November 7, 2018

TRENCH WARFARE: Princeton University offensive lineman Brent Holder, right, battles Rocco Di Leo of Dartmouth last Saturday in a clash of Ivy League frontrunners. Princeton rallied to pull out a 14-9 win over the previously undefeated Big Green to improve to 8-0 overall and 5-0 Ivy League. The Tigers play at Yale (5-3 overall, 3-2 Ivy) on November 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a clash of unbeatens that took on the aura of a heavyweight title fight when the Princeton University football team hosted Dartmouth last Saturday.

After the rivals, who both entered the day with 7-0 records, traded touchdowns on their first possessions to  make it a 7-7 game, the two teams slugged it out in between the 20s with a second quarter safety by Dartmouth being the only additional points scored heading into the final period. more

MOVING FORWARD: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jerome Desrosiers, right, drives to the basket in a practice last week. The Tigers will be relying on sophomore forward Desrosiers to build on the progress he made last winter. The Tigers open their 2018-19 campaign by hosting DeSales University on November 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There will be a new look around Princeton’s Jadwin Gym as the college basketball season tips off this week with a new four-sided video board hanging over the court and a revamped seating configuration.

Coming off a disappointing 2017-18 season that saw the Princeton University men’s basketball team go 13-16 overall and 5-9 Ivy League, the Tigers are vowing to be new and improved.  more

COURT IN SESSION: Princeton University women’s basketball head coach Courtney Banghart, right, makes a point at the program’s annual media day last Thursday in Jadwin Gym as senior star Sydney Jordan listens attentively. Princeton is slated to get its 2018-19 campaign underway by playing at Rider on November 6 and at George Washington in November 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University women’s basketball team prepares for the 2018-19 campaign, it has adopted the theme of “Rise as One.”

But rising to the heights achieved last winter when Princeton went 24-6 overall, 12-2 Ivy League and winning the league’s postseason tournament may be harder as the team’s No. 1 player, junior forward Bella Alarie (13.3 points and 9.4 rebounds a game last winter on the way to being named Ivy Player of the Year), is currently sidelined with a broken arm. more

October 31, 2018

GROUND AND POUND: Princeton University quarterback John Lovett, left, hands off to Charlie Volker in a game earlier this fall. Last Saturday, seniors Lovett and Volker helped key a dominant ground attack that piled up 358 yards rushing as Princeton routed Cornell 66-0. The No. 14 Tigers, now 7-0 overall and 4-0 Ivy League, host No. 20 Dartmouth (7-0 overall, 4-0 Ivy) in a critical Ivy showdown this Saturday. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It had the makings of a trap game for undefeated Princeton University football team as it hosted underdog Cornell last Saturday.

The Princeton players had dealt with midterm exams during the week, the windy and rainy weather on game day was well suited to Cornell’s running game, and a clash against unbeaten Dartmouth on November 3 loomed on the horizon for Princeton. more

BULL RUN: Princeton University women’s hockey player Carly Bullock, right, battles in the crease during a game last winter. Last Friday, junior star Bullock scored all four goals as Princeton defeated Yale 4-1. A day later, she chipped in a goal and two assists in a 7-2 win over Brown. The Tigers, now 2-2 overall and 2-0 ECAC Hockey, play at Dartmouth on November 2 and at Harvard on November 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming out buzzing as it hosted Yale in its home opener last Friday evening at Hobey Baker Rink, the Princeton University women’s hockey team outshot the Bulldogs 17-4 in the first period.

But the Tigers had nothing to show for their flurry of shots as the rivals were knotted in a scoreless stalemate heading into the second period. more

October 24, 2018

MAXING OUT: Princeton University men’s hockey player Max Veronneau heads up the ice in game last winter. Senior forward Veronneau, who scored 55 points on 17 goals and 38 assists last winter to help Princeton win the ECAC Hockey tournament, will be looking for a big final campaign this winter. No. 13 Princeton opens its 2018-19 campaign by playing at No. 10 Penn State (4-0-0) on October 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton University men’s hockey team achieved some dramatic victories over Top 20 teams on the way to winning the ECAC Hockey tournament last winter, it is a loss that is driving the squad coming into the 2018-19 campaign.

“We have always started each year looking back on our last game and we try to build from there,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty, who guided the Tigers to a 19-13-4 record last winter. more

TOM TERRIFIC: Princeton University football star Tom Johnson gets ready to pounce on a ballcarrier in recent action. Last Saturday at Harvard, senior linebacker and co-captain Johnson has a team-high 10 tackles to help Princeton hold off the Crimson in prevailing 29-21. The Tigers, now 6-0 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, host Cornell (3-3 overall, 2-1 Ivy) on October 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton University football team had cruised to a 5-0 record, outscoring its foes 260-43 in the process, Bob Surace sensed that his squad was in for a dogfight when it faced a 3-2 Harvard team last Saturday.

“They are really good, they lost to Rhode Island (23-16 on September 28), who had been top 15 nationally ranked team; it was a back-and-forth game,” said Princeton head coach Surace. more

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton University men’s soccer player Gaby Paniagua, right, gets ready to boot the ball against Harvard last Saturday. Sophomore midfielder Paniagua tallied the first goal of the contest to help Princeton post a 3-0 win over the Crimson and remain atop the Ivy League standings. The Tigers, now 8-4-2 overall and 3-0-1 Ivy, play at Cornell (10-3 overall, 3-1 Ivy) on October 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gaby Paniagua saw a chance to give the Princeton University men’s soccer team a lead over Harvard last Saturday, and he cashed in.

“I was making a near post run and I saw Kevin [O’Toole] flick it with the outside of his foot,” said sophomore midfielder Paniagua. more

October 17, 2018

ON THE MARK: Princeton University football player Mark Fossati heads upfield in recent action. Last Saturday, senior linebacker Fossati recorded a game-high 12 tackles to spearhead the defensive effort as Princeton defeated visiting Brown 48-10. Fossati was later named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week for his heroics. The Tigers, now 5-0 overall and 2-0 Ivy, play at Harvard (3-2 overall, 1-1 Ivy) on October 20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University football team, it was no John Lovett, no problem as it hosted Brown last Saturday.

With senior star quarterback Lovett sidelined by injury for the contest, junior backup Kevin Davidson got the start for the Tigers. more

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Stephanie Sucharda heads up the ice in a game last winter. Senior defenseman and co-captain Sucharda figures to lead the Tigers from the blue line again this season. Princeton opens its 2018-19 campaign with games at No. 2 Wisconsin (6-0-0) in October 19 and 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After getting off to a 4-9-3 start last winter, the Princeton University women’s hockey team caught fire down the stretch, going 10-5-1 in its last 16 games.

As Princeton gets ready to open its 2018-19 season with games at Wisconsin in October 19 and 21, the Tigers are poised to build on their strong finish, having lost only two seniors to graduation. more

October 10, 2018

STRONG FINISH: Princeton University men’s soccer player Gaby Paniagua goes after the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore midfielder Paniagua scored a second half goal to help Princeton defeat visiting Brown 2-0. The Tigers, who improved to 5-4-1 overall and 1-0-1 Ivy League with the win, were slated to play at St. John’s on October 9 before resuming Ivy play with a game at Columbia on October 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton University men’s soccer team controlled possession in the first half against visiting Brown last Saturday, Jim Barlow was aggravated.

Despite Princeton’s dazzling play, it had nothing to show for it as the rivals were locked in a 0-0 stalemate at halftime. more

October 3, 2018

TOUGH LOVE: Princeton University quarterback John Lovett looks for an opening in a 2016 game. Last Friday evening at Columbia, senior star Lovett rushed for a career-high 174 yards with two touchdowns and passed for 135 yards and two scores to help Princeton roll to a 45-10 win over the Lions in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The 23rd-ranked Tigers, now 3-0 overall, host Lehigh (1-3) on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Early in the second quarter of its Ivy League opener at Columbia last Friday evening, the Princeton University football team was clinging to a 13-10 lead over the Lions.

With Columbia having marched 75 yards to score a touchdown to draw within three points and 14:51 remaining in the first half, it seemed like the momentum could be shifting to the hosts. more

SHUTTING THE DOOR: Princeton University women’s soccer goalie Natalie Grossi makes a save in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior star Grossi recorded her third straight shutout as the Tigers battled Dartmouth to a 0-0 tie through regulation and two overtimes. The Tigers, who moved to 6-2-2 overall and 1-0-1 Ivy League with the draw, were slated to host Bucknell on October 2 before resuming league play by hosting Brown on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Natalie Grossi recorded her third straight shutout and the 21st of her career for the Princeton University women’s soccer team as it hosted Dartmouth last Saturday afternoon.

But junior goalie Grossi was disappointed with the outcome as Princeton played the Big Green to a scoreless stalemate through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime, moving to 6-2-2 overall and 1-0-1 Ivy League. more

CLEAR SAILING: Princeton University field hockey player Clara Roth races past a foe in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, sophomore star Roth scored a goal to help No. 5 Princeton defeat 24th-ranked Boston University 3-1. The Tigers, now 8-3 overall and 2-0 Ivy League, plays at Columbia on October 5 and at No. 2 UConn on October 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After being sidelined due to injury for the first four games this season for the Princeton University men’s soccer team, Kevin O’Toole is looking to make up for lost time.

Last Saturday against visiting Dartmouth in the Ivy League opener for both teams, sophomore midfielder O’Toole came off the bench some 24 minutes into the contest and made his presence felt immediately, assisting on a goal by Sean McGowan and then finding the back of the net himself as the Tigers overcame a 2-0 deficit to make it a 2-2 game at halftime. more

September 26, 2018

SCORING MACHINE: Princeton University football player Jesper Horsted heads upfield in a 2017 game. Last Saturday, senior star Horsted made eight receptions for 150 yards and three touchdowns as Princeton routed Monmouth 51-9. Horsted’s third TD catch of the day gave him 20 for his career and a program record, breaking the previous mark of 19 set by Derek Graham. The Tigers, now 2-0, open Ivy League action by playing at Columbia on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jesper Horsted produced one of the greatest receiving seasons in Princeton University football history last fall when he made 92 receptions for 1,226 yards and 14 touchdowns, establishing program single-season records for catches and TDs.

As a result of his landmark campaign, Horsted entered the 2018 season on track to set Tiger career marks in catches, receiving yards, and TD receptions.

Last Saturday against visiting Monmouth, Horsted eclipsed one of those records as his three touchdown catches gave him 20 for his career, breaking the previous mark of 19 set by Derek Graham. more

GETTING HIS KICKS: Princeton University men’s soccer goalie Jacob Schachner boots the ball in recent action. Junior star Schachner posted two straight shutouts as Princeton defeated Boston University 1-0 on September 15 and then edged Rider 1-0 in overtime last Wednesday to extend its winning streak to three and improve to 4-3. The Tigers were slated to host Loyola on September 25 before starting Ivy League play by hosting Dartmouth on September 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into its game against Temple on the evening of September 12, the Princeton University men’s soccer team faced a crossroads even though it was just two weeks into the season.

Having lost three of its first four games, with all three defeats coming by one goal, Princeton needed to find a way to come through in crunch time to prevent losing from becoming a habit.

“We put ourselves in a hole where we knew that the next few games were really, really important,” said Princeton head coach Jim Barlow. more

September 19, 2018

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.”

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

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.”

 more

OPENING STATEMENT: Princeton University women’s soccer player Mimi Asom, left, battles a foe in a game last season. Last weekend, senior forward Asom tallied two game-winning goals as 14th-ranked Princeton started the season by going to New England and beating University of New Hampshire 2-0 last Friday and edging Boston University 1-0 two days later. The Tigers host St. Joseph’s (3-0-1) on August 31 in its home opener and then welcome No. 16 N.C. State (3-0-1) two days later. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was just the first weekend of the season, but the Princeton University women’s soccer team proved it can win in different ways.

In its season opener at the University of New Hampshire last Friday, the 14th-ranked Tigers outshot the Wildcats 21-2 on the way to a 2-0 win. Two days later at Boston University, Princeton had to hold the fort as it was outshot 12-7 but was able to pull out a 1-0 victory.

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CHINESE LESSON: Ian McNally, left, instructs players at a camp in China this summer. Hun School boys’ hockey head coach and former Princeton University player McNally took part in the ECAC Hockey/Princeton camps in Beijing and Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

By Bill Alden

Ron Fogarty helped guide the Princeton University men’s hockey team from the ECAC Hockey cellar to the NCAA tournament, while Ian McNally has built the Hun School boys’ program into a local powerhouse as it has won five straight Mercer County Tournament titles.

This July, the two coaches flew nearly 7,000 miles across the world to help grow the game they love as they took part in the ECAC Hockey/Princeton camp in China.

 more

August 22, 2018

GOOD SHEPPARD: Princeton University women’s soccer player Olivia Sheppard goes after the ball in a game last year. Junior midfielder/defender Sheppard’s versatility makes her a key performer for the Tigers. Princeton kicks off its 2018 campaign by playing at the University of New Hampshire on August 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sparked by an uncommon competitive fire, the Princeton University women’s soccer defeated Monmouth, N.C. State, and perennial powerhouse North Carolina in the NCAA tournament last fall as it surged to national quarterfinals.

As Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll looks ahead to the 2018 campaign, he is hoping that his squad, which starts the season ranked 13th nationally, can rekindle that intensity. more

SAVING GRACE: Grace Barbara makes a save as she trains for her freshman season for the Princeton University women’s soccer team. Former Princeton Day School standout goalie Barbara started preseason training last week for the Tigers as they prepare to open their 2018 season with a game at New Hampshire on August 24.

By Bill Alden

Grace Barbara knew before entering high school that she would have plenty of options when it came to playing soccer in college.

“My recruiting process really started in 8th grade; I was getting pressured by a lot of D-I schools to commit in my freshman year,” said Barbara, who starred at goalie from day one when she joined the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team as a freshman in 2014. “A lot of kids these days are trying to jump on their first offer.” more

HIT SONG: Andrew Song heads up the field this past spring in his freshman season for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. After earning honorable mention All-Ivy League recognition at longstick midfielder in his debut campaign, Song competed for China this summer at the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) World Championships in Netanya, Israel. (Photo by Brian McWalters, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Andrew Song proved that he could excel on the big stage as the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team battled University of Virginia this past February.

In the second game of his college career, Tiger freshman longstick midfielder Song contributed one goal, three ground balls, two caused turnovers and two face-off wins to go along with some spirited defense against a high-powered Cavalier attack in an 18-15 loss. more