January 17, 2018

CENTURY CLUB: Princeton University women’s hockey star Karlie Lund controls the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Lund picked up two assists in a 3-0 win over Yale, hitting the 100-point mark in her Princeton career. The Tigers, now 8-10-4 overall and 7-8-1 ECAC Hockey, are next in action when they play at Penn State on January 30 and face former head coach Jeff Kampersal. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The Lund family from Minnesota made its annual sojourn to Baker Rink last weekend to cheer on its favorite player, Princeton University women’s hockey star Karlie Lund.

Wearing T-shirts made for the occasion and taping posters to the glass, the clan changed sections each period to be near the goal when junior forward Lund skated into the offensive zone.

Lund, for her part, drew extra inspiration from her special cheering section. more

ROSY OUTLOOK: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jerome Desrosiers shows his intensity on the defensive end in recent action. Last weekend, freshman forward Desrosiers starred off the bench, scoring 12 points in 12 minutes in a 72-56 win over Columbia on Friday and then chipping in 14 points in 16 minutes in a 91-54 rout of Cornell the next day. Desrosiers was later named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his output. The Tigers, now 9-8 overall and 2-1 Ivy League, are next in action when they host Rowan on January 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jerome Desrosiers is exuding confidence as he heads into his first round of fall exams at Princeton University.

“I think I am actually ready,” said Desrosiers. “I just have to finish up one paper and start studying; nothing too crazy for me personally.”

On the basketball court, freshman Desrosiers is starting to become a force for the Tigers. Last weekend, Desrosiers starred off the bench, scoring 12 points in 12 minutes in a 72-56 win over Columbia on Friday and then chipping in 14 points in 16 minutes in a 91-54 rout of Cornell the next day. more

FIELD GENERAL: Princeton University women’s basketball player Carlie Littlefield heads upcourt in recent action. Last Saturday, freshman point guard Littlefield contributed eight points and four assists as Princeton pulled away to a 75-54 win over Cornell. The Tigers, now 13-3 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, are currently on exam break and return to action when they play at Yale on February 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Carlie Littlefield had a quiet first half for the Princeton University women’s basketball team as it hosted Cornell last Saturday.

Princeton freshman point guard Littlefield was held scoreless and had just one assist in nine minutes of action as Princeton clung to a 36-34 lead at halftime.

“We were kind of probing on the first half so that is what I was doing too,” said Littlefield, a 5’ 9 native of Waukee, Iowa. more

January 10, 2018

FINAL PUSH: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey tangles with a foe in a game earlier this season. Senior forward Hallisey is enjoying a big final campaign for the Tigers as he is tied with junior Ryan Kuffner for the team lead in goals with 11. Princeton, which fell 4-0 to No. 17 Colgate to drop to 6-9-3 overall and 3-7-1 ECAC Hockey, plays at Harvard on January 12 and at Dartmouth on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

David Hallisey is enjoying a big senior season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team, but he sees it as a matter of being at the right place at the right time more than anything else.

“I have to give all the credit to the junior class of [Max] Veronneau, [Ryan] Kuffner, and those guys,” said Hallisey who has tallied 11 goals so far this season to tie him with Kuffner for the team lead. “I just kind of stand in front of the net and they give me the puck.” more

FRANK EXCHANGE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sharon Frankel, right, fights for the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, freshman forward Frankel scored a goal in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to No. 4 Colgate. The Tigers, now 6-10-4 overall and 5-8-1 ECAC Hockey, host Brown on January 12 and Yale on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sharon Frankel stands only 5’1 but she is making a big impact in her freshman season with the Princeton University women’s hockey team.

After tallying a goal and an assist in her first 15 games for the Tigers, she has chipped in two goals and an assist over her last five appearances. more

SNAP DECISION: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jerome Desrosiers dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman Desrosiers made his Ivy League debut, contributing eight points and five rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 76-70 at Penn in the Ivy opener for both teams. The defeat snapped the Tigers’ 18-game winning streak in Ivy League regular season and tournament play. Princeton, now 7-8 overall and 0-1 Ivy, hosts Columbia on January 12 and Cornell on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mitch Henderson believed that his Princeton University men’s basketball team was in a good place as it faced Penn last Saturday in the Ivy League opener.

Heading into the clash with the Quakers, Princeton was coming off a superb western swing which saw it go 4-1, posting wins at Cal Poly and Southern Cal and then topping Akron and host Hawaii after falling to Middle Tennessee State at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. more

ANCHOR AWAY: Princeton University water polo head coach Luis Nicolao makes a point to his women players. Nicolao announced last week that he will be stepping down from his post to be the head coach of the water polo program at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy. Nicolao spent 20 years at Princeton as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs. During that time, Nicolao posted a combined 844-312 (.730) record, going 402-163 (.712) with the men and 442-149 (.748) with the women. He took the Princeton men’s and women’s water polo teams to the NCAA tournament a combined seven times. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Luis Nicolao, the hard lessons he learned as a student-athlete at the U.S. Naval Academy have served him well. more

January 3, 2018

ON POINT: Princeton University women’s basketball player Leslie Robinson guards a foe in recent action. Senior forward and team co-captain Robinson starred as the Tigers went 2-0 at the Gator Classic in late December. She earned All-Tournament honors, averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds a game as Princeton defeated St. Joseph’s 63-54 and then topped Tennessee-Chattanooga 59-49 to improve to 9-3. The Tigers, who were slated to host Maryland-Baltimore County on December 30, will start Ivy League play with a game at Penn on January 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University women’s basketball team, competing at the Gator Classic tested its adaptability.

“It was a tale of two opponents,” said Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart, reflecting on the event which saw the Tigers face St. Joseph’s and Tennessee-Chattanooga in Gainesville, Fla. on December 20 and 21.

“So with St. Joe’s, three of their better players were in the post, outside of their leading scorer. Then with Chattanooga, their best players were the three guards. We were forced to play different ways and it was really awesome that we were able to adjust.”

The Tigers adjusted very well, defeating St. Joseph’s 63-54 and then topping Tennessee-Chattanooga 59-49 to improve to 9-3.

“It was two good mid major teams, a team we tried to schedule originally; they are a really dominant inside team,” said Banghart, reflecting on the win over the Hawks.

“Our defense was excellent, we switched at one through five.”

Defense made the difference for Princeton in the win over Chattanooga as the Tigers held the Mocs to 36.5 percent shooting and out rebounded them 44-24.

“They had beaten Northwestern, Indiana, Auburn, and Georgetown all this year and they have been to five straight NCAA tournaments; they are really good team,” said Banghart, in assessing Chattanooga.

“I told the kids this is the best team left on our schedule. It is not one guard but three guards that are equally dangerous. It is a team that adjusts quickly. One of our keys was that we are going to have to adjust throughout the game. It is not going to be one certain way to play. Our kids really stayed locked in, it was a great win for our program.”

Sophomore standout Bella Alarie and senior forward and co-captain Leslie Robinson led the way for the Tigers in Florida. Alarie was named the tournament MVP and an All-Tournament selection after averaging 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the squad’s two victories while Robinson was also an All-Tournament choice, averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

“Bella is continuing to get better and better; she is really committed, she wants to be good here,” said Banghart of Alarie, who was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week.

“She is getting better around the rim, she is getting more relentless on the glass. She is a highly efficient player offensively. She blocks more shots than she gets credit for. Leslie is that competitor that when the going gets tough, she just gets tougher. In tough games she has shown that she is a difference. She was a difference in both games.”

While Banghart came into the winter believing that the Tigers would be competitive, their impressive start has exceeded her expectations.

“To be 9-3 with the schedule we have made, I honestly would not have guessed it,” said Banghart. “Our schedule bas been incredibly difficult. Our RPI was in the 20s before the Rutgers loss (70-50 on December 13) out of 350 programs. We are in the 30s now.”

Banghart likes the progress she is seeing at both ends of the court. “Defensively, we are getting really gritty,” said Banghart, whose team was holding opponents to 56.8 points a game and 38.4 percent shooting from the floor through its first 12 contests.

“Offensively, we have challenged post to be more of an interior presence. In the quarter court, we have asked our guards to be more relentless on the dribble attack. As we say, share it and shoot it. Both positional groups are raising their game and they are playing together pretty well too.”

With Princeton starting its Ivy League campaign at defending champion Penn on January 6, Banghart believes her squad has what it takes to regain the league crown.

“You have a pretty good sense by the end of December where you are and who you are,” noted Banghart, whose team was slated to play its last non-conference game when it hosted Maryland-Baltimore County on December 30.

“I really like this team. I think we have great versatility, we have great depth, we have a star (Alarie), we have a really good point guard (freshman Carlie Littlefield), and we have pieces that are continually evolving. It will be fun to see where this team goes.”

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Devin Cannady puts up a free throw in a game earlier this season. Junior guard and tri-captain Cannady exploded for 26 points in the second half as the Tigers pulled away to a 77-63 win over Hawai’i on Christmas Day in a consolation contest at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Cannady totaled a career-high 28 points in the game and was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Princeton, now 7-7, returns to action when it starts Ivy play with a game at Penn on January 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s basketball team tied 31-31 at halftime against the University of Hawai’i in its third and final game at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Devin Cannady knew the Tigers had to step up the intensity.

“We went into halftime tied and I don’t think we played the best that we could have defensively,” said Cannady, as quoted on the Princeton sports website.  more

December 27, 2017

By Bill Alden

Princeton University recently announced its 10 All-Ivy Academic honorees for the 2017 fall campaign.

Those honored included: Richard Bush, a senior offensive lineman for the football team, who is majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering; sophomore cross country runner Viraj Deokar, who is majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering; Tom Johnson, a junior football linebacker and Economics major; Noah Kauppila, a senior cross country star studying economics; Jacob Schachner, a sophomore men’s soccer goalie majoring in Chemical & Biological Engineering; junior Gabi Forrest, the women’s Ivy League Heptagonal cross country champion who is studying Economics; Natalie Larkin, a star senior defender for the women’s soccer team studying at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs; Courtney O’Brien, a sophomore women’s soccer star who hasn’t declared a major; sophomore Maggie O’Connell, the women’s volleyball Ivy Player of the Year who is majoring in Chemical & Biological Engineering; and Elise Wong, a junior field hockey star studying at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs. more

LIVING LARGE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Olivia Hompe, left, looks to unload the ball in game this spring. Senior star Hompe ended her career with a bang, setting the Princeton single-season record for points (with 110) and goals (with 75) as she helped the Tigers reach the NCAA quarterfinals. She graduated as program’s all-time leading scorer and goal-scorer with 285 points on 198 goals and 87 assists. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A number of memorable and somewhat improbable title runs spiced up the pro sports world in 2017. Sloane Stephens shocked the world of women’s tennis when the unseeded and 83rd ranked American won the U.S. Open to earn her first major title. On the diamond, the Houston Astros outlasted the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the way to winning the first World Series title in franchise history, bringing joy to a city ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. In college football, the Clemson Tigers avenged a defeat to powerhouse Alabama in 2016 in the national final to win its first national title since the 1981 season. more

ANSWERING THE BELL: Princeton University men’s basketball player Amir Bell, left, goes up for a lay-up in a game earlier this season. Last week, senior guard Bell contributed 18 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds as Princeton defeated the University of Southern California 103-93 in overtime on December 19. The Tigers were slated to be competing in the Diamond Head Classic from December 22-25 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Princeton University men’s basketball team topped Monmouth 69-58 to snap a three-game losing streak, Mitch Henderson sensed that his squad may have turned a corner.

“We have been playing like crap and it is on me,” said Princeton head coach Henderson after the December 12 contest. “I thought tonight we looked like team.” more

December 20, 2017

PUTTING IN MYLES: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens drives to the hoop in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star and tri-captain Stephens chipped in 16 points and four assists as Princeton defeated Cal Poly 80-60 in improving to 4-6.  Stephens, who had 19 points and eight rebounds in a 69-58 win over Monmouth on December 12, was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. After playing at Southern Cal on December 19, the Tigers head across the Pacific Ocean to compete in the Diamond Head Classic from December 22-25 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Myles Stephens and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s basketball team, their 71-60 defeat at George Washington earlier this month proved to be a wake-up call. more

December 13, 2017

COACHING ICON: Princeton University men’s track head coach Fred Samara, left, instructs one of his athletes on the finer points of pole vaulting. This week, Samara, a former Olympic decathlete, will be one of six coaches inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame in Phoenix, Ariz. During Samara’s tenure as the head coach at Princeton since 1979, the Tigers have won 41 Ivy League Heptagonal titles, including 20 indoor crowns, 17 outdoor crowns and four in cross country, as he served as cross country coach from 1992-98 and again from 2004-07. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

A year after ending a brilliant track career that culminated by competing in the decathlon for the U.S. team at the 1976 Summer Olympics, Fred Samara ran into a crossroads.

In deciding what to do with the rest of his life, Samara had the choice of taking a marketing job for a running magazine or becoming an assistant men’s track coach at Princeton University. more

HOT HAND: Princeton University women’s hockey player Keiko DeClerck controls the puck in a game last season. Last Friday, junior forward DeClerck scored a goal to help Princeton defeat Quinnipiac 3-0. It marked the fourth straight game in which DeClerck scored a goal. Her scoring streak was snapped a day later when the Tigers fell 3-1 at Quinnipiac to drop to 4-9-3 overall and 4-7-1 in ECAC Hockey play. Princeton resumes action when it hosts Boston University for a two-game set on December 30 and 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In her first 73 games with the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Keiko DeClerck scored seven goals.

But with Princeton short on numbers this year, junior forward DeClerck realized that she needed to be more productive at the offensive end.  more

December 6, 2017

ON GUARD: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jose Morales shows focus on the defensive end in recent action. Last Wednesday, sophomore guard Morales, a former Hun School standout, contributed eight points, two rebounds, and an assist in 25 minutes off the bench to give the Tigers a spark as they lost 85-76 to Lehigh. Princeton, which dropped to 2-5 with an 80-52 loss at No. 10 Miami last Saturday, plays at George Washington on December 6 before hosting Monmouth on December 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University men’s basketball team, its performance against visiting Lehigh in the first half Wednesday was out of character for the proud program.

The Tigers found themselves trailing the Mountain Hawks 47-25 at intermission, getting outplayed and outworked at both ends of the court. more

SEEING AHEAD: Princeton University men’s hockey David Hallisey, right, goes after the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, senior forward Hallisey tallied a goal and an assist in a losing cause as Princeton fell 5-2 to Harvard. The Tigers, now 5-6-1 overall and 3-5-1 ECAC Hockey, are heading west for a two-game set at Arizona State on December 8 and 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a roller coaster week for the Princeton University men’s hockey team as it hosted the final three contests of a seven-game homestand.

Princeton started the week by falling 6-2 to Quinnipiac on November 28. more

IRON MIKE: Princeton University wrestler Mike D’Angelo, right, controls Lehigh’s Ian Brown last Friday at 157 pounds. Junior D’Angelo overcame a 6-0 deficit to prevail 17-7 in the match. D’Angelo’s heroics weren’t enough as Princeton fell 25-13 to fifth-ranked Lehigh. Princeton faces No. 10 Virginia Tech on December 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University wrestling team fell 25-13 to fifth-ranked Lehigh last Friday in its first dual match of the season, Chris Ayres won’t soon forget what he saw on the mat from his athletes.

“I told the guys that there were two matches in that dual that were some of the most inspired I have seen in the wrestlers I have coached,” said Ayres. more

November 29, 2017

DOUBLE THREAT: Princeton University women’s basketball player Bella Alarie heads to the hoop in a game last season. Last Saturday, sophomore star Alarie tallied a game-high 21 points and had 11 rebounds to lead Princeton to a 63-57 win at Davidson. It marked Alarie’s third straight double-double. The Tigers, now 3-1 host Villanova on November 29 and Delaware on December 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Looking ahead to the season, Courtney Banghart believed that she had put together a challenging schedule that would force her Princeton University women’s basketball team to compete, and not just play.

Displaying competitive zeal, the Tigers have been up to the task, producing a 3-1 start, topping George Washington (72-52 on November 10) and Seton Hall (85-83 on November 16) and then falling to Georgia Tech (67-56 on November 19) before rebounding with a 63-57 win at Davidson last Saturday. more

END OF THE ROAD: Princeton University women’s soccer player Katie Pratt-Thompson boots the ball in NCAA tournament action. Last Saturday, senior star defender and co-captain Pratt-Thompson saw her college career come to an end as 13th-ranked Princeton fell 3-1 at fourth-ranked UCLA in the NCAA quarterfinals. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 16-3-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Throughout the fall, the players on the Princeton University women’s soccer team proved to be the ultimate road warriors, posting a 7-0 record in regular season away games and then winning two NCAA tournament games in Cary, N.C. on the way to the national quarterfinals. more

MUCH NEEDED: Princeton University men’s basketball player Sebastian Much dribbles into the paint in recent action. Last Sunday, freshman forward Much scored nine points off the bench to help Princeton defeat Fairleigh Dickinson 83-76 as the Tigers posted their second straight win. Princeton, now 2-3, hosts Lehigh on November 29 before playing at Miami on December 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although Sebastian Much spent most of the first half on the bench as the Princeton University men’s basketball team hosted Lafayette last Wednesday, he still had his head in the game.

“I was feeding off of Richmond [Aririguzoh] because he brought such an intensity to the game,” said freshman forward Much of his sophomore teammate. more

KUFF LINK: Princeton University men’s hockey player Ryan Kuffner races up ice in a 2016-17 game. Last Saturday, junior forward Kuffner tallied a goal and an assist to help Princeton defeat Bemidji State 4-1 and improve to 4-4-1 overall. In upcoming action, the Tigers host Dartmouth on December 1 and Harvard on December 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton University men’s hockey team fell behind Bemidji State 1-0 after just 17 seconds last Friday evening, Ryan Kuffner and his teammates weren’t concerned.

“We have a lot of guys coming back who can skate and move the puck,” said junior forward Kuffner, a 6’1, 195-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario. more

November 22, 2017

MAX VALUE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Max Veronneau goes after the puck in recent action. Last Friday, junior forward Veronneau tallied two goals and an assist to help Princeton defeat Yale 5-4. The Tigers, who lost 3-0 to Brown a day later to move to 3-3-1 overall and 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey, host Bemidji State for a two-game set this week on November 22 and 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University men’s hockey team was outskated and outworked by Yale in the first period last Friday, Max Veronneau singlehandedly kept the Tigers in the game.

Junior forward Veronneau tallied a goal and assist as the teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after the first period even though the Bulldogs built a 16-6 edge in shots. more

CANNY MOVE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Devin Cannady heads up court last Wednesday in Princeton’s home opener against Brigham Young University. Junior guard Cannady scored a team-high 19 points in a losing cause as the Tigers fell 65-56. On Saturday, Cannady scored 22 points as Princeton lost 71-58 at St. Joseph’s. The Tigers, now 0-3, host Lafayette on November 22 before playing at Fairleigh Dickinson on November 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Emotions were running high at Jadwin Gym when the Princeton University men’s basketball team hosted Brigham Young University in its home opener last Wednesday evening.

With 7:06 left in the second half, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson got ejected from the contest after letting the refs have a piece of his mind. Tiger junior guard Devin Cannady headed over to the home stands and waved his arms, exhorting the fans to raise the volume in support of the Tigers. more

GIVING HER ALL: Princeton University women’s soccer player Abby Givens boots the ball in Princeton’s 4-0 win over Monmouth in the opening round of the NCAA tournament earlier this month. Last Sunday, sophomore forward Givens scored the game-winning goal in overtime as Princeton upset North Carolina 2-1 in the NCAA Round of 16. The Tigers, now 16-2-1, play at UCLA, 18-2-2, on November 25 in the NCAA quarters. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In early September, the Princeton University women’s soccer team traveled to North Carolina and turned heads as it posted wins over two Atlantic Coast Conference foes, N.C. State and Wake Forest.

Last weekend, 13th-ranked Princeton headed back to Tobacco Road for NCAA tournament action and came through again, edging N.C. State on penalty kicks after the teams tied at 1-1 through regulation and two overtimes on Friday in a second-round matchup and then toppled storied and second-ranked North Carolina, the holder of 21 NCAA crowns, in a 2-1 overtime thriller two days later. more