December 7, 2022

TURNING THE PAIGE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Paige Morton handles the ball in the paint in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, sophomore forward Morton tallied six points to help Princeton defeat Towson. After playing just six minutes a game off the bench last season, Morton has emerged as a key contributor for the Tigers this winter, averaging 6.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in starting all seven games. Princeton, now 5-2, plays at UConn on December 8 before hosting Delaware on December 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

In an unlikely twist, Paige Morton will be the best Paige on the court when the Princeton University women’s basketball team plays at UConn’s Gampel Pavilion on Thursday.

UConn star Paige Bueckers is out for the season after tearing her ACL in August while Morton has made a big move in her second year at Princeton. The sophomore forward has started every game for the Tigers after playing just six minutes per game in her first year.

“It’s definitely been a change since last year,” said Morton. “My teammates have been really supportive and they make me feel confident out there. They always have my back. That’s been something that’s really been helpful for me as I take on a new role.”

Morton has given the Tigers some versatility with the ability to use her 6’3 size to go bigger this year, something they didn’t use last year as much following the graduation of Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur in 2020. Morton’s improvements since last year landed her in the starting lineup from the outset of the season.

“Paige has a really great skill set,” said Princeton head coach Carla Berube. “She’s got a great frame. She’s able to step out a little bit and hit some mid-range jumpers. She has a lot of different finishes on the inside, which keeps the defense back on their heels. She’s strong and gotten stronger and more confident. She’s playing with a little more aggressiveness than she did last year. I think she understands the college game a little more than she did her first year. She’s been really, really important at the beginning of the season. And the whole fall she was one of our best players in practice every day. That’s why she earned the starting nod.” more

FRESH APPROACH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jack Scott puts up a layup in recent action. Last Wednesday, freshman guard and former Hun School standout Scott tallied a team-high 13 points with nine rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench as Princeton routed Division III Cairn 92-58. The Tigers, who topped Drexel 83-63 last Saturday to improve to 6-2, host Monmouth on December 10 before facing Iona on December 13 at Kean University. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mitch Henderson sensed that his crew of freshmen could make a big impact this winter as they started their careers for the Princeton University men’s basketball team.

“It is a very competitive young group, very competitive,” said Princeton head coach Henderson. “That is really good for everybody because it just raises the level.”

Last Wednesday, two of those prized newcomers, Jack Scott and Caden Pierce, starred as Princeton routed Division III Cairn 92-58. Guard Scott tallied a career-high and team-high 13 points with nine rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench while starting forward Pierce contributed a career-high nine points, four rebounds, and a blocked shot.

Scott, for his part, was ready to compete when he got the call against Cairn.

“I got a chance to go in there so whenever my name is called, I just try to go as hard as I can and make the most out of the opportunity,” said Scott, a 6’6, 197-pound resident of Denver, Colo. “That is what I tried to do, I thought we played really well.” more

JACOBS LADDER: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Jacobs goes after the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman forward Jacobs tallied a goal and an assist in a losing cause as a late Princeton rally fell short in a 5-4 loss to St. Lawrence. The Tigers, now 4-7 overall and 3-6 ECAC Hockey, host Union on December 9 and RPI on December 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It took a while for David Jacobs to start producing this winter in his freshman season on the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

Though the first eight games of his college career, Jacobs had just one assist. But catching fire after Thanksgiving, he has tallied two goals and two assists in his last three appearances.

“I think it is just growing every day and trying to get more and more comfortable out there,” said Jacobs, a 5’10, 180-pound native of Needham, Mass. “I have great teammates so it is great playing with them. We work hard every practice and I am just trying to get better every day.”

Last Saturday, Jacobs displayed his growth, getting a goal and an assist in a losing cause as a late Princeton rally fell short in a 5-4 loss to St. Lawrence.

The Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Nick Seitz then fell behind 2-1 early in the second period. Jacobs evened up the game at 2-2, blasting a one-timer into the back of the net with 11:08 left in the second period. The Saints responded with three unanswered goals to lead 5-2 midway through the third period. After St. Lawrence got hit with a five-minute major penalty, the Tigers scored two goals to narrow the gap to 5-4 but couldn’t get any closer as they moved to 4-7 overall and 3-6 ECAC Hockey. more

WINNING THE DAY: Princeton University wrestler Quincy Monday, top, controls a foe in a match last season. Senior star Monday, who advanced to the NCAA final last March at 157 pounds, is primed for a big final campaign with the Tigers. Last Sunday, Monday, ranked No. 1 nationally at 157, posted a 5-0 win over No. 15 Chase Saldate of Michigan State in the Garden State Grapple at the Prudential Center in Newark. The Tigers, who fell 38-3 to Wisconsin and 21-15 to Michigan State in the event, to move to 0-3, host Rutgers on December 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In his debut season for the Princeton University wrestling team in 2018-19, Quincy Monday qualified for the NCAA championships at 157 pounds but the trip to Pittsburgh turned out to be a downer.

With his inexperience showing, Monday lost all of his matches. Looking for redemption, Monday made the NCAAs as a sophomore and was seeded fifth but didn’t get to compete as the event was canceled as a result of the global pandemic. In 2021, Monday had no chance to make the NCAAs as the Ivy League scrapped its winter season due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Those disappointments fueled Monday’s motivation as he competed last winter.

“To have that get canceled and not get that chance and get a win and do my thing at nationals set a fire under me for sure,” said Monday, who won his first Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) title on the way to qualifying for the NCAA championships

Once in Detroit for the NCAAs, a fired-up Monday got some redemption, making it to the final where he fell 9-2 to Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin.

“It was just really exciting, I was grateful to be there and be able to be at nationals and get rolling,” said Monday, who was joined in the finals by classmate Patrick Glory, who made it at 125, giving Princeton its first two NCAA finalists since 2002. “We had a lot of energy and momentum going into it, being able to have that opportunity to be able to go back and compete.” more

DOWN LOW: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Cooper Zullo skates around a goalie in action last season. Senior star forward and captain Zullo is primed for a big final campaign. PHS opens its season by facing Notre Dame on December 12 at the Mercer County Park rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Rik Johnson underwent a trial by fire last winter when he joined the Princeton High boys’ hockey program as an assistant coach.

“It was exciting, at first I was a little apprehensive,” said Johnson, who had played for the Monmouth University club hockey team and in men’s leagues but had never coached before. “I observed and I was able to learn a lot different ways to approach things.”

This season, Johnson will be getting the chance to apply those lessons as he is taking the helm of the PHS program, succeeding head coach Dave Hansen.

“There is a learning curve for sure, learning everything you need to know as the head coach,” said Johnson. “My personal philosophy is for the players to try not to make the same mistake twice. Three, four practices in now, we are trying to scratch those off the list. I am trying different things out, seeing what works.”

The PHS players are responding well to their new leader.

“Brian (PHS Athletic Director Brain Dzbenski) said he was looking for somebody from a head  coaching perspective that was going to be around so there was continuity for the kids,” said Johnson, who is taking over a program that went 16-5-3 last winter and advanced to the Mercer County Tournament final. “It is positive, they are great kids, they are helpful. It is great roster, we have got 15 returning players.”

Johnson is expecting a great senior year from star forward and captain Cooper Zullo (39 goals, 32 assists in 2021-22).

“Cooper is doing his thing, he is doing a great job as a leader,” said Johnson. “He is going to be our captain again this year. He is great with ushering in the new kids and leading the group. I think last year was a little bit of a shock to him when he was named captain; that caught him off guard, but he grew into it. He is so good. The one thing I added last year in working with him was hit the net. He has improved on that.” more

November 30, 2022

MAKING A SPLASH: Princeton University men’s water polo player Roko Pozaric fires the ball last Saturday as Princeton hosted Fordham in an NCAA tournament opening round contest. Sophomore star Pozaric tallied the winning goal in the second overtime as Princeton prevailed 11-10. The Tigers, now 27-5, will face third-ranked Southern California (18-6) in the next round of the NCAA tournament on December 1 in Berkeley, Calif. The victor of that matchup will face UCLA in a semifinal contest on December 3 at Berkeley. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Roko Pozaric has scored a few big goals in his young water polo career, but his latest one came in a big moment on a huge stage.

The Princeton University men’s water polo sophomore star scored the game-winner to help the Tigers edge then-No. 3 Stanford 11-10 in a regular season contest on October 23. Pozaric had a big goal in his native Croatia’s junior national championships a year before he came to Princeton. And Saturday, he scored the game-winner with three seconds left in the second overtime to lift Princeton to an 11-10 win over Fordham in the NCAA tournament opener at DeNunzio Pool.

“This,” said Pozaric, “is definitely the most important game so far that I scored the deciding goal in.”

The victory sends Princeton up against third-ranked Southern California (18-6) in the next round of the NCAA tournament on December 1 at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif. The Tigers are 27-5 and carry confidence into the matchup even though they will be underdogs to everyone outside of the program’s minds. The victor of that matchup will face UCLA in a semifinal contest on December 3 at the Spieker pool.


LAST SHOT AT GLORY: Princeton University wrestler Patrick Glory, top, controls a foe in a bout last season. Senior star Glory, who advanced to the NCAA final at 125 pounds last March, is primed to produce a big final campaign for the Tigers. Glory, who won the title at 125 in the Princeton Open earlier this month, is slated to be back on the mat this Sunday as the Tigers have duals against Michigan State and Wisconsin at the Prudential Center in Newark. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Patrick Glory was miserable as he took in the 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships from his living room.

“Sitting and watching the NCAA tournament on the couch in the middle of the COVID in that 2021 year was really hard,” said Princeton University wrestling star Glory, who had competed in the 2019 NCAA Championships as freshman, taking sixth at 125 pounds.

“I had a lot of really long conversations with the coaches and just being like hey man, this is awful, this is really hard to watch. Your prime kind of going by and there is nothing really to do about it.”


November 23, 2022

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Princeton University men’s water polo head coach Dustin Litvak (kneeling) makes a point to his players earlier this fall. Last Sunday, No. 8, Princeton defeated No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn 13-8 in the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) championship game. The Tigers, now 26-5, will host Fordham on November 26 in the NCAA Opening Round Game 1. The victor will then face Southern California on December 1 in Berkeley, Calif., in the NCAA Opening Round Game 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The Princeton University men’s water polo team pulled off a historic repeat, but there are bigger goals ahead.

Last Sunday, No. 8 Princeton captured the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) championship with a 13-8 win over No. 18 St. Francis Brooklyn in Providence, R.I. to repeat as conference winners for the first time in program history. The Tigers will open the NCAA tournament play by hosting Fordham in Opening Round Game 1 on Saturday at DeNunzio Pool. The winner will play Southern California on December 1 in Berkeley, Calif., in the NCAA Opening Round Game 2.

The trip to the NCAAs gives the Tigers, now 26-5, a chance to add to their 12-game winning streak that includes a win over once-No. 1 Stanford.

“The biggest thing for us is going to be staying healthy and staying hungry and understanding we have a great opportunity not just to win the conference this year but do something that’s never been done before and compete for a national championship,” said Princeton head coach Dustin Litvak. “That’s really motivating the guys.”

Princeton started the weekend with a 12-7 NWPC semifinal win over host Brown on Saturday followed by the strong performance in the title game against St. Francis.

In the final, Princeton jumped out to a 3-0 first quarter lead on goals by Ryan Neapole, Roko Pozaric and Yurian Quinones. Neapole scored another goal to start the second quarter, and the Tigers used strong goalkeeping from Antonio Knez to sustain their lead while getting goals any time St. Francis started to whittle away at Princeton’s advantage. Vladan Mitrovic, Joan Coloma, George Caras, and Keller Maloney also scored in a balanced attack.

“We knew if we played to our ability, we’d have a really good shot,” said Litvak. “I think we have a really deep team this year and that enabled us to rotate a lot of players in and out of games. And we only had to play two games this weekend instead of some teams having to play three. We’re just a little deeper than St. Francis. I think that paid off in the end. We expected to play well. We’re really happy for the guys that they were able to get it done and keep playing.” more

HEADING HOME: Princeton University men’s basketball player Tosan Evbuomwan drives to the basket in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Evbuomwan tallied 11 points with six rebounds and five assists to help Princeton defeat Marist 62-55. Evbuomwan, a native of Newcastle, England, is heading home this week as the Tigers, now 2-2, will be competing in the London Basketball Classic. The Tigers will face Army on November 24 in the opener of the tournament with the victor advancing to the final against either Northeastern or Manhattan on November 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While millions of Americans will be headed home for the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the Princeton University men’s basketball team is jetting across the Atlantic Ocean to play in the London Basketball Classic.

After falling to Hofstra (83-77 on November 7) and Navy (74-73 on November 11) to start the season, Princeton will be bringing a two-game winning streak into its battle of Britain, having topped UMBC and then topping Marist 62-55 last Saturday.

Tiger head coach Mitch Henderson likes where his team is at as it goes across the pond to an event which will see it face Army on November 24 in the opener with the victor advancing to the final against either Northeastern or Manhattan on November 26.

“We played really well, we needed a game where we came unstuck on making some shots,” said Henderson, referring to the win over UMBC which saw Princeton shoot 57.8 percent from the floor (37-64) and 63.2 percent from the three-point line (12-19). “We guarded well, that is where we made the difference. We did the same thing on Saturday, we were able to guard. We didn’t play great on Saturday, that is a tough one on the road. John Dunne is a terrific coach. Those are really good wins.”

Princeton sorely needed those wins after the setbacks to Hofstra and Navy. more

NO QUIT: Princeton University men’s hockey player Noah de la Durantaye brings the puck up the ice in recent action. Sophomore defensemen de la Durantaye scored the lone goal for Princeton as it fell 4-1 to No. 4 Quinnipiac last Friday night. A day later, the Tigers lost 4-1 in a rematch with the Bobcats to move to 2-5 overall and 2-5 ECAC Hockey. The Tigers will play a two-game set at RIT this weekend with contests slated for November 25 and 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden 

After losing its first three games of the season, the Princeton University men’s hockey team got on the winning track with a pair of shutout wins over Yale and Brown.

“The first couple of weeks at Harvard and home with Cornell and Colgate, I was trying to find out what the identity was of our players and now I know their identity,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty, whose team blanked Yale 3-0 on November 11 and edged Brown 1-0 a day later. “Now it is just building upon it and getting better. We are tough to play against, not just gritty. Our turnover ratio for full possession turnovers in the defensive zone has dramatically decreased where we are not giving second chances. That was a primary focus coming into the season, being quicker on our outlets and getting out of our zone.”

Princeton displayed its toughness against last Friday evening as it hosted No. 4 Quinnipiac, falling 4-1 to the high-powered Bobcats despite outshooting them 23-18.

“It was just clog the neutral zone, finish checks, and just be back on top of the third guy, they are a heavily skilled team,” said Fogarty, who got a third period goal from sophomore defenseman Noah de la Durantaye in the defeat. “I thought we did a really good job of that. They haven’t been held to 18 shots all year or five in one period. I thought we played well tonight.”

Princeton fought hard to generate shots against Quinnipiac but didn’t get the bounces. more

November 9, 2022

CLOSE SHAVE: Princeton University football player A.J. Barber runs upfield in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, sophomore receiver Barber made a career-high seven receptions for 50 yards to help Princeton edge Dartmouth 17-14 to remain undefeated. The No. 16 Tigers, now 8-0 overall and 5-0 Ivy League, play at Yale (6-2 overall, 4-1 Ivy) on November 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As one of the captains for the Princeton University football team, Uche Ndukwe looks to fire up his teammates.

“I am just another cog in the machine; we have a lot of great players on this defense and a lot of guys I respect so much and make me feel so much more confident,” said senior defensive lineman Ndukwe, a 6’4, 270- pound native of Dedham, Mass. “When I am playing, I just try to rally the troops and get everyone excited to come out.”

Sophomore receiver A.J Barber, for his part, has emerged as an important cog for the Princeton offense after stepping in for the injured Jo Jo Hawkins in a 35-19 win over Brown on October 14.

“Jo Jo Hawkins went down and it was that next man up mentality,” said the 5’8, 170-pound Barber, who hails from Old Greenwich, Conn. “When my name was called, I was ready because of all the preparation we do.”

Showing that he was ready to perform, Barber made an 8-yard touchdown catch against the Bears.


KEY PERFORMER: Princeton University men’s basketball player Keeshawn Kellman, right, dribbles the ball last Monday against Hofstra. Senior forward Kellman scored a career-high 21 points on a losing cause as Princeton fell 83-77 to the Pride in its season opener. In upcoming action, the Tigers play at Navy on November 11 in the Veteran’s Classic, at Marist on November 19, and at Army on November 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After being hampered by injury and playing in only eight games last winter for the Princeton University men’s basketball team, Keeshawn Kellman decided to remake his body and his game.

“I focused on a lot of conditioning,” said Kellman, a native of Allentown, Pa., who spent the spring and summer with his nose to the grindstone. “I was very overweight at the end of the season and that was one of the points of emphasis that I had. I thought that just doing that alone would help my overall game along with finishing around the basket. Also just my IQ with watching basketball, things like that.”

Last Monday, as Princeton hosted Hofstra in its season opener, the chiseled 6’9, 240-pound senior forward Kellman showed the fruits of that labor. He scored a career-high 21 points on 9-of-9 shooting with five rebounds and two blocked shots in 26 minutes of action.

Kellman’s heroics helped Princeton build a 76-71 lead with 2:43 left in regulation but the Tigers squandered that advantage, falling 83-77 to the Pride.

While the loss stung, Kellman was happy to finally return to the starting lineup for the Tigers.


FAMILY BUSINESS: Princeton University men’s hockey player Liam Gorman controls the puck against Colgate last Saturday. Senior forward and captain Gorman tallied a goal and an assist but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 4-3 in overtime to the Raiders. Gorman is filling a family tradition playing the Tigers as his father, Sean ’91, was star and a captain for the Tigers and his younger brother, Brendan, is a freshman forward for Princeton. The Tigers, now 0-3, play at Yale on November 11 and at Brown on November 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Liam Gorman, playing for the Princeton University men’s hockey team is a family affair.

Gorman’s father, Sean ’91, was star and a captain for the Tigers. This winter, Gorman’s younger brother, Brendan, has joined the program as a freshman forward.

Last Saturday as Princeton hosted Colgate and held its annual Senior Night, Gorman’s parents were on hand at Hobey Baker Rink to see their sons in action.

For Gorman, following in his father’s footsteps as one of the captains for the Tigers is particularly meaningful.

“It is a huge honor, especially after my father being a captain here,” said Gorman, a 6’3, 199-pound native of Arlington, Mass. “It is really cool, continuing that legacy is something I am really proud of.”

Having his brother add to the family legacy has also been cool.


November 2, 2022

LOOKING FORWARD: Princeton University women’s basketball player Julia Cunningham looks to pass the ball in a game last season. Senior star Cunningham figures to be a key performer for Princeton his season. The Tigers tip off their 2022-23 campaign by hosting Temple on November 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Julia Cunningham is accustomed to big expectations with the Princeton University women’s basketball team.

The stakes feel even higher for the senior and her Tiger teammates, but maybe it’s only from the outside after they became the first Ivy League team to garner an AP preseason top-25 ranking. Last month, Princeton was selected as No. 24 after returning all but one starter from last year’s 25-5 team that reached the NCAA tournament second round. They face a loaded non-conference schedule that begins with them hosting Temple on November 7.

“Looking at the rankings is great, and we’re making history in that regard, but I think we take that in and appreciate it for the time being, but then we realize it puts a big target on our back going into non-conference play,” said star guard Cunningham, a 5’11 native of Watchung. “It means a lot for teams to beat a Top 25 team. Looking at it from that perspective, I think it also makes us pretty hungry and competitive.”

In the first week of the season, they will host Temple and then Villanova on November 11. They are focusing on a strong start and trying not to look ahead to marquee matchups at Texas on November 27 and at UConn on December 8. Seven of the non-conference games will send Princeton on the road, starting with a test at Seton Hall on November 14.

“It’s another really tough one but that’s what we want to do,” said Princeton coach Carla Berube, who guided the Tigers to a 25-5 overall record and 14-0 Ivy League last winter on the way to winning the Ivy postseason tournament and upsetting Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling to Indiana in the next round.

“We want to play against the best that we can and really see where we’re at. Through tough games, it shows where your weaknesses are so we can be where we want to be come March. Just starting with Temple and Villanova and Seton Hall, they’re all really strong teams and programs so we’re going to be tested early on. That’s what we want. We want to be battle-tested so we’re ready for the Ivy League and beyond. We’re looking forward to it. I’m sure people are looking at UConn and Texas but we’re looking at Temple and that’s all that matters.” more

OH YES: Princeton University women’s hockey player Emerson O’Leary (No. 10) battles a Colgate player for the puck last Friday night in the season opener for Princeton. The Tigers fell 5-1 to No. 4 Colgate. A night later, freshman forward O’Leary tallied her first career goal as No. 10 Princeton lost 3-1 to Cornell. In upcoming action, the Tigers play at Brown on November 4 and at Yale on November 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The hockey gods didn’t smile on the Princeton University women’s hockey team as it hosted Colgate and Cornell last weekend to start its 2022-23 campaign.

On Friday, 10th-ranked Princeton outshot No. 4 Colgate 28-26 only to fall 5-1 as the Raiders scored three unanswered goals in the third period. A night later, the Tigers built a 34-28 edge in shots against No. 8 Cornell but ended up losing 3-1.

“On both nights we outshot and out chanced opponents that are ranked higher than us and the puck did not bounce the way we needed it to bounce,” said Princeton head coach Cara Morey. “That is the difference in the scores.”

While Morey was disappointed by the results in the two games, she is optimistic going forward.

“The message to the team was be patient and keep buying in,” added Morey. “I thought we outplayed both teams. The offense is going to click. A lot of those scoring chances that didn’t go in the net are going to start going in the net. That will be the difference.”

Princeton’s two star forwards, junior Sarah Fillier and senior Maggie Connors, generated a lot of the shots over the weekend but only had a goal by Fillier, a Canadian Olympian and gold medal winner, on Friday to show for their efforts.

“It is going to happen,” said Morey. “Sarah had a breakaway both days so I am sure that for her, she is probably thinking about those a lot. Those are going to go in. It is just buying in and knowing that we have got to play with the long game.”

Freshman Emerson O’Leary showed some game on Saturday, scoring her first career goal on a breakaway as Princeton made it a 1-1 game in the second period. more

TO THE HOOP: Princeton University men’s basketball player Tosan Evbuomwan looks to get a shot off in the point during a game last season. Senior star Evbuomwan, the Ivy League Player of the Year last winter, is primed to produce a big final campaign for the Tigers. Princeton tips off its 2022-23 campaign by hosting Hofstra on November 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Mitch Henderson, paying attention to detail figures to be a key to success this winter for his Princeton University men’s basketball team.

“We have to be able to play with poise but also there is a focus on the littlest things that make a team go that are rarely obvious when you are playing,” said Princeton head coach Henderson, who guided the Tigers to a 23-7 record last winter as it won the Ivy League regular season title and made the NIT. “The main thing I want to see is can we take that step forward on doing the littlest things — a deflection, a difference in a half step defensively, getting your hands on a ball that maybe you should not have gotten. I think we will be able to make shots and we will be able to score around the rim.”

With Princeton hosting Hofstra on November 7 in its season opener, Henderson believes his squad has been taking steps forward.

“Preseason for us is a really short in one way because we lost a lot of pieces from a year ago so we have to piece together what works in practice,” said Henderson. “We are really itching to get going. I love working with the team, they have been responsive, focused. There is a lot of humility with the group. It is led by Tosan Evbuomwan, Ryan Langborg, and Matt Allocco. They have been around, they have seen it, and they know what to do.”

Princeton will be depending on the one-two punch of senior Langborg (10.7 points, 3.5 rebounds a game in 2021-22) and junior Allocco (4.1 points, 2.8 rebounds) to lead the way at guard.

“Starting with Matt and Ryan in the backcourt, they are two veterans who have played in really significant games,” said Henderson. “It is time for them to take over. Year to year, it is just time for the next group to take a big step.” more

SEEING RED: Princeton University football player Matt Jester shows his intensity last Saturday as the Tigers hosted Cornell. Senior linebacker Jester returned a botched Big Red two-point conversion 100 yards to help Princeton win 35-9. The No. 22 Tigers, now 7-0 overall and 4-0 Ivy League, host Dartmouth (2-5 overall, 1-3 Ivy) on November 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University football team having given up a touchdown to visiting Cornell in the third quarter last Saturday to see its lead shrink to 19-9 and the Big Red going for a two-point conversion, it looked like the tide could be turning against the Tigers.

But Princeton senior linebacker Matt Jester turned the tables on Cornell, picking off a deflected pass on the PAT in the end zone and sprinting 105 yards down the sideline, hurdling a Big Red player in the process, to put Princeton up 21-9.

“Liam [Johnson] tipped that to me, props to him; I caught it in stride and did my best to get as much as I could,” said Jester, whose scoring jaunt made the ESPN College Football Final’s top five plays of the day. “I was able to get the sideline and got two points for our team so that was good feeling. That (hurdling) was just heat of the moment, that is what I decided to do.”

The Tigers never looked back from there, pulling away to a 35-9 win before a homecoming crowd of 7,652 at Princeton Stadium, improving to 7-0 overall and 4-0 Ivy League. Princeton ended the day as the only undefeated Ivy team as Penn fell 34-31 to Brown to stop to 6-1 overall, 3-1 Ivy.

Supplementing Jester’s takeaway, Princeton forced five turnovers on the day with four interceptions and a recovered fumble.

“Turnovers are always the goals, five of them, that was a really awesome feeling,” said Jester, a 6’4, 250-pound native of Spring, Texas. “Half the turnovers don’t happen if the other 10 guys on the team aren’t doing their job. It takes 11 guys to win any game on defense. You like to see that everybody is eating and everybody is making plays. Everybody shares the burden of making plays. I can always count on those guys to do their job and I hope that they can count on me.” more

October 26, 2022

FLYING HAWAIIAN: Princeton University receiver Andrei Iosivas races past a Harvard defender last season. On Friday, senior star Iosivas, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, made nine catches for a career-high 176 yards and one touchdown as Princeton routed Harvard 37-10. The No. 22 Tigers, now 6-0 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, host Cornell (4-2 overall, 1-2 Ivy). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University football team filed on to the field last Friday night at Harvard Stadium, the players had to duck their heads to get through the low doorway at the venerable arena constructed in 1903.

“It is a coliseum. When they built it, the tackles were 5’3,” said Princeton head coach Bob Surace with a chuckle. “It is awesome, it is historic. You go in and you feel like warriors on the field.”

Over the next three hours, Princeton played like warriors against Harvard, leaving the field with their heads held high after they routed the Crimson 37-10 before a crowd of 10,793.

Princeton didn’t waste time showing its intent, going for fourth and one at its own 34 on its first possession and getting the first when freshman running back Ryan Butler gained three yards.

“That has been a pretty consistent approach, we did it at the end of the Monmouth game last year,” said Surace, whose team improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 Ivy League and is now ranked No. 22 nationally in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Coaches’ Poll.

“I want our players knowing that we are going to go after them. It is not just because I think we are going to get it. There are going to be times when you get stopped and you have confidence in your defense. If you don’t have a good defense then you don’t do it.” more

CRIMSON TIDE: Princeton University field hockey player Hannah Davey races up the field last Sunday as No. 10 Princeton defeated 15th-ranked Harvard 4-2 in a duel of Ivy League front-runners. Senior midfielder and co-captain Davey contributed two assists in the victory over the Crimson as Princeton moved to 11-4 overall and 5-0 Ivy. The Tigers host Brown on October 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a duel of Ivy League front-runners when the 10th-ranked Princeton University field hockey team hosted No. 15 Harvard last Sunday at high noon.

Both squads entered the contest at 4-0 Ivy and with Princeton having lost in a penalty shootout last year to the Crimson to finish second, the Tigers were primed to turn the tables on their rival.

“We went into it with great positivity and energy,” said Princeton senior star midfielder and co-captain Hannah Davey. “We knew exactly what we needed to do.”

The Tigers displayed that energy right away, tallying three unanswered goals in the first quarter as Grace Schulze, Beth Yeager, and Sam Davidson each found the back of the cage in the first quarter as the Tigers built a 3-0 lead.

“To score the first goal was great,” said Davey, a 5’7 native of Derbyshire, England. “To get the next two it was brilliant.”

Davey picked up the assist to Schulze on first goal, slotting the ball to her on the end line. more

ROCKIN’ ROBBINS: Princeton University men’s hockey player Adam Robbins, left, controls the puck in game last season. Junior forward Robbins figures to be an offensive catalyst this winter for the Tigers. Princeton starts its 2022-23 season by playing at Harvard on October 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University men’s hockey team heads into the 2022-23 season, it is focusing on being gritty all over the ice.

“We need to be the toughest team to play against, night in and night out,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty, who guided the Tigers to an 8-21-2 overall record and 7-14-1 ECAC Hockey last winter. “That stems from doing the non-skilled parts of the game. We have to be very good at the non-skilled parts of the game, like blocking shots, being physical, and taking care of the smaller details. All of those will yield wins.”

Fogarty saw progress in preseason scrimmages as Princeton topped Yale 2-0 and Brown 4-2 in two-period sessions last weekend.

“The biggest part of what I was trying to see in preseason is to find out what the players can bring,” said Fogarty, whose team will be opening its season by playing at Harvard on October 29. “They created their identities on the weekend. The guys basically showed us what they can do.”

Fogarty believes that his group of forwards — which includes junior Adam Robbins (5 goals, 8 assists in 2021-22), junior Nick Seitz (3 goals, 6 assists), freshman Dave Jacobs, senior Liam Gorman (3 goals, 3 assists), freshman Brendan Gorman, and junior Ian Murphy (9 goals, 10 assists) — can do a lot this winter.

“Adam and Nick have looked good on the weekend. They played together last season, so there is some familiarity,” said Fogarty. “Dave, a first year player, was on the right wing. That line is looking good. We have the Gorman brothers playing on the same line with Murphy. That is unique in a way to have a senior and freshman on the same line.” more

October 19, 2022

DIGGING IT: Princeton University women’s volleyball player Cameron Dames makes a dig in recent action. Last Saturday, senior libero Dames made a career-high 35 digs to help Princeton defeat Brown 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20). The Tigers, now 14-3 overall and 6-1 Ivy League, play at Penn on October 21. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Cameron Dames is looking forward to the second half of the Ivy League season after she and the Princeton University women’s volleyball team regained momentum last Saturday.

After falling 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-15) to Yale last Friday night in what Dames called an “implosion,” less than 24 hours later Dames delivered one of the finest performances in her four seasons starting at libero as the Tigers knocked off defending Ivy League champion Brown, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20), to improve to 14-3 overall, 6-1 in Ivy play and show encouraging resolve.

“I’m just excited to see what this team can do,” said Dames, a 5’9 native of Atlanta, Ga. “I’m excited that we can come back from such a tough Friday game.”

A day later, Dames had a career-high 35 digs to pace a defense that tied their season-high with 83 digs. That helped Princeton win a pair of tight sets, and then after Brown won the third set, the Tigers closed out the Bears 25-20.

“I definitely felt good about the game,” said Dames. “I just felt really confident back there. I knew that I wanted to perform well for my team. I knew if we were going to come out with a win, I needed to show up. I really wanted to bounce back from Friday and show the team I was going to give my all every single point and I think I did that.”

Princeton will try to build on the momentum regained when they start the second time through the Ivy teams when it plays Penn on October 21. Previously, the Tigers beat the Quakers 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-13) on September 23.  more

October 12, 2022

CRUNCH TIME: Princeton University defensive lineman Nate Martey, left, helps knock a Lehigh ball carrier to the ground in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore Martey and the Princeton defense stifled Lafayette as the Tigers defeated the Leopards 23-2. Princeton, now 4-0 overall, 1-0 Ivy League, and ranked 23rd nationally, hosts Brown (2-2 overall, 0-1 Ivy) this Friday evening. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Despite getting off to a 3-0 start this fall, the Princeton University football team had been plagued by some choppy execution in the early going.

Princeton fell behind Stetson 14-7 in its season opener on September 17, was knotted in a 10-10 tie at halftime against Lehigh a week later, and then spent most of the first half of its Ivy League opener at Columbia on October 1 clinging to a 7-6 lead.

But last Saturday at Lafayette, the Tigers produced some sharp play from the opening whistle, going on scoring marches of nine plays, 54 yards, 12 plays, 62 yards and 10 plays, 63 yards in building a 20-2 halftime lead on the way to a 23-2 win over the Leopards before 3,303 at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pa.

Princeton head coach Bob Surace liked what he saw from the Tigers as they improved to 4-0.

“We only had nine drives and we scored on four,” said Surace, whose team is now ranked 23rd nationally in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Coaches’ Poll. “We missed what should have been a high percentage field goal and we had a touchdown called back on a mistake in alignment. We were off the ball — we should have been on, so we ended up losing that drive. We drove it for the last nine minutes and we were putting backups in and we ended up getting stuck on the one-yard line.”

Tiger senior quarterback Blake Stenstrom capably led those scoring drives, continuing to show progress as he made his fourth career start.

“That was a really challenging defense and they have a terrific D-line,” said Surace of Stenstrom, who connected on 30-of-40 passes for 290 yards. “It doesn’t matter who they have played, they are going to put you under duress. He handled it extremely well. He was accurate, the numbers don’t even reflect how well he played. We had a 70-yard touchdown pass called back. We were really successful running it down in the tight red zone so he did not end up with any touchdown passes. He is playing at a really high level.” more

October 5, 2022

FOR PETE’S SAKE: Princeton University men’s basketball alums pose together last Friday at Jadwin Gym after a Celebration of Life held in honor of legendary Tiger head coach Pete Carril, who passed away in mid-August at the age of 92. The event drew hundreds of former Princeton players, opposing coaches, past and present Tigers coaches, and members of the community.

By Bill Alden

Pete Carril espoused a basic philosophy to his Princeton University men’s basketball players over his 29 years at the helm of the program — there was life and there was basketball but there was no life without basketball.

In the wake of Carril’s passing in mid-August at the age of 92, Princeton held a Celebration of Life in honor of the Hall of Fame coach last Friday morning at Jadwin Gym.

The event, which drew hundreds of former Princeton players, opposing coaches, past and present Tigers coaches, and members of the community, was filled with laughs and some tears.

The gym was transformed to a shrine to the coach with a montage of images of Carril on the video board and banners detailing his achievements hanging near the stage.

The program featured six speakers. It also included a video tribute of Carril’s career narrated by Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy. It detailed some of the highlights of Carril’s Princeton tenure that ran from 1967 to 1996 and saw him lead the Tigers to a 514-261 record, 13 Ivy League championships, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, and the 1975 NIT title. He was a 1997 inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

There was another short film with remembrances from such Princeton luminaries as Princeton President Emeritus Harold Shapiro, Princeton Athletic Director Emeritus Gary Walters, former Tiger hoops great Craig Robinson along with former Tiger players and coaches Armond Hill, John Thompson III, and Mike Brennan.

The Rev. Christopher Thomforde ’69, a player in the early years of Carril’s tenure set the tone for the morning.

“There is a gap created in our lives when anyone of consequence dies,” said Thomforde. “We maintain the gap and let grief be real to each of us. Today we want to celebrate, tell stories, and give thanks for a very important person Pete Carril.” more

CLASS ACT: Princeton University senior receiver Dylan Classi heads upfield in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, Classi made six receptions for 133 yards to help Princeton defeat Columbia 24-6 in its Ivy League opener. The Tigers, now 3-0 overall, play at Lafayette (2-3) on October 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bob Surace knew that his Princeton University football team was facing a bruising encounter when it played at Columbia last Saturday.

“I have played against Al now 12 times,” said Princeton head coach Surace, referring to Columbia head coach Al Bagnoli who previously guided the Penn program. “With every one of those games, you get on the bus if it is a road game, or you go back to the locker room and your body feels it. You have been hit and you have hit hard.”

It was Princeton, however, who delivered the hardest blows on Saturday as the Tigers whipped the Lions 24-6 in the Ivy League opener for both teams before a crowd of 4,071 at Robert K. Kraft Field.

Princeton’s triumph was highlighted by a rugged defensive effort which saw the Tigers hold Columbia to 235 yards total offense and make three interceptions.

“The best word is effort,” said Surace in assessing the defensive effort. “I watched the film when I got home last night and there are some plays on there — like where Liam Johnson deflects a screen pass, he was on a blitz, the ball goes to the receiver, but it is slower. He just runs and immediately joins in on the tackle. Will Perez had a couple of those too.”

The defensive pressure resulted in senior linebacker Perez snagging one interception and senior linebacker Joe Bonczek picking off two.

“The energy our guys were playing with was really, really high,” said Surace. “I think we were doing that for the course of 70 plays and eventually the ball comes to you. Both of Joe’s interceptions were just great reads. The throw was not perfect and usually they become incompletions. He made great plays.”

The Tigers got off to an energetic start offensively, taking the opening kickoff and marching 75 yards in eight plays with freshman running back Ryan Butler culminating the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.

“We got into a good rhythm,” said Surace. “Our thing has been, when we don’t have negative plays like a penalty or a dropped ball sack or whatever, we move the ball really well. Our efficiency rates are really high. I thought that first drive was an example of that.”

Clinging to a 7-6 lead late in the second quarter, Princeton went on another scoring drive, going 52 yards in seven plays, taking a 14-6 lead on a 13-yard TD pass from Blake Stenstrom to JoJo Hawkins.

“That was a big drive, we were scuffling a little bit,” said Surace. “Credit Columbia, they have a good defense. We had some negative plays. Our defense was playing lights out. I thought we really needed to get the points on the board at half and execute well as we did. We got such in a good rhythm there.”

Senior receiver and co-captain Dylan Classi found a good rhythm, making six receptions for 133 yards.

“Dylan is a really good player, he has been so consistent throughout his career,” said Surace. “I thought he did a great job not only on the deep throws, but he got yards after the catch.”

In the second half, Princeton got the job done, scoring 10 unanswered points and continuing to play stifling defense. While Surace was happy with effort, he acknowledged that Princeton has to clean up some things.

“We really played hard, we are overcoming some of the early season mistakes with effort,” said Surace. “I am hoping we can correct them. We are going to need to as you are looking around our league and the competitiveness. We are going to have to raise our game. I thought we played with a great deal of energy.”

With Princeton heading to Lafayette (2-3) on Saturday, the Tigers will look to raise their game as they tune up for the Ivy stretch drive.

“Their scores, except against Temple (30-14) and William and Mary (34-7), have been really close,” said Surace. “In the Temple game, Lafayette gave up three blocked punts. Take those away and that game is probably 17-14 but you can’t take that away. Offense and defense-wise, they are playing in these hard-fought contests. They have won a couple of them, they won one last week (24-14 over Bucknell last Saturday), and they have lost a couple of them.”

GRAND OPENING: Princeton University women’s soccer player Pietra Tordin races to goal last Sunday as Princeton hosted Dartmouth in the first game played at the new Roberts Stadium. Freshman forward Tordin made history, scoring the first-ever goal in the stadium with a first half tally. Tordin added an assist in the second half as Princeton prevailed 2-0. The Tigers, now 7-4 overall and 1-1 Ivy League, host Brown on October 8. (Photo by Shelley Szwast, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

A windswept downpour pounded the pitch last Sunday as the Princeton University women’s soccer team hosted Dartmouth in the first-ever game played in the new Roberts Stadium.

The inclement weather, though, didn’t dampen the spirits of the Princeton players as they looked to break in their new home.

“It was our first game here, so we were all really hyped for it,” said Tiger freshman forward Pietra Tordin. “We just wanted to give it all we have got and that is what we did.”

Tordin was hyped to make history, tallying the first-ever goal in the new venue, finding the back of the net 6:14 into the contest as the Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

“I saw an opportunity to break through, take the defender and finish it,” said the drenched yet smiling Tordin, a native of Doral, Fla. “It means so much. Coming in as a freshman, it is just insane.”

Later in the game, Tordin seized opportunity again, setting up a goal by Heather MacNab with 2:12 left in regulation for the final tally of the day as Princeton won 2-0, improving to 7-4 overall and 1-1 Ivy League.

“I saw the turn and I saw Lily [Bryant] running through and slipped it in and it went through to Heather [MacNab],” said Tordin.

With the Tigers having lost 1-0 to Yale on September 24 in its Ivy opener, getting the win over the Big Green was critical. more