April 27, 2022

HEAVY LIFTING: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight rowing varsity 8 churns through the water in a race earlier this spring. Last Saturday, Princeton finished behind Yale and topped Cornell in the race for the Carnegie Cup. Yale was determined to have cut to the inside of a turn buoy and was disqualified, giving the Tigers the cup. In upcoming action, Princeton hosts Brown on April 30 in the race before the Content Cup. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

It has been a steep learning curve this spring for the rowers on the Princeton University men’s heavyweight rowing team.

With the 2020 season having been canceled due to the global pandemic and the 2021 campaign limited drastically due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, many of the program’s athletes lacked any meaningful college rowing experience coming into 2022.

“In a normal year, in each of the boats, you have one or two first-years that are in that lineup and are learning from six or seven guys who have had a racing season at that level and have the experience and the knowledge and expectations for what it is all about,” said Princeton head coach Greg Hughes.

“This year, you have the exact opposite, you have one or two guys in each boat who have had a racing season and six or seven guys who have never done it before. It is very different. There is a lot more to talk about, to work on and teach.”

With a full schedule for the first time since 2019, the Tigers have been getting that racing knowledge. more

April 20, 2022

ENGLISH LESSON: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Sam English shows his intensity last Saturday as the Tigers hosted Dartmouth. Junior midfielder English tallied three goals and two assists to help the third-ranked Tigers pull out a 12-10 win over the Big Green. Princeton, now 9-2 overall and 3-1 Ivy League, plays at No. 17 Harvard on April 23. (Photo by Shelley Szwast, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

On paper, it looked like a mismatch when the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team hosted Dartmouth last Saturday afternoon at Class of 1952 Stadium.

Princeton came into the contest riding high, ranked third nationally, and boasting a record of 8-2 overall and 2-1 Ivy League while Dartmouth, 4-6 overall and 0-3 Ivy, was mired in last place in the Ancient 8 having lost 31 straight league contests since a 12-11 overtime win against Harvard on March 21, 2015.

But at halftime, the rivals were locked in a 5-5 deadlock and Princeton junior midfielder Sam English knew the Tigers were in a battle.

“Anybody on any day can come into wherever and beat anyone,” said English. “At halftime, it was just lock it in, just play better. We were a little sketchy on the clear in the first half.”

English got locked in as he scored two straight goals in the third quarter to help Princeton go up 9-5.

“We call it the NASCAR offense, run it up and down the field,” said English, a 6’1, 180-pound native of Burlington, Ontario. “We got it from coach Mitchell (Princeton offensive coordinator Jim Mitchell) at Rutgers. The first one was just coming across the top and capitalizing on the matchup. The second was a 6-on-6 goal that kept the run going.” more

HAMMING IT UP: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kate Mulham heads to goal in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior Mulham scored three goals to help Princeton defeat Dartmouth 17-5. The 12th-ranked Tigers, now 8-3 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, host Penn on April 20 and then play at Harvard on April 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kate Mulham’s freshman season for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team was derailed on the first day of fall practice when she suffered a leg injury that sidelined her for the 2019 campaign.

Recovering for her sophomore season, Mulham started three games in 2020, tallying six goals and two assists before that season was halted due to the global pandemic.

After taking a gap year, Mulham is making the most of her junior season, emerging as a key offensive weapon for the Tigers. Coming into Princeton’s game against Dartmouth, Mulham had tallied 24 points on 16 goals and eight assists.

“It has been a long time coming, it is just confidence,” said Mulham, a 5’8 native of Setauket, N.Y. “Everyone is so supportive on this team and really wants everyone to perform at their best. There are some great leaders on this team. I think everyone is starting to come into their own and feel more confident as the season goes on.”

In the matchup against Dartmouth, Mulham displayed her comfort level, scoring a team-high three goals to help the Tigers cruise to a 17-5 win over the Big Green as the improved to 8-3 overall and 3-0 Ivy League. more

April 13, 2022

SWING TIME: Princeton University baseball player Nadir Lewis follows through on a swing in recent action. Last weekend, junior outfielder Lewis starred as Princeton went 2-1 in a three-game series against visiting Cornell. Lewis went 5-for-11 with two homers, three runs, and seven RBIs in the series for the Tigers. Princeton, now 4-21 overall and 2-7 Ivy League, will head to New England next weekend for a three-game series at Dartmouth with a doubleheader on April 16 and a single game on April 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Nadir Lewis worried that he might be forgotten after what amounted to two years away from college baseball due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Princeton University junior center fielder has come back and drawn attention for his consistent play. Lewis is second in the Ivy League in batting average at .398 among players with 40 or more at bats. Through the first 25 games of the season, he had been held hitless just twice to serve notice that he cannot be overlooked. He is only one spot away from being the Triple Crown leader. He is tops in the Ivies with nine home runs and with 29 runs batted in.

“I’m still here and these years off have not been years off,” said Lewis, a 6’1, 195-pound native of Alpharetta, Ga. “I’ve been working.”

It wasn’t easy for Lewis, not with huge breaks between playing college seasons. But he learned more about himself during those challenges and has developed into a more polished, more prepared, and more mentally ready player.

“It’s definitely a very gratifying feeling,” said Lewis. “When you’re putting in work, it’s nice to see results from stuff that you’ve done. I feel like that’s baseball. You get out what you put in. So far individually I’m happy, but team-wise I wish we had more wins. But I think they’re coming.”

Princeton picked up its first two Ivy wins of the season last weekend. Lewis was 3-for-4 with a double and grand slam in a 12-3 win over Cornell in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. He homered again Sunday in a 10-6 win over Cornell as the Tigers gained confidence winning two out of three games. Lewis went 5-for-11 with two homers, three runs, and seven RBIs on the weekend as the Tigers improved to 4-21 overall and 2-7 Ivy. more

PASSING IT ON: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Chris Brown, right, fights past a Rutgers defender in recent action. Last Saturday, senior Brown dished for a career-high seven assists to help third-ranked Princeton defeat No. 13 Boston University 12-7. The Tigers, now 8-2 overall, resume Ivy League play by hosting Dartmouth on April 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Chris Brown was held without a goal for just the second time in 42 games in his career for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team as the Tigers hosted Boston University last Saturday.

But senior attackman Brown still had a major impact on the Princeton offense, dishing for a single-game career-high seven assists as the third-ranked Tigers pulled away to a 12-7 win over the No. 13 Terriers and improved to 8-2 overall.

In reflecting on the win, Brown credited BU with making things difficult for the Tigers.

“They were playing great defense on iu, it was a little frustrating at times,” said Brown, who missed all seven shots that he took in the day.

“They just showed a really different and unique look with a lot of ball pressure, a lot of sliding early. I give them credit, they played great fundamental defense. They really played awesome, it was great team.”

With Brown misfiring, he focused on dishing to open teammates.

“I was just trying to move the ball around the perimeter honestly; I took a lot of shots but unfortunately didn’t really hit,” said Brown, whose previous career-high was four assists. more

OPEN SEASON: Members of the Princeton University women’s open crew display the Class of 1975 Cup that the varsity 8 retained last Saturday after defeating Harvard and Cornell in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Later in the day, the fifth-ranked Tiger top boat topped Wisconsin to remain undefeated this spring. Princeton faces second-ranked Yale in New Haven on April 16 in the race for the Eisenberg Cup.

By Bill Alden

Last year, the Princeton University women’s open crew started its preseason training with socially-distanced ergometer workouts on the dock outside the Shea Rowing Center in the winter chill.

Things were a lot different for the rowers coming into this spring as the squad headed south to Florida for a preseason training trip in January.

“Everyone was so excited; I had just not seen that many smiles, that energy and that enthusiasm in a long time,” said Princeton head coach Lori Dauphiny.

“The group that was here last year was small and it was just a different time. There were so many restrictions. This was the first time where we got to travel together and be a team. It was really fun.”

While Dauphiny had a full squad on hand this spring, things are still very much a work in progress.

“Some came back ready to go and some were further behind,” said Dauphiny.

“This has been a time, this fall, winter and even early spring where we are working to come together and all be on the same page. It has been a challenge because of sickness in the month of February. I felt like we were making big strides and then we had a setback there. We are forging forward.” more

April 6, 2022

BIG BEN: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Ben Finlay guards the crease area in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Finlay helped key a superb defensive effort as Princeton defeated Brown 17-9. The third-ranked Tigers, now 6-2 overall and 2-1 Ivy League, will wrap up non-conference play this week as they were slated to host Marist (3-6) on April 5 and No. 13 Boston University (8-1) on April 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team, its 14-12 loss at Yale in late March proved to be a bit of a wake-up call.

“Yale is a great team and not to take anything away from that game, we didn’t play our brand of Princeton lacrosse,” said Princeton head coach Matt Madalon. “We had a few too many mistakes, both in the nature of the game and mental mistakes as well. We learned from the film and went back to work. We pretty much understood as a program that we had to play a little better. We needed more discipline in certain parts of the game and play a little more physical when the ball is on the ground.”

The Tigers were looking to apply those lessons last Saturday as they played at nemesis Brown, a team they had lost to in five of their last six meetings and had not beaten in Providence, R.I., since 2012.

“It was a good opportunity; you go up to Brown, they are a great team and we haven’t won up there in a long time,” said Madalon. “They are a big, strong, fast, well-coached team.”

True to form, the rivals were locked in a tough battle at halftime with the Tigers clinging to a 7-5 lead.

“It was a really tight game in the first half,” said Madalon. “We were getting some offensive looks but they were doing a good job, going back and forth from zone to man to man trying to keep us on our heels. There wasn’t a ton of flow to the first half, there were a lot of penalties on both sides of the ball. We had a pretty fortunate start to the third quarter, we got off and running.”

Princeton junior star attacker Slusher went off in the third quarter, scoring four goals in the period as the Tigers built a 13-5 lead on the way to a 17-9 win, improving to 6-2 overall and 2-1 Ivy League.  more

March 30, 2022

BLAST OFF: Princeton University softball player Adrienne “A.J.” Chang belts the ball in recent action. Junior star Chang has been an offensive catalyst for the Tigers this spring, hitting a team-high .397 and two homers and 10 RBIs. Princeton, now 11-10 overall and 5-1 Ivy League, will look to stay atop the league standings as it hosts a three-game series against Dartmouth on April 2-3 with a doubleheader slated for Saturday and a single game on Sunday. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University softball team lost eight of its first nine games this spring as played its first steady string of games since 2019, its players weren’t discouraged.

“I think the team has been really bought into understanding the growth that is going to happen throughout the season and not taking any of the results early on too seriously,” said Princeton head coach Lisa Van Ackeren. “They understand the context of where we are. We basically have three classes of freshmen in terms of collegiate at-bats.”

The Tigers displayed that growth by posting wins in 10 of their next 12 games, including sweeping Brown in a three-game series to start Ivy League play and then going 2-1 at Harvard last weekend in their second league series.

“There are a couple of people who are really catching on,” said Van Ackeren. “I think the next few weeks are going to be exciting to see what we can do.” more

HISTORY MAKERS: Members of the Princeton University wrestling program, from left, head coach Chris Ayres, associate head coach Sean Gray, junior Patrick Glory, junior Quincy Monday, assistant coach Nate Jackson, associate head coach Joe Dubuque, and athletic trainer Michael Tremblay pose together at the 2022 NCAA Championships earlier this month in Detroit, Mich. Glory and Monday made history as they gave the Tigers two national finalists in the same NCAA Championships for the first time ever. Glory finished second at 125 pounds while Monday took second place at 157 pounds. (Photo by Lisa Elfstrum, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Patrick Glory and Quincy Monday may have come up short of their ultimate goal, but the two took another step forward for the Princeton University wrestling program.

Both juniors, Glory and Monday gave the Tigers two national finalists in the same NCAA Championships for the first time ever. Glory finished second at 125 pounds and Monday took second place at 157 pounds. Princeton last had one NCAA finalist in 2002 when Greg Parker reached the championship match and finished second at 174 pounds.

“It’s one more new thing that we haven’t done before,” said Princeton head coach Chris Ayres. “And so then it’s familiar, and that gives other people permission to do the same thing, and I think they go into it more confident. You have five Penn State guys (in finals) and they all win, and I don’t think that’s by mistake. I think they thought, this is what I’m supposed to do – win this NCAA title. I think we touched new ground for our program in terms of what’s expected.”

Princeton would have loved to have seen their finalists take it one step further to win a title in the competition held in Detroit, Mich. The euphoria of Glory and Monday reaching the championship matches with semifinal wins on March 18 made it all the more difficult when they fell in the finals a day later.

“We’ve been through a lot since I got here, so to have these moments there’s a lot of emotion,” said Ayres. “We thought we could do it, but there’s also this piece of me that can’t believe you’re doing it because of where you came from. There’s a lot of emotion and I still haven’t unpacked it. I go through all these moments – I’m really happy, and then I’m kind of devastated because it’s a hard thing to get that finals opportunity, and we didn’t get a champ. It goes all around.” more

March 23, 2022

MOMENT OF MADNESS: Players on the Princeton University women’s basketball team celebrate last Saturday after the 11th-seeded Tigers stunned sixth-seeded Kentucky 69-62 in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Bloomington, Ind. It marked the second-ever win in March Madness for the program. Two days later, the Princeton nearly reached the Sweet 16 for the first time, battling valiantly before getting edged 56-55 by third-seeded and host Indiana in a second round contest. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 25-5. (Photo by Bill Alden)

By Bill Alden

When Kaitlyn Chen hit a shot in the waning seconds of the first quarter to give the Princeton University women’s basketball team a 12-11 lead over Kentucky last Saturday in the first round of the NCAA tournament, she was mobbed by her teammates as she ran back to the bench.

With its swarming defense forcing sixth-seeded Kentucky into 31.2 percent shooting (5-16) in the first quarter and sophomore guard Chen and senior Abby Meyers triggering the offense, the 11th-seeded Tigers sensed an upset was brewing before a crowd of 6,389 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.

Princeton built its lead to 32-25 at halftime and then utilized its tough defense to hold off a late charge by the Wildcats to win 69-62, setting off a wild celebration with the players screaming, hugging each other, and waving to their supporters in the stands.

Meyers, who ended up with a career-high 29 points in the win, cited the defensive effort in reflecting on the program’s second-ever win in the NCAA tournament (the first since the Tigers topped Green Bay 80-70 in the first round of the 2015 tourney).

“Yeah, I mean, it really just gets down to like it’s Ivy League defense, it’s Ivy League play,” said Meyers.

“I don’t think a lot of people — they just underestimate how good the Ivy League is at both ends. So we wanted to come in and just shock them, and I think we did that. Yeah, I think just making them uncomfortable, too, down low. We doubled up on [Dre’Una] Edwards. She’s a great player, very strong and just trusting in each other one through five and knowing we have help.” more

RAM TOUGH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Ethan Wright dribbles upcourt in game this season. Last week, senior guard Wright scored 18 points and had seven rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 90-79 at Virginia Commonwealth University in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The loss to the Rams on March 15 left Princeton with a final record of 23-7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The Princeton University men’s basketball team saw a record-setting season in which it won the Ivy League regular season title end last week in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

The Tigers were eliminated from the NIT with a 90-79 loss at VCU on March 15 to finish the season 23-7 overall.

“They’re a very difficult matchup, especially at their place,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson. “They turn you over a lot. We knew going in we needed to have a special night and take care of the ball to win. Some of our turnovers were costly in the second half.”

The Tigers fought back so many times over the last year that it would have been easy to expect another rally against VCU. Princeton had already returned from more than a year without games to win the Ivy regular season and set four school records for offensive proficiency. The Tigers’ 79.8 points per game is the school’s highest scoring average, their 2,395 points the most ever in a single season, their 910 field goals the greatest total and their 327 made three-pointers a new mark.

“They’re not only the best offensive team in history — most 3s made, most points scored, you could argue one of the best if not the best shooting teams — they’re also great people, to each other and to the community,” said Henderson.  more

GLORIOUS WEEKEND: Princeton University wrestling star Patrick Glory, top, battles Vito Arujau of Cornell in a regular season match at 125 pounds. Last weekend, third-seeded Glory defeated second-seeded Arujau 13-5 in the semifinal at the NCAA Championships in Detroit, Mich. The win gave Princeton its first finalist in 20 years, since Greg Parker ’03 made the final at 174 in 2002. Glory was joined by junior teammate Quincy Monday (157) in the finals, giving the Tigers two NCAA finalists for the first time in program history. Both Glory and Monday went on to lose in their finals as Princeton took 16th in the team standings at the competition won by Penn State. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It turned out to be a glorious competition for the Princeton University wrestling team as it sent six stars to the NCAA Championships last weekend in Detroit, Mich.

Princeton made program history as two of those standouts, Patrick Glory (125 pounds) and Quinn Monday (157), advanced championship finals, the first time that has happened for the Tigers. Both ended up losing in the title matches, leaving the late Bradley Glass ’53 as the lone Princeton wrestler to win an NCAA Championship as he took the heavyweight title in 1951.

In reaching the final, junior star and third-seeded Glory started his run with a 16-2 major decision over 30th-seeded Jace Koelzer of Northern Colorado in the round of 32 on Thursday. A day later, he earned 10-2 win over 14th-seeded Jakob Camacho of North Carolina State and then defeated 11th-seeded Brandon Kaylor of Oregon State 7-3 in the quarterfinals. In the semis, he faced an Ivy League rival, second-seeded Vito Arujau of Cornell, who had defeated Glory 19-6 two weeks ago in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) final. Glory turned the tables on Arujau with a 13-5 win. The win gave Princeton its first finalist in 20 years, since Greg Parker ’03 made the final at 174 in 2002.  more

March 16, 2022

GRACEFUL MOVE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Grace Stone goes up for a shot in recent action. Last Saturday, junior guard Stone scored 12 points to help the Tigers defeat Columbia 77-59 in the Ivy League postseason tournament final in Cambridge, Mass., and earn the league’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA tournament. Princeton, now 24-4, is seeded 11th in the Bridgeport Region and will face sixth-seeded Kentucky (19-11) in a first round contest on March 19 in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the players on the Princeton University women’s basketball team entered Jadwin Gym last Sunday evening to watch the NCAA tournament selection show, they broke into a dance together to the music pounding on the arena sound system.

About a half hour later, they leaped to their feet in unison when they found out their NCAA first around assignment which has them seeded 11th in the Bridgeport Region and facing sixth-seeded Kentucky (19-11) in a first round contest in Bloomington, Ind. on March 19.

For Tiger junior guard Grace Stone, the NCAA assignment evoked a sense of deja vu.

“We played Kentucky the first round my freshman year,” said Stone, referring to an 82-77 setback to the Wildcats on March 23, 2019 in Raleigh, N.C. “Actually it was exactly the same seeding which is interesting. I think that they are a really great team and I am really excited to figure out how we can play them and what things we can do.”

The Tigers had to figure out some things last weekend at the Ivy League postseason tournament in Cambridge, Mass., edging host Harvard 72-67 in the semis on Friday and then pulling away to a 77-59 win over Columbia in the title game a day later. The triumph improved the Tigers to 24-4 and extended their winning streak to 17.

In Stone’s view, Princeton benefited by getting pushed over the weekend.

“A lot of our Ivy League games weren’t really that close,” said Stone of a campaign which saw the Tigers go 14-0 in regular season league play before winning the postseason tournament. “We prepared before the tournament for close games and those type of situations so I think it was a really good challenge for us.” more

IVY SADNESS: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jaelin Llewellyn gets covered closely in recent action. Last Sunday, senior guard Llewellyn tallied 18 points in losing cause as Princeton fell 66-64 to Yale in the final of the Ivy League postseason tournament. The Tigers, who dropped to 23-6 with the defeat to the Bulldogs, earned a bid to the NIT due to winning the Ivy regular season title. They were slated to start play in that tourney by playing at third-seeded Virginia Commonwealth University on March 15 in an opening round contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University men’s basketball team looked ahead to starting its Ivy League campaign in January, Mitch Henderson expected a lot of rock fights along the way in conference play.

Over the course of Ivy play, Princeton found itself in a number of bruising battles as Tiger head coach Henderson had foreseen. Utilizing a high-octane offense and an improving defense, the Tigers rallied in several games to go 12-2 in Ivy action, finishing one game ahead of Yale to win the regular season title.

Last weekend at the Ivy postseason tournament in Cambridge, Mass., the Tigers got involved in two more nail-biters, edging Cornell 77-73 in the semis on Saturday before falling 66-64 to Yale in the final a day later.

In the win over the Big Red, the foes were tied at 73-73 heading into the waning moments of the contest before junior star Tosan Evbuomwan put Princeton ahead on a bucket with 36 seconds left. Ryan Langborg added two free throws to add the finishing touch to the win.

“The last minute of the game, there were just three really special plays,” said Henderson, reflecting on the win over Cornell which is guided by former Princeton star and assistant coach Brian Earl.

“We got three straight offensive rebounds. We were advantaged by having the shot clock at six seconds, so Tosan just had to go and make a play. It was an absolute fight. It was one of the most, if not the most intense, games I have ever been a part of. It felt like an incredible win. It did factor in a small way to the following night, just how physical and tough it was.” more

ERIK THE GREAT: Princeton University men’s lacrosse goalie Erik Peters makes a save last Friday night against Rutgers. Senior star and co-captain Peters made a career-high 21 saves to help Princeton defeat the Scarlet Knights 16-11. He was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week for his performance. The Tigers, now 4-1 and up to No. 3 in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, host Penn on March 19 in the Ivy opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Minutes after the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team defeated Rutgers 16-11 last Friday evening to earn the Meistrell Cup, the Tigers made a beeline to claim the trophy and Erik Peters hoisted it over his head to the cheers of his teammates.

It was fitting that senior goalie Peters grabbed the hardware as he produced a brilliant effort with a career-high 21 saves to help the Tigers overcome a Rutgers team that came into the game undefeated and ranked No. 3 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.

When the Tigers went scoreless in the third quarter, Peters raised the level of his game, making five saves, some point blank to hold off the Scarlet Knights. The Princeton offense got back in rhythm in the fourth, tallying five goals as the Tigers pulled away to a 16-11 win improved to 4-1.

“I just try to focus on the next shot,” said Peters, reflecting on his performance which got him named as the Ivy League Player of the Week for the second straight week.

“Goalie is a position of percentages and you just have to play the percentages. One goes in so it is, ‘all right, move on to the next one.’”

Peters credited his teammates with helping him control the crease.

“I just fall back and trust in our defense,” said Peters. “We have a bunch of dogs. Every single guy out there is someone that I trust and makes plays. They make it easy for me.”

Things weren’t easy for the Princeton defense in the early going last Friday as the local rivals were knotted at 6-6 19 minutes into the game.

“It is two great offenses and two teams that are both into running and gunning,” said Peters. more

March 9, 2022

RIGHT ON: Princeton University men’s basketball player Tosan Evbuomwan goes up for a shot in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Evbuomwan scored 23 points and had eight rebounds and seven assists to help Princeton defeat Penn 93-70 at the Palestra. The triumph gave the Tigers the outright Ivy League regular season title and clinched the top seed for the upcoming league postseason tournament. Princeton, now 22-5 overall and 12-2 Ivy, will face fourth-seeded Cornell in the league semis on Saturday with the victor advancing to the title game a day later to play for a bid to the NCAA tournament.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University men’s basketball team dribbled out the clock in the waning seconds of a 93-70 win over Penn last Saturday evening at the Palestra, the coaches and players on the bench rose as one to savor the moment.

With the Princeton supporters on hand giving the team a standing ovation and a beaming Tiger head coach Mitch Henderson looking on like a proud father, the players hugged on the court after the buzzer sounded, celebrating the triumph which gave them the outright Ivy League regular season title and clinched the top seed for the upcoming league postseason tournament.

“We had a shot at a share of the title last week but it is nice to have the outright title for these guys,” said Henderson, whose team improved to 22-5 overall and 12-2 Ivy with the victory, finishing one game ahead of Yale in the Ivy standings.

“We are thankful to be able to play in front of fans. We have had two years really waiting to have a moment like this. I am really thankful and really appreciative to be coaching this team and be around these guys. It is a really fun group. We will hopefully keep it going. We have a big week ahead but we are really going to enjoy this.”

Henderson enjoyed the way the Tiger offense executed against Penn as it shot 55.2 percent from the floor (37-67) and made just two turnovers.

“I thought everything came out tonight that we have been seeing all season,” said Henderson. “I have said this many times, there is no tension on this team. They search and seek out shots for each other. Nobody is raising their hand, saying that is me. They genuinely enjoy seeing each other do well. I think the reads were really good. Tosan [Evbuomwan] makes it very difficult to guard us. We put him in some spots and the guys have really learned to play around him. We had two turnovers, none in the first half, I have never seen that.”

Junior star forward Evbuomwan displayed his versatility in the win, tallying 23 points with seven assists and eight rebounds.  more

FINISHING SPRINT: Princeton University women’s basketball player Abby Meyers races upcourt last Friday as Princeton defeated Penn 69-43. Senior guard Meyers scored a game-high 20 points in the win as the Tigers clinched the outright Ivy League regular season title. Two days later, Meyers scored 14 points to help Princeton top Harvard 73-53 and end the regular season at 22-4 overall and 14-0 Ivy. With Princeton having gone 26-1 and 14-0 Ivy in 2019-20, it marked the first time in conference history that a team has posted consecutive 14-0 Ivy seasons. In upcoming action, the Tigers will be facing Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. on Friday in the semis of the Ivy postseason tournament with the victor advancing to the title game a day later to play for a bid to the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When Abby Meyers left the court last Friday evening in her final game at Jadwin Gym for the Princeton University women’s basketball team, she proceeded to go down the bench and hug each coach, teammate, manager, and trainer one by one.

“We have a tradition in the locker room where the seniors have to leave for an hour and all the juniors and underclassmen decorate our lockers with pictures and posters,” said senior guard Meyers.

“It is really beautiful, it is a really special day. It is about the seniors but it is really about the team. It is a great atmosphere. We were very happy and excited. We are having fun while we do it.”

Meyers had plenty of reason to be very happy and shower affection on her teammates as the evening was a highlight of a topsy-turvy journey for her. Meyers averaged 9.4 points coming off the bench as a freshman in 2017-18 and then took a year off from school in 2018-19. She returned to help Princeton win the 2019-20 Ivy League title, averaging 6.3 points in a reserve role before the postseason was canceled due to the global pandemic. Meyers was one of the few Tigers on campus last year after the season was canceled.

“With so many ups and downs, I came back to a program where we work our butts off and we win,” said Meyers, a 6’0 native of Potomac, Md. “It is the same result with different people and a different family. We are continuing the winning tradition here.”

Overcoming a slow start against Penn which saw the Tigers trailing 22-20 in the second quarter, Princeton showed that winning mentality, ending the half on a 13-0 run and never looking back on the way to a 69-43 win.

Meyers and her teammates enjoyed an extended post-game celebration as the win clinched the outright league crown for the Tigers. Getting showered with confetti, the Tigers received the Ivy trophy, cut down the net, and posed for a number of group photos. more

FISH STORY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse goalie Sam Fish guards the crease in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Fish make eight saves, including a stop with six seconds left in regulation, to help Princeton edge Cornell 13-12 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The Tigers, now 3-0 and ranked 10th nationally, were slated to play at No. 17 USC on March 8 and at San Diego State on March 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Sam Fish was an eighth grader watching wide-eyed the last time the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team made a West Coast trip. She was in the stands as the Tigers won back-to-back games over USC and San Diego State in 2014. Playing for Princeton wasn’t a thought.

“I was hoping that I could play at any school at any level,” said Fish. “I was really thinking I was going to play club in college.”

Fast forward eight years, and Fish was scheduled to start as the Tigers’ senior goalie, with 3-0 Princeton trying to remain perfect while duplicating the West Coast trip with games Tuesday at USC and Saturday at her hometown San Diego State, which has some of her friends on its roster.

“It means everything to me,” said Fish. “I remember this summer Coach (Chris) Sailer had given me a call and told me about the schedule. She said, ‘We’re going back to your home, we’re going back for you.’ That just meant everything to me. It was so great hearing that the coaches wanted to do that for me.”

Fish knows firsthand that the trip is also important to other budding lacrosse players out west. Princeton’s trip is a big deal to young impressionable players still in middle and high school. more

DOG DAY AFTERNOON: Princeton University women’s hockey player Dominique Cormier fires the puck up the ice in a game this season. Freshman defenseman Cormier picked up an assist in a losing cause as eighth-seeded Princeton fell 3-1 to second-seeded Yale in the ECAC Hockey semifinals last Friday afternoon in New Haven, Conn. The loss to the Bulldogs left the Tigers with a final record of 13-15-5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There was a lot on the line for the Princeton University hockey programs as last Friday dawned.

Coming off a stunning upset of top-seeded Harvard in an ECAC Hockey best-of-three quarterfinal series a week earlier, the eighth-seeded Princeton women’s hockey team was facing second-seeded Yale in the semis at New Haven, Conn. in an afternoon matinee.

Hours later, the 10th-seeded Tigers men’s squad was taking to the ice in Schenectady, N.Y., to play at seventh-seeded Union in the opening game of a best-of-three ECACH first round series.

In the early stages of their semifinal clash, the underdog Princeton women looked to be on the way to another upset, taking a 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs on a first-period goal by Mia Coene. But Yale answered back with two second period goals to forge ahead 2-1.

Over the last 20 minutes of the contest, the Tigers outshot Yale 8-3 but couldn’t break through, yielding an empty net goal in the waning moments of the contest to fall 3-1.

The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 13-15-5 but the future looks bright for the squad. While Princeton is losing four seniors in star goalie Rachel McQuigge along with forwards Shannon Griffin, Sharon Frankel, and Sarah Verbeek, it will return its three top scorers this season (Maggie Connors, Annie Kuehl, and Stef Wallace). In addition, the team should get a huge lift from the return of Sarah Filler, who took a year away from college to compete for the Canadian women’s team at the Beijing 2022 Olympics and starred as it won the gold medal.

As for the Tiger men, they were looking for a fresh start in the playoffs after struggling through a disappointing regular season campaign which saw them deal with COVID issues and injuries to key players. While Princeton came into the playoffs mired in a six-game losing streak, it was heartened by having gone 8-2 in its last 10 ECACH playoff contests, including winning the 2018 championship. more

GOLD STANDARD: Princeton University alum Declan Farmer ’20, who has earned two gold medals at the Paralympics playing for the United States men’s sled hockey team, is honored with a poster on the wall at Hobey Baker Rink. Farmer is currently competing for the U.S. squad at the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing as he goes after a third gold medal.

By Justin Feil

Declan Farmer returned to Princeton University a hero four years ago.

Then just a sophomore at the school, Farmer scored the game-tying goal with 38 seconds left in regulation and the game-winner 3:30 into overtime to help the United States men’s sled hockey team win defeat Canada 2-1 in the gold medal game at the 2018 Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“It was really cool,” said Farmer, a 2020 Princeton grad. “All my friends knew what I was doing. Word kind of spread. I had just joined Cottage eating club. A lot of the men’s hockey team is in Cottage, and they had just won their conference championship. They honored both of us at the first Sunday Funday of the year. It was cool. They had me bring my gold medal out. It was nice. It meant a lot.”

Farmer spent his final two years at Princeton beginning to lay the foundation for a return to this year’s Paralympics in Beijing, where he is seeking to win his third career gold medal. Farmer first won gold at Sochi in 2014 as a 16-year-old. Now at 24 he’s part of a veteran group leading the U.S., which is favored to win what would be their fourth straight Paralympics title.

“It’s definitely a lot different,” said Farmer, a native of Tampa, Fla. “The team seems a lot more mature. Everyone is generally older. There’s a big group of us who are all between 23 and 25, which is kind of weird. That’s the age of the ‘old guys’ on the team back in my first years on the team, the Sochi days. Everyone has grown up together in a way.” more

March 2, 2022

By J-TRAIN: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jaelin Llewellyn dribbles upcourt in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, star guard Llewellyn enjoyed a special Senior Night, scoring 29 points to help Princeton defeat Harvard 74-67 in his final regular season game at Jadwin Gym. Two days later, Llewellyn scored 16 points to help the Tigers edge Harvard 74-73 as they improved to 21-5 overall and 11-2, clinching a share of the regular season league title. Princeton plays at Penn on March 5 in its regular season finale, looking to earn an outright league title. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was Jaelin Llewellyn’s final home game for the Princeton University men’s basketball team and he was determined to make it an evening to remember.

“It was the last chance to play on this court and this court means lot to me,” said senior guard Llewellyn, a 6’2, 185-pound native of Mississauga, Ontario, reflecting on the ceremony to honor the program’s Class of 2022 at Jadwin Gym before Princeton hosted Harvard last Friday evening.

“I knew we were going to get a big crowd and a good turnout. It was just awesome to be on this court. I just wanted to do the best I could. I finally had an opportunity to have family here. It was a big night, just to have fun.”

Harvard had more fun in the first half of the contest, taking a 38-36 lead into intermission.

Despite the deficit, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson liked where the Tigers stood.

“They had maybe three turnovers; they had no fouls committed, I haven’t seen that much,” said Henderson. “I came in halftime and said we are all right. Let’s go, we have been down 14 here all season. These games are good for us, we are learning how to win.”

In the second half, Llewellyn carried the Tigers to a 74-67 win, pouring in 20 points in the second half to end the evening with 29.

“When we didn’t have a shot to make, Jaelin made them tonight,” said Henderson of Llewellyn, who chipped in six rebounds and three assists in the victory. “He was just terrific. He put us on his back and he carried us throughout the course of the game. What a performance on Senior Night.” more

HOME COOKING: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears heads to goal last Saturday against a Temple defender. Senior star Sears tallied six goals and two assists to help Princeton post a 14-10 win over the Owls. Sears was later named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week. It marked the first home game for the Tigers since February 22, 2020 as that season was halted due to the global pandemic and the 2021 campaign was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. No. 20 Princeton, now 2-0, hosts Cornell (2-1) on March 5 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kyla Sears hit some high notes as the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team hosted Temple last Saturday for its first home game in more than two years.

Before the contest started, senior attacker Sears took the mic and belted out a spirited rendition of the national anthem. Minutes later, she proceeded to score Princeton’s first goal of the afternoon.

“We are so happy to be back, I think it was just a great feeling to see all of our parents back and playing on this field,” said Sears, reflecting on the first game at Class of 1952 Stadium for the Tigers since February 22, 2020 as that season was halted due to the global pandemic and the 2021 campaign was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

“The football team was here, the video board was exciting. There were a lot of nerves but mostly it was excitement to be back, Singing on this field, I only have seven of these left so that is great.”

With Sears getting a goal 4:30 into the first quarter, that tally helped get the Princeton attack going in a back-and-forth first half that saw the Tigers up 10-8 at intermission.

“It was nice, just good to get momentum rolling,” said Sears, who had three goals in the half with sophomore Grace Tauckus chipping in four.

“It was a game of runs and we knew Temple was going to be a really great opponent. We knew that they were going to come hard. Our whole mantra today was this is our house and we want to protect our field.”

After a sluggish third quarter which saw it go scoreless, Princeton was clinging to a 10-9 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of regulation. The Owls scored to knot the contest and then Sears took matters into her hands, scoring two straight goals and assisting on another as the Tigers pulled away to 14-10 win and improved to 2-0. more

THOM TERRIFIC: Princeton University men’s hockey player Matthew Thom, right, controls the puck in recent action. Senior defenseman and team captain Thom will be looking to extend his college career as 10th-seeded Princeton (8-19-2 overall and 7-14-1 ECAC Hockey) plays at seventh-seeded Union (12-17-4 overall, 9-11-2 ECACH) in a best-of-three ECAH first round series starting on March 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a tough weekend to end a rough regular season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

Hosting a trio of rivals, Princeton lost 4-3 to Colgate on Friday night after squandering a 3-2 third period lead and then got blanked 4-0 by No. 18 Cornell on Saturday and fell 3-0 to Harvard a day later.

The defeats left the Tigers at 8-19-2 overall and 7-14-1 ECAC Hockey heading into the first round of the league playoffs where the Tigers are seeded 10th and will head to New York to play at seventh-seeded Union (12-17-4 overall, 9-11-2 ECACH) for a best-of-three series starting on March 4.

“We haven’t had one practice or one game where we had an entire roster the entire season with COVID and injuries,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty, whose team is mired in a six-game losing streak. “It has been a challenge, but it has been an enjoyable grind. Now it is playoff time and hopefully we will get some of these injured guys back.”

The Tigers were shorthanded as they faced Harvard in the regular season finale.

“The game plan was similar to any other game that we have had through the year,” said Fogarty. “It was just stay on top of it but we are decimated with injuries we have. Finn [Evans] is out, one of our leading point scorers, Ian Murphy, is out. We have David Ma out and Jeremy Forget is coming back at goalie from an injury.” more

CRIMSON TIDE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sharon Frankel battles for the puck in recent action. Last Sunday senior forward and co-captain Franklin tallied a goal and an assist to help the eighth-seeded seeded Tigers edge top-seeded Harvard 3-2 in the decisive game three of an ECAC Hockey best-of-three quarterfinal series. Princeton’s series victory over the Crimson marked the first time since the ECACH started quarterfinals in 2002 that an eighth-seeded team eliminated the top-seed. This weekend, Princeton, now 13-14-5 overall, will be competing in the ECACH semis at New Haven, Conn., facing second seeded and seventh-ranked Yale (24-7-1) on March 4 with the victor advancing to the title game the next day. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Cara Morey saw it coming.

As Princeton University women’s hockey head coach Morey looked ahead to the ECAC Hockey best-of-three quarterfinal series last weekend between her eighth-seeded seeded Tigers and top-seeded Harvard, she was confident of an upset.

“I am excited, we always play well against Harvard,” said Morey, whose team had two narrow losses to the Crimson in regular season action. “It was a 1-0 game (on January 21) and a 2-0 game (on February 11). We can definitely take it to them. Our league this year is so tight, anybody can win. Harvard is not happy drawing us.”

Acting on Morey’s message, the Tigers took it to Harvard, ranked sixth nationally, in game one on Friday, topping the Crimson 4-2 as senior captain and Arlington, Mass., native Shannon Griffin tallied two goals and an assist to lead the way for Princeton.

A day later, the Tigers nearly knocked out Harvard, taking a 1-0 second period lead on a goal by Grace Kuipers before succumbing 2-1 in overtime.

On Sunday, Princeton made Harvard very unhappy, building a 3-1 lead by midway through the third period on goals by Sharon Frankel, Maggie Connors, and Griffin and then held off the Crimson for a history-making 3-2 win.

The triumph by the Tigers, now 13-14-5 overall, marked the first time since the ECACH started quarterfinals in 2002 that an eighth-seeded team eliminated the top-seed.

Griffin enjoyed a special homecoming, tallying three goals and three assists on the weekend. Senior goalie Rachel McQuigge spearheaded the Tiger defensive effort, stopping 103 of 109 shots for a .945 save percentage and was later named the ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week. more

February 23, 2022

OPENING SALVO: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Alex Slusher races upfield last Saturday as Princeton hosted Monmouth in its season opener. Playing its first game since March 2020 after that season got halted due to the global pandemic and the 2021 campaign was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, Princeton rolled to a 22-6 victory over the Hawks. Junior attackman Slusher contributed five goals and an assist in the win. The Tigers, now ranked 20th nationally, were slated to host Binghamton on February 22 before playing at No. 1 Maryland in February 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gusts howled through Class of 1952 Stadium early Saturday afternoon as the wind chill plummeted to the 20s and a snow squall eventually blew in, but Alex Slusher was perfectly comfortable.

With the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team hitting the field to host Monmouth for its first game since March 2020 after that season got halted due to the global pandemic and the 2021 campaign was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, Tiger junior attackman Slusher and his teammates were thrilled to be out in the cold.

“It was pretty crazy, getting to step on the field, we were just excited,” said Slusher.

“We missed it a lot. We have been talking  about this since March 10 that year or whatever day that was. That is what made it even more special. We were here all spring last year with no games. There were literally 20 of us, freshmen and sophomores, practicing on our own, going and watching Michael Sowers (former Princeton star who graduated in 2020) play for Duke on the weekends. I love playing with this team and it was fun more than anything.”

After a sluggish start as the Tigers shook off some rust and worked through the emotions of the day, Princeton started clicking, outscoring the Hawks 6-3 in the second quarter to build a 10-5 halftime lead.

“We are best when we share the ball and we really started to do that in the second quarter,” said Slusher, who tallied four goals and an assist in the first half. “That is what coach Mitchell (offensive coordinator Jim Mitchell) always says. If we share the ball, play unselfish and move the rock, good things are going to happen.” more