Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 36
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
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FAST START: Princeton University women’s soccer freshman striker Jen Hoy races up the field in her college debut last Friday evening against Hofstra. Hoy picked up an assist in the game as Princeton fell 2-1. Two days later, Hoy got another assist as the Tigers edged St. John’s 2-1. Hoy will look to keep up her fast start as Princeton heads west to play at Utah on September 9 and at Wyoming on September 11.

With Speedy Freshman Hoy Setting the Pace, PU Women’s Soccer Splits Opening Weekend

Bill Alden

After shaking off some butterflies as she made her college debut for the Princeton University women’s soccer team, Jen Hoy rolled her sleeves up to her shoulders and went to work.

The speedy forward dashed on several runs through the Hofstra defense as the teams met last Friday evening at Roberts Field.

Seven minutes into the contest, Hoy took a pass from teammate Stephanie Iantorno and slotted it to Barb Previ, who banged in a goal.

After the Tigers surrendered a goal late in the first half and then gave up another in the second half, Hoy put on the afterburners in an effort to rally Princeton.

Some 30 minutes into the second half, Hoy sprinted down the sideline and knocked a volley off the post, nearly tying up the contest. Hoy’s efforts weren’t enough as Princeton ended up losing 2-1.

Although disappointed by the result in her first college appearance, Hoy was glad to get the game under her belt.

“It was really exciting; it was my first game and there were definitely butterflies but they went away pretty quickly,” said Hoy, a native of Sellersville, Pa. and a standout at Germantown Academy who scored 110 goals in her high school career.

“It was a tough loss but I know we are going to come back for our next game against St. John’s.”

Hoy was good to her word, coming up with another assist on Sunday as the Tigers rallied for a 2-1 win over No. 18 St. John’s.

Vicki Anagnostopoulos, and Alissa Boddie scored the goals for the Tigers with Hoy’s classmate, Caitlin Blosser, picking up an assist.

With newcomers Hoy, Iantorno, and Blosser all starting, the Tiger freshmen group is already developing some tight bonds.

“We all get along really well off the field so on the field it makes it a lot easier,” said Hoy, reflecting on the chemistry she feels with her classmates.

“We are great friends. We have so much talent and so does the rest of the team. Coming in, we are all just ready to play and contribute.”

Hoy has a deep connection with classmate Rachel Sheehy and sophomore Kim Menafra as the trio helped their FC Buck Vipers win the 2009 U-18 US Youth Soccer national title this summer.

“It helped keep us in shape which is a big plus,” said Hoy. “Just staying on the ball and getting our touches was good. It was just really fun.”

Princeton head coach Julie Shackford is having fun watching Hoy break into the college game.

“I thought we asked a lot of her in the first 20 minutes of the game,” said Shackford after the Hofstra game. “I think she has got to figure out when to pick her spots.”

Putting the opening night loss in perspective, Shackford saw the game as an important learning experience for her young squad.

“I think this is a starting point, hopefully we’ll just keep getting better,” said Shackford, who is in her 15th season at the helm of the program and now has 154 wins at Princeton, the most of any soccer coach, men’s or women’s, in school history.

“I think we are young, I think we had some good possession. I think you could see that we are going to have some exciting players.”

Things were a little too exciting on the defensive end in the opener for Shackford’s taste.

“I thought we were a little unorganized at times but I expected that a little bit,” acknowledged Shackford, who guided the Tigers to a share of the Ivy League title last fall and now has five league crowns and seven NCAA appearances during her tenure.

“I knew we were going to have a lot of work to do defensively so I still think we need to get a little more organized when we don’t have the ball. We need to eliminate some of the mistakes defensively.”

Shackford liked the organization she saw on the offensive end. “I think we are going to be able to attack, to go quickly, and to counter,” said Shackford, whose team heads west to play at Utah on September 9 and at Wyoming on September 11. “We just need to work on being a little bit more precise around the goal.”

Hoy, for her part, has a better sense of what she needs to work on. “I learned a few things about myself,” said Hoy.

“I learned how to go out in the first half and how to connect with the forwards and midfielders. It is going to take a little more time for us to really get used to each other.”

Once Hoy gets totally in synch with her teammates, there could be some very good times ahead for the Tigers.

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