, but Lyla Allen (not Gwen’s sister) got the rebound and passed it to me. It was a weird shot; it kind of trickled in.”

While the shot may not have been a thing of beauty, the result was heartening for PDS.

“It was really exciting. It was definitely a relief,” said Allen. “Most of all, I was really proud of my team. It was the first time we have gone to overtime and we have a really young team with a lot of freshman. I was proud of everyone for sticking with it.”

Allen credited the Stuart defense with making PDS work overtime.

“They were good at getting out quickly and finding the girl in the middle and distributing it out, but for the most part we had possession, which was awesome,” said Allen.

In Allen’s view, the team’s 3-0 start has been awesome if a little unexpected.

“After the preseason, I was a little worried; we lost a lot of really good players and starters from last year,” said Allen.

“We have a super young team. The Allen twins (freshmen Lyla and Emily) have really been helping; they are super athletic and in shape. They are a huge help, and the other younger players are all stepping up and doing well. We had some players who were on JV last year and got bumped up to varsity and they have been great.”

The trio of senior stars Allen, Radvany, and Sasha Sindhwani looking to help the younger players feel comfortable on the varsity.

“We are really close; it has been us three since freshman year, so we are super excited to be able to lead the team together,” said Allen.

“It is a good dynamic; we have good communication. We all agree on leadership style and how we do things. It is fun to be captains with Val and Sasha.”

PDS head coach Heather Farlow had fun seeing Allen come through with the game-winning tally.

“We were talking to Gwen; we wanted her to shoot more at the top of the circle,” said Farlow. “During the game, we were telling her you have got to yell that you are wide open and stuff. We finally got her the ball; it was good.”

The Panthers played some good hockey against the Tartans.

“I knew that we wanted to play a passing game; I felt that we really did control possession most of the game,” said Farlow, who also got a goal from Sindhwani on a first half penalty stroke. “They had some good defensive plays; they were tough.”

Surviving the extra session was a good step forward early in the season for PDS.

“It points out some strengths and weaknesses; it is good competition,” said Farlow, whose team hosts Blair Academy on September 22 and Peddie School on September 25.

“We just want to keep moving forward, we have done some nice things. We have executed what we have practiced but we just need to keep putting it together.”

Allen, for her part, believes that the Panthers need to sharpen up on their execution around goal.

“I think next week we are definitely going to be working on fitness and finishing on attack,” said Allen. “It will be moving and shooting and how to get around the defense and the goalie. Circle attack will be the focus.”

THIRD PARTY: Princeton High girls’ tennis player Nicole Samios hits a serve in a match last fall. Junior Samios is playing at third singles again for PHS this fall and has helped the team get off to a 2-1 start. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers have matches at WW/P-South on September 20 and at Allentown on September 21 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament on September 24 at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High girls’ tennis team may not boast any superstars in its 2018 lineup, it possesses the depth and experience to maintain the program’s winning tradition.

“We have a lot of seniors,” said PHS head coach Sarah Hibbert, noting that the roster includes six seniors with four currently in the starting lineup.

“We want to send them out on a high note and we are hoping to have the best season we can.”

One of those seniors, Sydney Vine, has moved into the first singles spot.  more

BUSHWHACKER: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Greta Bush, left, battles a foe for the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore defender Bush scored a goal in a losing cause as PHS fell 3-1 to visiting Steinert. The Little Tigers, now 2-1-2 after defeating Trenton Central 6-0 last Monday, host WW/P-North on September 20 before playing at Allentown on September 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After getting called up to the Princeton High girls’ varsity soccer team last year as a freshman, Greta Bush has established herself as a key defender for the squad this fall.

But last Saturday as PHS hosted Steinert, Bush demonstrated that her tenacious defense can lead to offense, lofting a volley for a goal to help the Little Tigers knot the game at 1-1 in the first half.

“I didn’t realize I was going to get the ball from her; I was just fighting for the ball and I didn’t want to give up,” said Bush. more

September 12, 2018

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) hosted its annual Fall Open House on Saturday afternoon, which included an opening reception for the “Members Exhibition” in the Taplin Gallery. Participants share their favorite art forms in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The conflict seems to intensify as postponement of the Princeton Board of Education (BOE) vote on Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) proposed $129.6M bond issue, and consequent postponement of the ballot issue until after the November 6 general election, gives both sides the opportunity to develop and clarify their cases.

Last week, shortly before its Tuesday night meeting at which it was planning to vote to place the referendum on the November ballot, the BOE was informed that due to a backlog the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) was still reviewing the district’s plans and that the referendum would have to be postponed until after the November ballot.  more

VOICE OF OPTIMISM: Princeton University football head coach Bob Surace makes a point during the program’s recently-held media day. Princeton is coming off a 5-5 campaign in 2017 as it was decimated by injuries and lost its final four games after starting 5-1. With some of the injured stars returning and other players having gained valuable experience last year in their stead, Surace believes the Tigers have the depth to be an Ivy League title contender this fall. Princeton opens its 2018 season underway when it plays at Butler University (2-0) on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After routing Harvard 52-17 last October in improving to 5-1, the Princeton University football team appeared to be on track for a run at a second straight Ivy League title.

But derailed by an avalanche of injuries, the Tigers lost their last four games in slipping to seventh place in the league standings, finishing the season at 5-5 overall and 2-5 Ivy. more

NO DOUBTING THOMAS: Princeton University football captains, from left, Thomas Johnson, John Lovett, Mark Fossati, and Kurt Holuba are all smiles as they posed together at the program’s media day. While Lovett, Fossati, and Holuba were all sidelined by injuries last fall, Johnson emerged as a defensive force, earning first-team All-Ivy League honors at inside linebacker after ranking third in the league with 95 tackles. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Thomas Johnson faced a trial by fire last fall in his junior season for the Princeton University football team.

First, Johnson was moved to a new spot on the field, getting switched to inside linebacker from the outside.

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By Bill Alden

Hosting Hightstown last Saturday afternoon, the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team found itself in an uphill battle.

Getting off to a sluggish start, PDS yielded a goal 15 minutes into the contest to fall behind 1-0.

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LINING IT UP: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Caroline Mullen, left, goes after the ball in a game last season. Last Wednesday, junior midfielder Mullen picked up two assists to help Stuart defeat Burlington City High 5-0 in its season opener. In upcoming action, the Tartans play at Princeton Day School on September 13 and at George School (Pa.) on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Caroline Mullen and her teammates on the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team were determined to start the season on a high note as they hosted Burlington City High last Wednesday in their opener.

“I think we wanted to come out with a lot of intensity,” said junior midfielder and co-captain Mullen. more

RARE JEWEL: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Jules Romano, right, controls the ball last Saturday against Princeton High. Romano and PDS rallied to pull out a 2-2 tie against PHS. The Panthers, who moved to 1-0-1 with the draw, were slated to host Morristown High on September 11 before playing at Hun on September 13 and at Moorestown Friends on September 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jules Romano feels calmer on the field this fall for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer season, with one season under her belt.

“Once I am on the ball, I am not as rushed as I was as a freshman,” said sophomore midfielder Romano. “I am more confident, I know my players.”

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HIGH AND DRY: Princeton High football player Drew Staples heads upfield last Saturday as PHS hosted Hightstown in the season opener for both teams. Falling behind 28-0 by halftime, the Little Tigers went on to fall 52-0 to the visiting Rams. PHS will look to get on the winning track when it plays at Pemberton on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There was reason for optimism early on for the Princeton High football team as it hosted Hightstown last Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Taking the opening kickoff, PHS drove 34 yards into Hightstown territory before punting it to the Rams.

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TIGHT BATTLE: Princeton University men’s soccer player Sean McSherry, left, goes after the ball last Saturday as Princeton hosted Monmouth. McSherry and Tigers dropped a heartbreaker to the Hawks, falling 1-0 despite building a 19-5 edge in shots. Princeton, now 1-3, hosts Temple on September 12 and Boston University on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jim Barlow has seen a lot in his 23 seasons guiding the Princeton University men’s soccer program.

But he never experienced anything quite like Princeton’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss to visiting Monmouth University last Saturday evening. more

September 5, 2018

ON THE BALL: Hun School girls’ soccer goalie Leah Sutphen gathers in a ball in 2017 action. Senior star and co-captain Sutphen will be counted on to keep Hun in games this fall with her propensity for making clutch saves. The Raiders kick off their 2018 campaign when they play at Ewing on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Joanna Hallac is excited to add a big freshman group to the Hun School girls’ soccer program this fall, she knows it is going to take time for the squad to mesh.

“We have about 13 freshmen, it is giving us numbers that we haven’t had in a while,” said Hallac, who guided the Raiders to a 10-7 record last fall as the win the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title and made it to the state Prep A final.

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OFF AND RUNNING: Princeton University field hockey player Sophia Tornetta heads upfield in a 2017 game. Last Sunday, senior star striker Tornetta scored a goal as 10th-ranked Princeton defeated Wake Forest 4-0 in its opening weekend of action. The Tigers, who lost 1-0 to No. 2 North Carolina on Friday to start the season, were slated to play at No. 6 Penn State (2-0) on September 4 before hosting No. 3 Duke (3-1) on September 7 and playing at Rutgers (3-0) on September 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It took the Princeton University field hockey team nearly 10 minutes to get its first shot as it faced North Carolina last Friday in its season opener.

Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente acknowledged that her 10th-ranked Tigers struggled at the outset against the second-ranked Tar Heels.

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MIDDLE MANAGER: Princeton Day School field hockey player Val Radvany, left, goes after the ball in a game last season. Senior star midfielder Radvany, along with classmates Gwen Allen and Sasha Sindhwani, will be leading the way for the Panthers this fall. PDS opens its season by hosting Hopewell Valley on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Since arriving as freshmen in 2015, the trio of Gwen Allen, Val Radvany, and Sasha Sindhwani has played a key role in transforming the Princeton Day School field hockey team into a powerhouse.

In their sophomore year, they starred as PDS won the state Prep B title and advanced to the final of the Mercer County Tournament. Last fall, they helped the Panthers make it to a second straight Prep B championship game where they fell in overtime.

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HEADING DOWNFIELD: Hun School boys’ soccer player James Muldowney boots the ball in a game last season. Senior defender Muldowney has emerged as a two-way star for Hun, leading the team in assists in 2017 while providing solid play on the back line. The Raiders get regular season action underway when they play at the Academy of New Church (Pa.) on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The Hun School boys’ soccer team doesn’t boast any big stars, but Pat Quirk believes that is a good thing.

“The mood right now is very excited with a really good team chemistry,” said Hun head coach Quirk, whose squad posted a 3-13 record last fall.

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CLEAR VISION: Princeton High field hockey player Lila Doran clears the ball in a game last fall. Junior star defender Doran figures to be the leader of the PHS back line this fall. The Little Tigers open their 2018 campaign when they host Robbinsville on September 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Overcoming a sluggish 0-3-1 start last fall, the Princeton High field hockey team caught fire down the stretch, producing a spirited run to the Mercer County Tournament championship game.

As her squad has gone through its preseason training for the upcoming season, PHS head coach Heather Serverson senses the potential for more playoff heroics on the horizon.

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HIGH SCORER: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Kelly Beal controls the ball in 2017 action. Sophomore forward Beal, the leading scorer for PDS last fall as it won a fifth straight state Prep B title, will look to build on the success she experienced in her debut campaign. The Panthers kick off regular season play by hosting George School (Pa.) on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team heads into the 2018 season, it faces some big challenges.

First, the squad suffered a major loss with the graduation of senior star defenders and team leaders Madi Coyne and Rebecca Kuzmicz.

“We are still trying to figure out how we are going to fill that void,” said PDS head coach Pat Trombetta, who led the Panthers to a 12-6-1 record in 2017 and its fifth straight state Prep B title. “We might have some new faces in the back that have not been tested.”

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VIVA LA FRANCOIS: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Priscilla Francois runs upfield in 2017 action. Senior star Francois will be anchoring the back line this fall for Stuart. The Tartans get their season underway when they host Burlington City High on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Youth will be served this fall for the Stuart Country Day field hockey team.

“We have 10 freshmen out coupled with eight sophomores,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, who guided the Tartans to a 9-10-1 record last fall and the state Prep B semifinals.

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KENNEDY CENTER: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tomi Kennedy, center, celebrates after scoring the first goal in Princeton’s 3-0 win over St. Joseph’s in its home opener last Friday evening. The 20th-ranked Tigers, who dropped to 3-1 on the season with a 3-1 loss to No. 13 N.C. State on Sunday, will look to get back in the winning track as they play at Rider on September 6 before hosting Hofstra on September 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tomi Kennedy felt snakebitten last fall in her sophomore season with the Princeton University women’s soccer team.

While the forward/midfielder tallied four assists in helping Princeton win the Ivy League title and reach the NCAA quarterfinals, she never found the back of the net in the 2017 campaign.

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August 29, 2018

LAYING IT ON THE LINE: Princeton University field hockey goalie Grace Baylis makes a diving save in a game last fall. Junior star Baylis, an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection in 2017, has started every game the last two seasons. The 10th-ranked Tigers open their 2018 campaign by playing No. 2 North Carolina on August 31 and No. 14 Wake Forest on September 2, with both games taking place in Philadelphia. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having finished last fall by winning six of its last seven games and advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals, the Princeton University field hockey team can’t wait to get the 2018 season underway.

“The preseason is going quickly; it is a blur,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente, whose team ended last year with a 12-7 record and its 22nd Ivy League title in the last 24 years. “They see everyone else playing and they are just getting excited for next weekend.”

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KICKING OFF: Princeton University men’s soccer player Ben Issroff boots the ball in game last season. Junior defender Issroff should play a key role in the back line for the tigers this fall. Princeton starts its 2018 campaign this weekend by heading to the midwest to play at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (0-0-1) on August 31 and at Bradley (1- 0-1) on September 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Facing a grueling stretch of games to open the 2018 campaign, it is going to be all hands on deck right from the start for the Princeton University men’s soccer team.

“We have seven games in 20 days in the beginning of the season, and we are going to need to go deep,” said Princeton head coach Jim Barlow, who is heading into his 23rd season guiding the Tigers. “We are going to need a lot of bodies.”

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