July 1, 2020

RETURN FLIGHT: Joe Scott makes a point to a player during the 2006-07 season in his last campaign as the head coach of the Princeton University men’s basketball team. Scott, a 1987 Princeton alum and former star guard for the Tigers, went on to serve as the head coach at the University of Denver from 2007-16 and then had stints as assistant coach at Holy Cross (2016-18) and the University of Georgia (2018-20), was recently named as the head coach of the Air Force men’s hoops program. It marks his second stint with the Falcons as he coached the Air Force from 2000-04. (Photo by NJ SportAction)

By Justin Feil

Making a return flight, Joe Scott is preparing for his second stint as the Air Force Academy men’s basketball head coach.

It is the Princeton University alum’s first head coaching job since 2016, not that he had ever left the game.

“The main thing how I went through it is I’m a coach,” said Scott, 54, who worked as an assistant coach at Holy Cross (2016-18) and at the University of Georgia (2018-20) during that period.

“I’ve always been a coach and I approached it that way. I kept coaching. I felt that continuing to coach and being around 18-22-year-olds and helping them improve and helping them grow, that was the way to become a head coach again. I’m fortunate. What I’m really glad about is I did it that way. People take time off, but I’m glad I did it that way. I was at two different places, and the last four years I’m going to really use in my time here at Air Force. I learned so much in the last four years.”

Scott has been a head coach for 16 of his 29 years in coaching. The 1987 Princeton graduate played for Pete Carril and then headed to Notre Dame Law School and practiced law for a New Jersey firm, Ribis, Graham, & Carter. Scott found his way back to the basketball court, starting out as an assistant at Monmouth before joining the staff of the legendary Carril and then serving as an assistant to Bill Carmody when Carril retired. In taking the Air Force post, Scott joins other Princeton alumni Chris Mooney (Richmond), Mike Brennan (American), and Mitch Henderson (Princeton) as Division I head coaches. Scott also added former Tigers player and coach Sydney Johnson to his Air Force staff. more

June 24, 2020

HELD BACK: The Princeton University football team gets ready to take the field last September for its season opener against Butler. The Tigers won that game 49-7 and went on to go 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League. In March, the Tigers started spring practice looking to build momentum going into the 2020 campaign. But as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ivy spring season was canceled and Princeton spent the last few months of school working virtually. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University football team, its annual spring practices help build the foundation for the upcoming season.

The 12 sessions spread over a month give returning players a chance to step up and show their development, allow coaches a chance to tinker with schemes and lineups, and help the squad collectively develop chemistry.

But as Princeton got ready to hit the field for its first spring session in early March, head coach Bob Surace was keeping track of COVID-19 and preparing to deal with a new reality.

“I just wanted to make sure that we had a plan in case we need to go to virtual school and they shut us down,” said Surace who guided Princeton to an overall record of 8-2 (5-2 Ivy League) in 2019.

“I had some ideas and we met as a staff and the other coaches came up with some other ideas on how to work through the next few months until June.”

With the students sent home for virtual learning and all spring sports activities getting canceled, Surace and his coaches had to modify their approach.

“I told them this was a time for empathetic leadership, the players are going to have a shock to the system,” said Surace. more

June 17, 2020

BELIEVELAND: Kevin Davidson talks to a coach on the sideline last year last fall during his senior season for the Princeton University football team. Getting his chance to start last fall after three years as a reserve, Davidson emerged as a star, completing 209-of-313 passes for 2,569 yards and 20 touchdowns to help Princeton go 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League. In April, he signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL and is currently preparing for training camp as he looks to make the team. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kevin Davidson always believed that he was headed for the NFL even though many scoffed at that ambition during his first three years with the Princeton University football program.

Through his junior campaign at Princeton, Davidson, a 6’4, 225-pound quarterback from Danville, Calif., had made one start and had a grand total of 61 passing attempts in 19 appearances and didn’t seem to be on track to the pros.

“I got laughed at a lot on campus, both by my friends and other people, they are like you are crazy, who do you think you are, some backup that is going to go to the NFL,” said Davidson.

“I have been working for this my whole life and I know where I am at. I might not have gotten the opportunities at Princeton that I thought at first but I never lost belief and my vision for myself. It has been a thing for me ever since high school freshman year.”

Playing behind Chad Kanoff and John Lovett, who both ended up on NFL practice squads after their Tiger careers, Davidson got his opportunity to start last fall and made the most of it, completing 209-of-313 passes for 2,569 yards and 20 touchdowns to help Princeton go 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League. more

June 10, 2020

MIGHTY QUINN: Princeton University men’s golf star Evan Quinn displays his driving form. Quinn, who graduated from Princeton earlier this month, enjoyed a stellar career for the Tigers. As a junior, Quinn helped Princeton win the 2019 Ivy League tournament, earning All-Ivy honors in the process. He was also a two-time PING All-Northeast Region selection. In his final campaign, Quinn produced a solid fall season, leading Princeton in three of four stroke-play events that it competed in the early stages of the 2019-20 season which saw the spring portion of the schedule canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

Evan Quinn was good enough at cross country for Morristown High School to run in college but he gave it up to pour his competitive energy into golf when he came to Princeton University.

“I made a brief reappearance at the Turkey Trot this year,” said Quinn, a captain for the Princeton men’s golf team in his senior year before graduating earlier this month.

“My brother is on the varsity cross country team now so he’s in good shape. I did that, but that’s pretty much the extent of my running career since high school.”

Quinn has always been competitive in any sport in which he has participated and has typically experienced both individual and team success. He started to cultivate his golf game by the second grade, although he also played soccer and ran. In high school, he was Morris County cross country champion as a senior in a school-record 15:53 over the 5,000-meter course to lead the team to victory, and finished 11th at the 2015 Meet of Champions. After that race, he turned to golf full-time. He won the NJSIAA North 1-2, Group 4 sectional individual championship and led Morristown to the team title. Quinn had won the Group 3 sectional the previous two years.  more

June 3, 2020

STANDING TALL: Princeton University women’s hockey goalie Steph Neatby guards the crease this winter during her senior season with the Tigers. Senior Neatby came up big for Princeton in the ECAC Hockey title game at top-ranked Cornell, making 31 saves as Princeton rallied for a 3-2 overtime win in the March 8 contest. That turned out to be Neatby’s last appearance for the Tigers as the NCAA tournament was canceled days later due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Neatby will be continuing her hockey career, having signed a contract to play with Swedish professional club Linkoping HC. She will be joined on the squad by classmate and star forward Carly Bullock. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a rough start for Steph Neatby as the Princeton University women’s hockey team played at top-ranked Cornell in the ECAC Hockey championship game in early March.

With senior goalie Neatby yielding two goals in the first 2:49 of the contest, the No. 6 Tigers fell behind 2-0 and appeared to be in for a long afternoon against a team that had already defeated them twice handily in regular season play.

“We had a TV timeout after the first five minutes; I went to the bench and I always talk to my goalie partners and Rachel [McQuigge] turns to me and I was like ‘oh God, what do I do,’ ” said Neatby, 6’0 native of Toronto, Ontario.

“She said it can’t get any worse and I was oh you are right. She calmed me down and I thought I might as well just go for it. Then I went back in the first period and they almost scored three more but I would make the save.”

Neatby kept on making saves, ending up with 31 as Princeton rallied for a 3-2 win in overtime, earning the program’s first-ever ECACH title.

“I keep talking about it, for us and the men’s team, luckily we were the teams that got to end on wins,” said Neatby, noting that the Tiger men’s team swept Dartmouth in the opening round of the ECACH playoffs that same weekend. more

May 27, 2020

HEADING TO EUROPE: Carly Bullock controls the puck in a game this winter during her senior season for the Princeton University women’s hockey team. With Bullock scoring a team-high 30 goals on the year, the Tigers won the ECAC Hockey tournament for the first time in program history and boasted a 26-6-1 record heading into the NCAA tournament. Princeton was deprived of a chance to make a run for a national title as the tourney was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bullock will get a chance to continue her hockey career as she recently signed a contract to play with Swedish professional club Linkoping HC. She will be joined on the squad by classmate and star goalie Steph Neatby. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Carly Bullock and her teammates on the Princeton University women’s hockey team believed that they were national title contenders as the squad headed into mid-March.

With senior star forward Bullock having scored a goal to help Princeton rally to a 3-2 overtime win at No. 1 Cornell on March 8 in the ECAC Hockey championship game, she sensed that the Tigers could go all the way in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

“We were playing some of our best hockey, we had just beaten the No. 1 team in the championship game,” said Bullock, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn., noting that it was the first-ever ECACH title for the program.

“We have been a really close team all year but around the playoffs we just hit a new level. We were just having so much fun and I think that really translates to things on ice. We were singing and dancing between periods.”

But the fun stopped days later when all college winter and spring sports were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the Tigers getting ready to play at Northeastern in the NCAA quarterfinals, the abrupt end to the postseason run was hard to process for a team that had gone 26-6-1, setting a program record for most wins in a season. more

May 20, 2020

BATTLING BACK: Princeton University baseball player Chris Davis displays his batting form in a game last spring. After dealing with a series of injuries early in his career, outfielder Davis emerged as a key contributor for the Tigers, hitting .281 in 2019 as a junior and leading the Tigers in slugging percentage with a .407 mark. With his final season getting cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis is headed to Duke University as a graduate student in its Fuqua School of Business and will be playing for the Blue Devil baseball program. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Resilient gets thrown around a lot in these uncertain times, but few befit the adjective better than Chris Davis.

The Princeton University senior baseball star will graduate this June after having his final season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, the third season he has missed out on in his career. He’s been through a lot in the last five years, yet still has his sights on playing pro ball.

“He’s just as resilient a young man as we have ever had,” said Scott Bradley, the Tigers head coach the last 23 years. “It’s incredible what he’s done.”

Davis, a 5’9, 175-pound outfielder from Avon, Conn., was set back by a shoulder problem in his first year at Princeton, a life-threatening freak injury the next year, and now after two promising seasons, his final campaign was erased by precautions taken by the Ivy League and NCAA due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Losing a baseball season doesn’t match some of the loss and hardship some of the people across the world have had,” said Davis. “It’s crazy how much it has escalated with the reasons I’ve missed seasons.”

Returning from the first two years off to enjoy strong seasons, Davis is looking forward to his next opportunity on the diamond that will come next year as a graduate student in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. This spring, he had been hoping to build on a 2019 season that saw him start every game, batting .281 and leading the Tigers with a .407 slugging percentage as well as 16 extra-base hits. He had a hit and two walks this year in seven games as the Tigers went 0-7 before the remainder of the season was canceled. more

May 13, 2020

CORY STORY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Annie Cory heads up the field in a game this spring. Senior midfielder and tri-captain Cory tallied four goals and picked up eight ground balls to help Princeton go 3-2 overall and 1-0 Ivy League before its season was canceled in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Annie Cory is putting the best spin she can on the cancellation of the Princeton University women’s lacrosse 2020 season.

It’s the second straight spring that the Tiger senior midfielder has had to deal with misfortune.

“For me personally, last year I wasn’t on the field and I think I experienced the greatest growth — maybe not as a lacrosse player — but as a person and as a leader even when I wasn’t on the field,” said Cory.

“That’s the mentality that I’m trying to bring to this. I can’t be on the field, but how can I use this time period to experience growth as a person, as a leader, as a teammate? Although it’s not ideal, and I think everyone would agree, whether it’s a high school sports player or a professional sports player, and all the college athletes, we’d much rather be on the field growing in that way, but if we can’t do that we have to figure out some other ways to be productive and be positive about this time. That’s the approach I’ve taken.”
Cory tore her ACL one week into preseason as Princeton was preparing for its first scrimmage. She did not play in a single scrimmage or game in 2019, but showed her true colors in a tough time.

“The thing I loved about Annie is regardless of whether she was on field or during the time she was injured and couldn’t play, she was all in,” said Princeton head coach Chris Sailer. more

May 6, 2020

WINGING IT: Bella Alarie depicted in the uniform of the Dallas Wings of the WNBA. After a superb senior season for the Princeton University women’s basketball team which saw Alarie help the Tigers go 26-1, she was chosen by the Wings as the fifth pick in the first round of the 2020 WNBA Draft in mid-April. (Photo by Jarrod Allison/Dallas Wings)

By Justin Feil

Bella Alarie woke up on April 17 and tried to go about her usual day with breakfast at her home in Bethesda, Md., time with her parents and two younger brothers, and some academic work.

Although her thesis was due in just one week, it wasn’t foremost on the mind of the Princeton University senior star forward who by that midday was feeling anxious about the upcoming WNBA draft.

“It was definitely not a productive thesis day,” said Alarie. “It was very hectic and there was a lot to get done. I had my family to help me out and get ready. I was so excited for 7 o’clock to come, I felt like it was taking so long and the day was going so slow. I was so excited when it got to 7 o’clock. It was a lot of mixed emotions honestly with excitement and nerves and all that. The whole day, it wasn’t exactly what I imagined my draft day would look like, but all the emotions I would have felt on a stage in New York, they were all the same.”

Alarie was thrilled to be chosen fifth overall by the Dallas Wings, matching the highest selection ever of an Ivy League player, equaling that of Harvard’s Allison Feaster, who was picked fifth by the Los Angeles Sparks 22 years earlier.

“I’m super proud of myself and happy; that’s a huge accomplishment,” said Alarie.

“I’m really grateful that I was selected that high and they believed in me. And to come out of the Ivy League, there haven’t been a lot, but I do have great players to look up to from Princeton like Leslie Robinson and Blake Dietrich who have had WNBA experience. It’s a huge honor. I definitely take it seriously because I do want to represent Princeton and the Ivy League as best I can and it’s been like 20 years since we’ve had a first-round pick out of our league. I have a lot of honor and pride and I want to make the most of it. It’s really special and it’s a testament to all the coaches and teammates and all the development and time they put into making me better. You can’t do it alone.” more

April 29, 2020

POINT COUNTERPOINT: Star point guard Blake Dietrick, left, triggered the 2014-15 Princeton University women’s basketball team to a 31-1 record in a senior campaign that saw her get named as the Ivy League Player of the Year while junior guard Carlie Littlefield was a first-team All-Ivy performer this winter as the Tigers went 26-1. (Photos by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The Princeton University women’s basketball team was left with a number of what-ifs following the cancellation of the NCAA tournament in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a postscript to an historic season that saw Princeton dominate the Ivy League and barge its way into the Top 25, there is a lingering hypothetical what-if.

In the same vein as water cooler debates over which storied NBA teams could have beaten the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, the subject of the ESPN documentary The Last Dance, strong opinions are sparked by the question of how would the 2019-20 Tigers team fare against the 2014-15 Princeton team in a matchup of the two best seasons in program history.

Former Princeton players and coaches — rather reluctantly — compared their teams, always with the caveat that they were each other’s biggest fans, not rivals in any way.

“I really wish this year’s team could’ve made their run in the tourney,” said Annie Tarakchian, who starred for the 2015 team before graduating in 2016 and returning to her home state of California. “We were all so looking forward to that and gearing up to go wherever the games were seeded.” more

April 22, 2020

LAST DANCE: Members of the Princeton University men’s heavyweight crew enjoy the moment in front of their boathouse on March 12 after they held a spirited last row in their final practice of the season. Before competing against each other in a speed order, the rowers shared their thoughts, reflecting on what they gained from a season halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Bill Alden

On the afternoon of March 11, Greg Hughes spent practice with his Princeton University men’s heavyweight rowing team by discussing the shattering announcement released earlier that day regarding the Ivy League’s decision to cancel spring sports due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“That was a hard conversation, somebody asked me what I said and I said I don’t really know what I said,” said Princeton head coach Hughes.

“There were tears, it was emotional. I think the hardest emotions were for the seniors. It took a lot more time to digest that and they still are processing it.”

A day later, the team’s final practice of 2020 turned into a moving and joyous day of rowing and reflection.

After Hughes notified his athletes they would get one last day on the water, he sensed it would prove to be a memorable session.

“The guys were pumped, they were so excited,” said Hughes. “What was really neat about that was when we met up and ran our normal warmup, you could see the energy. People truly embraced this opportunity.” more

SPEAKING OUT: Noah Savage provides analysis courtside as part of the ESPN college basketball broadcasting team during the 2018-19 season. Savage, a former Princeton University men’s hoops star who also works as a color commentator on Tiger broadcasts, recently contracted COVID-19 and recovered from the virus after a two-week battle.

By Bill Alden

Noah Savage has gone through a tough 2020 health-wise.

The former Princeton University men’s basketball star and current color commentator on Tiger hoops and ESPN broadcasts has suffered a broken thumb, a stomach flu, and Rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of damaged skeletal muscle, in the first few months of the year.

But on March 15, those ailments paled in comparison when Savage learned the scary news that he been caught up in the coronavirus pandemic, finding out that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Living in New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak, Savage was not surprised that he was diagnosed with the virus after feeling ill in early March.

“I had that persistent cough that wasn’t like a productive cough; the urge to cough was there all the time but nothing was happening,” said Savage, 34, who suffers from asthma.

“I work in pharmaceutical sales in New York, I go to offices to see people. I have all of the symptoms, I checked all of the boxes. I am not interacting with the patients but I walk in the waiting room and then I meet with the doctor. Then I started feeling chest tightness all the time that I haven’t had since my asthma. I used to use an inhaler every day when I played and now I really don’t use it. I had to start using it again for the first time in five years. This was worrisome so I called up my doctor.” more

April 15, 2020

STORMY MONDAY: Princeton University wrestler Quincy Monday, top, controls a foe during a match this winter. Although the 2019-20 season ended prematurely in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, sophomore Monday made a lot of progress, going 23-4 at 157 pounds and getting seeded fifth for the NCAA Championships. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

One day at practice this season, Princeton University wrestling head coach Chris Ayres mused out loud in amazement to his team, rattling off the opponent rankings faced by one of his charges.

The wrestler in question, Quincy Monday, battled a gauntlet of foes ranked at No. 7, No. 4, No. 6, No. 10, No. 9, and No. 20.

Undeterred by that challenge, Monday beat them all during a sophomore year that thrust him into the top five nationally for most of the year and helped push the Tigers team to new heights. He helped Princeton dethrone Cornell for the Ivy League crown to earn the program’s first league title since 1986 and put himself squarely in the picture for a national title at 157 pounds.

“It felt like we were setting new records every week we competed,” said Monday. “It was really exciting to be a part of something like that. It felt like we had momentum building up every week. We were always making headlines. It was fun to be a part of.”

Monday enjoyed a great debut season last winter that saw him earn first-team All-Ivy League as the only Princeton wrestler to go unbeaten in the conference, finish third in the EIWA, and qualify for the NCAA Championships.  more

By Bill Alden

While the NCAA announced in late March that member schools could extend an extra year of eligibility to all spring sport athletes, Princeton University has decided that it will not allow student athletes who withdraw from school this spring to get that additional season.

As reported in the Daily Princetonian on April 9, Princeton Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91 sent an email that day to spring sport athletes advising them of the University’s position on the issue.

In her email to the athletes, Samaan noted that “due to the University’s strong belief that all students should remain in school now more than ever, Princeton has decided that it will not approve the necessary waivers for students who withdraw from the Spring ’20 semester to use their 5th year of eligibility at Princeton.”

The Ivy League had previously announced that it would not be changing its policy that prevents graduate students from competing in athletic events, thereby limiting athletes to four years of undergraduate athletics.

Ivy schools learned last Thursday that “withdraw and re-enroll” eligibility would be an institutional decision, with Yale and Princeton administrations electing to disallow a loophole that would have created an option for Ivy seniors to play during the spring of 2021 semester through withdrawing from school now and returning next year with the necessary waivers. more

April 1, 2020

LITTLE SOLACE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Carlie Littlefield looks to unload the ball in a game this season. Junior point guard Littlefield passed the 1,000-point mark in her Princeton career as the Tigers defeated Columbia 77-52 on March 6 in the last weekend of regular season play. Princeton went on to beat Cornell 69-50 the next day in improving to 26-1 overall and 14-0 Ivy League. Unfortunately, Littlefield didn’t get the chance to add to her total in postseason action as the Ivy tournament and NCAA tourney were subsequently canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

It was the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for Carlie Littlefield and the Princeton University women’s basketball team.

And it all happened in just one week’s time.

Littlefield, the Princeton junior point guard, scored her 1,000th career point in a 77-52 win at Columbia on March 6. The next night, the Tigers finished the Ivy League regular season 14-0 for the fourth time in program history when they defeated Cornell 69-50.

Just three days later, however, the Ivy champions and top seed for the Ivy postseason tournament saw the conference cancel that tournament due to concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. The following day, Littlefield was named a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection while Tigers senior forward Bella Alarie was named Player of the Year for the third straight time and first-team All-Ivy, and sophomore guard Julia Cunningham was named honorable mention All-Ivy. First-year head coach Carla Berube was named the Ivy Coach of the Year.  more

March 25, 2020

MARCH SADNESS: Princeton University men’s lacrosse head coach Matt Madalon, center, instructs his players during a game this spring. Madalon had guided Princeton to a 5-0 record and the No. 3 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse media poll before the rest of the 2020 season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Matt Madalon, making a deep postseason run as a senior goalie with the Roanoke College men’s lacrosse team in 2006 stands as a highlight of his life.

“I remember my senior spring; every day I think about it,” said Madalon.

“I have a such a wonderful memory of making a Final Four run with my Roanoke buddies. We lost to Salisbury but I remember everything.”

This spring, Princeton University men’s lacrosse head coach Madalon was hoping to see players enjoy a similar experience as the Tigers had started 5-0, beating perennial powers University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins on the way to getting ranked No. 3 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse media poll.

So when the rest of the 2020 season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak and his players were deprived of seeing how far they could have gone this spring, Madalon felt their pain. more

TOUGH ENDING: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears, right, gets stymied by a defender in a game this spring. Junior star Sears led the 15th-ranked Tigers with 29 points on 20 goals and nine assists as the Tigers got off to a 3-2 start before the season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Featuring a number of freshmen and sophomores in its lineup, the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team experienced some ups and downs in the early stages of the 2020 campaign.

But with Princeton sitting at 3-2 and heading in the right direction, its progress came to a halt when the season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For Princeton head coach Chris Sailer, it was agonizing to see her young squad not get the chance to keep growing.

“You feel sick to your stomach, you feel so sorry, it is such an abrupt end for the team that is really just getting going,” said Sailer, whose team was ranked 15th nationally in the final Inside Lacrosse media poll. more

March 18, 2020

GRANDE FINALE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Liam Grande goes after the puck in a game this winter. Senior forward Grande and his classmates saw their college careers come to a premature end last week as the ECAC Hockey playoffs and NCAA championships were canceled due to ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In his finale, Grande scored a goal and an assist as Princeton defeated Dartmouth 5-4 in overtime on March 7 to sweep an ECACH best-of-three first round playoff series. The Tigers ended the winter with a 6-20-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the players on the Princeton University men’s hockey team, their locker room at Hobey Baker Rink is a sanctuary.

“The hockey dressing room is a terrific spot because the guys share their daily stories,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty.

“It is a lifetime of preparing for the games and the dressing room is a pretty special spot because of the bonds and brotherhoods that are forged.”

Last Thursday, the dressing room became a solemn spot as the 2019-20 season came to a premature end with the winter playoffs getting canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as Princeton was preparing to take part in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals.

“When it is the last time in the dressing room with that group of guys that you have gotten to know for four years and underclassmen, it is is very difficult for them to say goodbye to each other,” said Fogarty, whose team swept Dartmouth in a best-of-three ECACH first round series from March 7-8 to improve to 6-20-5 and make the league quarters. more

LAST HURRAH: Princeton University women’s hockey player Carly Bullock, left, celebrates with Maggie Connors after a Tiger goal in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. Senior star Bullock helped Princeton win its first-ever ECACH title and earn an NCAA quarterfinal matchup at Northeastern. But Bullock and her teammates were denied a chance to go for another title as the NCAA championships were canceled due to ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Princeton finished the winter with a 26-6-1 record, setting a program mark for most victories in a season.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton University women’s hockey team got together for dinner at the Metro North last Thursday, it was not a typical night out.

Instead, it marked a last supper as the ECAC Hockey championship squad had convened after the NCAA tournament was canceled due to ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“We went for a team dinner because Princeton University was also being evacuated and we were losing the chance to have a banquet,” said Princeton head coach Cara Morey.

“It is hard because there is no real closure. We did the best we could to have something makeshift; it wasn’t a banquet but it was the best we could do for our seniors.” more

March 11, 2020

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey goalie Steph Neatby turns aside a shot on recent action. Last weekend, Neatby starred as Princeton defeated Clarkson 5-1 in the ECAC Hockey semifinals on Saturday and then rallied from a 2-0 deficit to edge No. 1 Cornell 3-2 in overtime in the title game to earn the program’s first ECACH crown. The Tigers, now 26-6-1 overall, are next in action when they play at Northeastern on March 14 in an NCAA quarterfinal contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton University women’s hockey team started the ECAC Hockey playoffs by surviving a three-game marathon against Quinnipiac, including winning a double overtime thriller in the decisive third game, it believed that experience could lead to a deep postseason run.

“I don’t think they realized how hard that first series was going to be,” said Princeton head coach Cara Morey. “I think it really prepared them for the next games.”

Facing a hard game in the semis on Saturday against a Clarkson team that had beaten it 2-1 on February 15, the Tigers rode a three-goal outburst in the second period to a 5-1 victory at Ithaca, N.Y.

“It was surreal, hockey is interesting, you can have a ton of chances and you can feel like they just never go in the net,” said Morey, who got goals from Solveig Neunzert, Shannon Griffin, Sarah Fillier, Kate Monihan and Maggie Connors in the win with goalie Steph Neatby making 29 saves. more

ON THE MARK: Princeton University men’s hockey player Mark Paolini controls the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, junior defenseman Paolini scored the winning goal in overtime as 11th-seeded Princeton defeated sixth-seeded Dartmouth 5-4 to sweep a best-of-three ECAC Hockey first round playoff series. The Tigers, now 6-20-5, play at top-seeded and No. 1 Cornell (23-2-4) in a best-of-three ECACH quarterfinal series scheduled to start on March 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having scored a total of five goals in its last six regular season games, the Princeton University men’s hockey team needed to jump-start its offense as it played at Dartmouth last weekend in a best-of-three ECAC Hockey first round playoff series.

“We were just trying to keep the puck out of the middle of the ice and the neutral zone and have smart entries,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty.

The 11th-seeded Tigers played smart and tough against the sixth-seeded Big Green in the opener on Friday night. Trailing 1-0, Princeton responded with a goal by Christian O’Neill to make it 1-1. With the Tigers down 2-1 O’Neill tallied a second goal to make it 2-2 and then trailing 3-2 late in the game, Finn Evans scored for Princeton with 2:45 left in regulation to force overtime. more

CREASE CONTROL: Princeton University men’s lacrosse goalie Erik Peters guards the crease in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior goalie Peters made 10 saves to help No. 3 Princeton defeat Rutgers 16-11. The Tigers, now 5-0, are slated to host No. 16 Penn (2-3) on March 14 in the Ivy League opener for both squads. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Erik Peters beamed as he clutched the Meistrell Cup last Saturday afternoon at the Class of 52 Stadium after the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team defeated local rival Rutgers 16-11.

Princeton junior goalie Peters played a key role in helping the Tigers earn the hardware that goes to the winner of the storied rivalry, making 10 saves in the win.

For Peters, the Rutgers matchup is particularly memorable since he came on in relief in a 9-8 loss to the Scarlet Knights last year and has been the starter ever since.

“This was the game last year where I got my first chance; every game is really big but this one was really special,” said Peters of the win which improved No. 3 Princeton to 5-0. more

RICH LEGACY: Princeton University men’s basketball player Richmond Aririguzoh takes the ball to the hoops last Friday against Columbia. Senior star Aririguzoh had 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists as Princeton defeated Lions 81-58. A night later, Aririguzoh had six points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 85-82 to Cornell. The Tigers who moved to 14-13 overall and 9-5 Ivy League with the loss won’t get the chance to play for a shot at the NCAA tournament as the Ivy postseason tourney at Harvard was canceled on Tuesday in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and regular season champion Yale will get the league’s automatic bid to March Madness. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Richmond Aririguzoh came a long way in making the journey to his Senior Night last Saturday for the Princeton University men’s basketball team.

Born in Italy, Aririguzoh moved to the U.S. at age 12. When he started his basketball career at Trenton Catholic Academy, he would get winded going up and down the court.

Coming across the county to join the Princeton University mens basketball team, Aririguzoh was a little-used reserve in his first two seasons with the Tigers.

Experiencing a breakthrough season as a junior last winter, forward Aririguzoh emerged as an All-Ivy League performer, averaging 12.1 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. more

March 4, 2020

OVERJOYED: Princeton University women’s hockey players Sarah Fillier, right, and Maggie Connors celebrate after the Tigers scored last Friday in the opening game of their best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series against visiting Quinnipiac. The matchup turned into an epic battle as Princeton won the first game 5-1 before falling 3-2 in overtime on Saturday. A day later, sophomore Fillier scored the winning goal as Princeton pulled out a thrilling 3-2 victory in double overtime to win the series. Sixth-ranked Princeton, now 24-6-1 overall, will head to the ECACH Final 4 next weekend in Ithaca, N.Y. where it faces No. 7 Clarkson (25-5-6) in the semis on March 7 with the victor advancing to the title game a day later. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sarah Fillier sensed that Princeton University women’s hockey team was in for a tough fight as it hosted Quinnipiac in a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series last weekend at Hobey Baker Rink.

“We knew we were going to get their best game,” said sophomore forward Fillier.

“They are ranked 10th in the country. Arguably we play in the best league in the nation and we knew it was going to be a battle.”

The battle with the Bobcats turned into a war as sixth-ranked Princeton won the opener 5-1 on Friday but then fell 3-2 in overtime on Saturday as Quinnipiac forced a decisive game three on Sunday.

In the finale, Princeton built a 2-0 lead in the third period and was on the verge of victory before a feisty Quinnipiac squad responded with a pair of late goals to force overtime for a second straight day. more

EL-TRAIN: Princeton University women’s basketball player Ellie Mitchell dribbles the ball upcourt in recent action. Freshman forward Mitchell enjoyed a big game last week as Princeton defeated Penn 80-44 on February 25, tallying 13 points with eight rebounds and six assists. Mitchell and the Tigers went on to defeat Brown 81-39 on Friday and Yale 64-49 a night later to clinch the Ivy League outright regular season title and the top seed in the upcoming league postseason tournament. The 21st-ranked Tigers, now 24-1 overall and 12-0 Ivy, are riding a 21-game winning streak and will complete regular season play with games at Columbia on March 6 and at Cornell on March 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Bella Alarie remembers that Ellie Mitchell wore a bow in her hair on the basketball court four years ago.

That memory draws a laugh from the Princeton University women’s basketball teammates who were adversaries back then on rival Independent School League (ISL) teams in the Washington, D.C. area.

“I looked up to her so much when I was a freshman,” said Mitchell, a native of Chevy Chase, Md.

“I heard so many great things about her and to be able to play against her was such a great opportunity. To finally come here and get to play with her has been so much fun. It’s been like a dream come true.” more