February 28, 2024

Princeton High girls’ swimmer Kyleigh Tangen takes off to do the anchor leg in the 400-yard freestyle relay last Sunday as PHS battled Chatham in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B state final at the Rutgers Aquatics Center. Tangen and the Tigers fell just short of a second straight statetitle as they lost 89-81 to the Cougars to end the winter at 14-1. For more details on the meet, see page 28. (Photo by Steven Wojtowicz)

GOING OUT WITH A BANG: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sarah Fillier, right, races up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior star forward and team captain Fillier tallied three goals and an assist to help seventh-seeded Princeton top 10th-seeded Dartmouth 5-1 in a single-elimination contest in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey tournament. The Tigers, now 14-10-6 overall, will play at second-seeded Clarkson (29-3-2) in a best-of-three ECACH quarterfinal series starting on March 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing in her last game at Hobey Baker Rink for the Princeton University women’s hockey team last Saturday afternoon, Sarah Fillier didn’t waste any time showing that her home finale was going to be one to remember.

With seventh-seeded Princeton hosting 10th-seeded Dartmouth in a single-elimination contest in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey tournament, senior star and team captain Fillier tallied a goal and and an assist to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. more

DEVELOPING SITUATION: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Chad Palumbo heads to goal in recent action. Sophomore Palumbo has emerged as a bright spot for the Tigers, providing scoring punch from the midfield. He totaled five goals and one assist as the Tigers started the season by defeatingMonmouth 15-5 on February 18 and then topped Manhattan 15-6 two days later. Last Saturday, Palumbo chipped in two assists as the Tigers fell 13-7 at No. 4 Maryland. No. 15 Princeton plays at No. 18 North Carolina on March 1 and at No. 1 Duke on March 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Chad Palumbo has a special motivation to make the most out of every moment he is on the field for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team.

Heading into his senior year in high school in 2021, Palumbo was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that starts as a growth of cells in soft tissue, and he underwent six months of chemotherapy in order to beat it. more

TIGHT BATTLE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Chet Nweke guards a foe in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior forward Nweke scored 17 points in a losing cause as Princeton fell 67-65 at Columbia. The Tigers, now 20-4 overall and 10-1 Ivy League, host Harvard on March 1 and Dartmouth on March 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Chet Nweke had the rebound in her hands for a split second under the basket with just a couple seconds left in regulation, and then it was gone along with a long winning streak.

The ball was dislodged from the senior forward for the Princeton University women’s basketball team and the Tigers suffered a 67-65 loss at Columbia before a sold-out crowd of 2,698 at Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, their first Ivy League loss of the year, and first in 25 straight Ivy games overall spanning back two seasons. Their 24-game conference winning streak was fourth best in the country. more

SPRINTING STAR: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Kyleigh Tangen heads to victory in the 100-yard freestyle at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B state final last Sunday at the Rutgers Aquatics Center. Tangen also placed first in the 50 free as the Tigers fell just short of winning their second straight state title, losing 89-81 to Chatham in a meet that came down to the final event. PHS finished the season with a 14-1 record. 

By Bill Alden

As the roar of the crowd packing the Rutgers Aquatics Center hit ear-splitting levels last Sunday afternoon with the state title rematch between Princeton High girls’ swimming team and Chatham coming down to the final event, Kyleigh Tangen kept her mind on the task at hand.

With PHS trailing Chatham 79-77 as the foes hit the water for the 400-yard freestyle relay, Tiger senior Tangen stood in the blocks ready to swim the anchor leg, surveying the situation. more

PASSING IT ON: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Riley Devlin passes the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior guard Devlin scored 10 points as seventh-seeded PHS fell 62-57 to 10th-seeded Middletown South in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 15-9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Riley Devlin, getting to play at home in her final game for the Princeton High girls’ basketball team as it hosted Middletown South in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 4 sectional was something she won’t soon forget.

“It was our first state game here in a really long time, we were really hyped,” said PHS senior guard Devlin, reflecting on the matchup last Wednesday between the seventh-seeded Tigers and the 10th-seeded Eagles. “We had a lot of energy. We were excited to be home in front of our parents and fans.” more

HOMING IN: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Han Shin, right, battles a foe in recent action. Last Thursday, senior defenseman Shin tallied a goal and two assists to help sixth-seeded PDS defeat 11th-seeded Morristown-Beard 4-0 in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament. On Monday, Shin contributed an assist as PDS fell 3-2 in overtime to sixth-seeded St. Augustine in the Non-Public quarterfinals to end the season with a 10-8-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was Han Shin’s last game at McGraw Rink and it turned out to be one of the best performances of his career.

Senior defenseman Shin scored a goal and had two assists to help sixth-seeded PDS defeat 11th-seeded Morristown-Beard 4-0 in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament last Thursday. more

February 21, 2024

CHIN UP: Princeton University men’s basketball player Caden Pierce leaps past a Brown defender in action last Friday night. Sophomore forward Pierce tallied 21 points with 12 rebounds to help Princeton defeat the Bears 72-63. A night later against visiting Yale, Pierce split his chin open chasing a loose ball in the first minute of the game and returned to the game to chip in 11 points and five rebounds to help the Tiger top the Bulldogs 73-62. Princeton, now 19-3 overall and 7-2 Ivy League, plays at Harvard on February 23 and at Dartmouth in February 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Just seconds into the showdown between the Princeton University men’s basketball team and visiting Yale last Saturday night, Caden Pierce served notice of the intensity the Tigers were bringing into the clash.

Sprinting after a loose ball, Princeton sophomore forward Pierce launched himself face-first into the court in an attempt to get possession.

Pierce left the game holding his face in a towel as he got treatment behind a partition near the Princeton bench and returned later in the first half. more

BACK ON ICE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Ian Murphy controls the puck in a game last season. On Friday, senior captain and star forward Murphy scored a goal as Princeton fell 4-3 to RPI. The Tigers, who posted a shootout win over Union last Saturday after the teams tied at 2-2 through regulation and overtime to improve to 8-14-3 overall and 6-10-2 ECAC Hockey, play at Yale on February 23 and at Brown on February 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ian Murphy has been banged up this winter for the Princeton University men’s hockey team, getting sidelined for five games due to injury.

But with Princeton heading into the stretch drive of the season, senior captain and star forward Murphy has battled through the pain to get back on the ice.

“I am closest to 100 percent that I have been in a long time, which is nice,” said Murphy. “I feel way better than I have in a long time. Being in game shape is a lot different, there is only so much you can do on the bike. Skating is way different than anything else. I have been dying out there a little bit. I am just so happy to be back.” more

HOT START: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Colin Burns heads to goal last Sunday as the Tigers hosted Monmouth in their season opener. Freshman attacker Burns made an immediate impact for Princeton, tallying four goals and three assists as the No. 11 Tigers prevailed 15-5 over the Hawks. The output by Burns tied the program record for points in the first game of a freshman season, matching Michael Sowers ’20 who also had seven on two goals and five assists in his first game in 2017. Princeton was slated to host Manhattan on February 20 before playing at No. 4 Maryland (3-0) on February 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Matt Madalon sensed that his group of first-year players could make an immediate impact for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team.

“The freshman class is really talented, it is a really nice complete class,” said Princeton head coach Madalon of his crew of 12 newcomers, which was ranked No. 1 in Division I by Inside Lacrosse.

With Princeton’s season opener originally scheduled to be played at Monmouth last Saturday delayed to Sunday due to the snow that fell overnight and moved to Class of 1952 Stadium, the highly-touted Tiger freshmen made quite a debut before the home fans. more

COURTING SUCCESS: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Courtney Weber does the breaststroke leg in an individual medley relay race earlier this season. Last Thursday, senior star Weber placed first in the 200-yard IM and the 100 breast to help top-seeded PHS defeat second-seeded Manasquan 96-69 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Group B sectional final at The College of New Jersey. The Tigers, now 13-0, will face Shawnee in the group semis on February 21 at Passaic Tech with the victor advancing to the final on February 25 at Rutgers University. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Courtney Weber is determined to compete hard this winter in her final campaign for the Princeton High girls’ swimming team, she has another major goal.

“It is my senior year, so I have been trying to focus on just having fun and keeping the fun in the swimming,” said Weber.

Last Thursday Weber had a lot of fun, placing first in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke to help top-seeded PHS defeat second-seeded Manasquan 96-69 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Group B sectional final at The College of New Jersey.  more

FAST FINISH: Princeton High boys’ swimmer David Xu displays his breaststroke form in a recent race. Last week, junior star Xu placed first in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 backstroke as second-seeded PHS fell 96-74 to top-seeded Chatham in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North 2 Group B sectional final. The defeat left the Tigers with a 13-1 final record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden 

As the second-seeded Princeton High boys’ swimming team faced top-seeded Chatham in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North 2 Group B sectional final last Wednesday, it was round three in state tournament action between the powerhouses.

With PHS having lost to Chatham in the Public B state final in 2022 and in the sectional final last winter for its only two defeats in the last two seasons, the Tigers realized that they faced an uphill battle in the showdown of undefeated squads. more

SHOOTING STAR: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Brendan Beatty fires a shot in recent action. Last Friday, junior star Beatty scored two goals as 16th-seeded PHS fell 7-3 to 17th-seeded Scotch Plains-Fanwood in a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Public Soth Play-in round contest. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 5-13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High boys’ hockey team having suffered five straight losses heading into its New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Public South Play-in round contest against Scotch Plains-Fanwood last Friday afternoon, the Tigers were viewing the state opener as a fresh start.

“We were hoping to re-set and see if we could get the wheels going again,” said PHS head coach Rik Johnson. “Unfortunately our numbers were down, I think we had 11, 12 skaters today.” more

GETTING A LEG UP: Princeton High wrestler Danny Monga, right, battles a foe in a bout earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior Monga took third at 120 pounds at the District 17 tourney at Middletown South to earn a berth to the Region 5 tournament this coming weekend at Franklin High. Monga will be joined at the Region competition by teammates Cole Rose (126), Blasé Mele (138), Christian Paul (157), and Kwabena Afrifah (285). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Danny Monga made the podium at the District 17 wrestling tournament on Saturday to earn a berth to the Region 5 tournament.

The Princeton High junior thought about quitting at times last season, his first year back on the mats since wrestling in sixth and seventh grade. He’s glad that he stuck with it to be among the five PHS wrestlers to reach regions that begin Friday with first round and quarterfinals and continue Saturday with the remainder of the tournament at Franklin High.

“It feels amazing,” said Monga after placing third at 120 pounds. “I feel like I got a lot better since last season. It was a goal I’ve had since last year. I’m excited to hit it before senior year.” more

FINE AND DANDY: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Sammy Dandy, left, battles for the puck in a game earliest this season. Last Wednesday, freshman defender Dandy contributed two assists to help second-seeded PDS defeat top-seeded Morristown-Beard 3-1 in the Librera Cup final at the Twin Oaks Ice Rink in Morristown. The Panthers, now 11-5, will be competing in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Girls’ Ice Hockey State Tournament where they are seeded second and will host a quarterfinal contest on February 26 between the victor of the first round contest between seventh-seeded Kent Place and 10th-seeded Madison. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden
Having lost 6-0 and 5-0 to Morristown-Beard in two regular season meetings this January, the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team was looking to flip the script when the rivals met in the Librera Cup final last Wednesday.

“We definitely wanted to play more of a possession game, we didn’t want them to have the puck,” said PDS head coach Jamie Davis. “We wanted to keep the puck away from our defensive end and keep it down at our offensive end. We tightened up our roster a little bit, especially on defense.” more

February 14, 2024

CROWD PLEASER: Princeton University men’s basketball player Caden Pierce dribbles around a defender in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore forward Pierce tallied 17 points with 11 rebounds to help Princeton top Penn 77-70 before a sell-out crowd of 5,515 packing Jadwin Gym. The Tigers, now 17-3 overall and 5-2 Ivy League, host Brown on February 16 and Yale on February 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The fans started streaming into Jadwin Gym 90 minutes before Princeton University men’s basketball team tipped off against arch-rival Penn last Saturday evening in the first sell-out in the building since December 12, 2001 when the Tigers hosted Kansas.

In the second half, the throng of 5,515 on hand was uneasy as a gritty Quaker squad led the Tigers 42-36 just after halftime and knotted the contest at 59-59 with 7:59 left in regulation. more

FINAL PUSH: Princeton University women’s hockey player Kate Monihan heads up the ice in a game last season. Senior defender and team captain Monihan has helped spark a stingy Tigers defense the winter. Princeton, which fell 3-1 to St. Lawrence last Saturday to move to 12-10-5 overall and 5-10-5 ECAC Hockey, plays at Union on February 16 and at RPI on February 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Kate Monihan stood on the ice at Hobey Baker Rink last Friday before the Princeton University women’s hockey team hosted Clarkson to start her final regular season home weekend, she took a moment to reflect on her journey with the program.

“I was thinking about how grateful I am to play here, I always look at the Patty [Kazmaier] and Hobey banners and appreciate the moment,” said senior defender Monihan. “It felt extra special today, knowing this is one of my last times being able to do that.” more

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Coulter Mackesy heads to goal in a game last year. Junior attacker Mackesy, who set a program record with 55 goals last year, figures to be the go-to finisher again for the Tigers this spring. No. 11 Princeton starts its 2024 campaign by playing at Monmouth on February 17 and then hosting Manhattan on February 20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With nine of its senior stars from last season having entered the transfer portal to finish their college careers as graduate students at other schools, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse program is currently stocking such powers as Duke, Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and Michigan.

But while the exodus of such talent leaves a void for Princeton as it heads into the 2024 campaign, the cupboard is hardly bare for the Tigers as they welcome back a mix of battle-tested veterans and a stellar incoming freshman class that has been ranked No. 1 by Inside Lacrosse. more

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Grace Tauckus looks to elude some foes in a game last spring. Senior attacker Tauckus, who scored 29 goals in 2023, figures to be a key offensive weapon for the Tigers this season. Princeton plays at No. 16 Virginia (2-0) on February 17 to open its 2024 campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

After transition season in 2023, Jenn Cook is excited to see the improvements in this year’s Princeton University women’s lacrosse team.

The Tigers open their season this Saturday at No. 16 Virginia, who improved to 2-0 after a 10-9 win over Stanford on February 11. With Princeton coming off a 7-9 season last spring, the first at the helm for head coach Cook, who took over for the retired Chris Sailer, the program has been building through the fall and preseason practices to turn things around this spring. more

OH BROTHER: Princeton High boys’ swimmer Jaiden Xu displays his freestyle form in a meet earlier this season. Last Friday, junior Xu placed first in the 200-yard individual medley, edging twin brother David, and second in the 500 freestyle to help second-seeded PHS top third-seeded Summit 92-78 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North 2 Group B sectional semis. The Tigers, now 13-0, face top-seeded Chatham in the sectional final on February 14 at the Raritan Bay Aquatic Center in Perth Amboy. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jaiden Xu produced a personal breakthrough as the second-seeded Princeton High boys’ swim team edged third-seeded Summit 92-78 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North 2 Group B sectional semis last Friday.

Racing against his twin brother David in the 200-yard individual medley, Xu took first just ahead of his brother, earning his first triumph in the IM sibling rivalry. more

GOING THE DISTANCE: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Sabine Ristad heads to victory in a 500-yard freestyle race earlier this season. Last Friday, Ristad placed first in both the 500 free and the 100 backstroke to help top-seeded PHS defeat fifth-seeded WW/P-South 120-50 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group B sectional semis. The Tigers, now 12-0, will face second-seeded Manasquan in the sectional final on February 15 at The College of New Jersey. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sabine Ristad didn’t waste any time getting things rolling for the top-seeded Princeton High girls’ swim team as it hosted fifth-seeded WW/P-South in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group B sectional semis last Friday.

Swimming the backstroke leg to lead off the 200-yard medley relay in the first event of the meet, junior Ristad helped the PHS A quartet take first by nearly three seconds.  more

GABFEST: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Gabby Bannett puts up a shot in recent action. Last week, Bannett starred on her Senior Day, tallying six points with three rebounds, two steals, and an assist as the Tigers topped WW/P-North 47-33 on February 6. On Monday, PHS competed in the Mercer County Tournament where it was seeded sixth and fell 87-33 to third-seeded Trenton Catholic in a quarterfinal contest. PHS, now 14-8, is next in action when it takes part in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gabby Bannett has been dealing with a balky shoulder this winter but she wasn’t about to sit out her Senior Day game for the Princeton High girls’ basketball team last week.

“I have dislocated it three times so it has been a little tough; actually last game it happened again,” said senior guard/forward Bannett, who has been wearing a brace on her shoulder. “I wasn’t sure if I should play today, but I am really happy that I did.”

There were some happy moments before the game against WW/P-North on February 6 as Bannett was honored along with the team’s other senior, Riley Devlin, with posters and balloons displayed in the gym.  more

FRESH APPROACH: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Hark Sandhu controls the puck in a game early this season. Freshman Sandhu helped second-seeded PDS defeat third-seeded Immaculate Heart Academy 4-3 last Wednesday in the semifinal round of the Librera Cup. The Panthers, who improved to 10-5 with the win, were slated to face top-seeded Morristown-Beard in the Librera final on February 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Della Gilligan is just a freshman but she has already proved to be a versatile performer for the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team.

“I was originally defense at the beginning of the year and then they switched me to forward,” said Gilligan. “It was a little nerve-wracking; we got through it.” more

JOLLY GOOD: Hun School girls’ basketball player Sam Jolly, right, looks to unload the ball in recent action. Last Monday, second-seeded Hun defeated seventh-seeded Hamilton West 58-35 in the first round of the Mercer County Invitational. The Raiders, now 10-10, will host third-seeded Pennington in the MCI semis on February 14. In addition, Hun will be competing in the Prep A state tournament where it is seeded second and will host third-seeded Lawrenceville in the semis on a date to be determined. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With point guard and leading scorer Gabby D’Agostino sidelined by appendicitis, it was next player up for the Hun School girls’ basketball team as it hosted Pennington last Wednesday in a MAPL Tournament Play-In game.

“We had to step up for Gabby and play for Gabby,” said Hun sophomore guard Sam Jolly. “She put her heart out for this team and we wanted to make sure that we gave it back.” more

February 7, 2024

STEPPING UP: Princeton University women’s basketball player Chet Nweke puts up a shot in a game last season. On Saturday, senior Nweke scored a career-high 18 points to help No. 25 Princeton defeat Brown 76-63. The Tigers, now 17-3 overall and 7-0 Ivy League, play at Penn on February 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Chet Nweke was excited to finally break into the starting lineup for the Princeton University women’s basketball team in late January after making 76 appearances off the bench, she now feels pressure to be on her toes from the opening tip-off.

“It has been a little bit of an adjustment for me,” said senior Nweke. “Coming off the bench for so long, I was able to let the other people figure out how to start the game defensively and then I will figure it out and see what they are doing. Now it is more important for me to be locked in from the start, having to know the scout right away and how we are defending certain actions.”

Last Saturday as Princeton hosted Brown before a crowd of 2,710 at Jadwin Gym, Nweke was locked in at both ends of the court, tallying nine points on 4-for-4 shooting to help the Tigers build a 29-12 lead early in the second quarter. Never looking back, No. 25 Princeton went on to a 76-63 win over the Bears, improving to 17-3 overall and 7-0 Ivy League. more